Leftovers is our look at a few of the product ideas popping up everywhere. Some are intriguing, some sound amazing and some are the kinds of ideas we would never dream of. We can't write about everything that we get pitched, so here are some leftovers pulled from our inboxes.
Dunkin’ hits the bakery for new canned iced coffees
Donut and coffee chain Dunkin’ is expanding its products on convenience and grocery store shelves with a new line of ready-to-drink canned iced coffee drinks inspited by treats from the chain’s bakery.
The Bakery Series 11-ounce coffee drinks, which include milk and sugar, come in three flavors. Brownie Batter Donut features a chocolate flavor, Cake Batter Donut is reminiscent of a vanilla cake and Coffee Cake Muffin contains the taste of sweet cinnamon.
“We value our loyal Dunkin’ customers and wanted to honor their favorite bakery selections in a delicious way that only Dunkin’ can do,” Brian Gilbert, the chain’s vice president of retail development, said in a statement.
Dunkin’s canned and bottled coffee products are created in collaboration with Coca-Cola, a partnership with its first products on shelves in 2017.
In the crowded category — which includes brands like Starbucks, La Colombe, Lavazza and Rise — Dunkin’s new canned coffee products could benefit from the wide recognition of the chain.
RTD coffee continues to grow in popularity as more consumers prefer their coffee beverages to come in bottles or cans. The category is projected to be worth $42.3 billion by 2030, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3%, according to Fortune Business Insights.
— Chris Casey
Hip hip Churray!
Ben & Jerry’s is hoping ice cream-loving consumers will cheer loudly for its latest flavor launch.
The new offering from the Vermont-based frozen treats company is Churray for Churros!, which aims to celebrate the best components of a churro with bits of the crunchy and buttery fried pastry and swirls of cinnamon and sugar.
"It was years in the making and we're excited to finally have churro in the lineup,” Natalia Butler, Ben & Jerry’s flavor guru, said in a statement. “Those flavors resonate with a lot of people and bring back so many memories, especially for us at Ben & Jerry's."
While Ben & Jerry’s is known for popular flavors such as Cherry Garcia and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, the brand’s 45-year history is littered with more than 300 flavors that have been buried in the company’s graveyard.
The brand’s flavor offerings include Wavy Gravy, Peanut Butter and Jelly, White Russian and Dublin Mudslide, according to the company’s website. None of the original eight flavors (including Oreo Mint and French Vanilla) have survived.
Ice cream remains a hot business. Fortune Business Insights estimates the global ice cream market will reach $105 billion in 2029, up from $73.6 billion seven years earlier. The International Dairy Foods Association said the average person in the U.S. eats roughly 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about four gallons.
With flavors coming and going, and established and nascent brands fighting for limited shelf space at U.S. grocery stores, ice cream companies such as Ben & Jerry’s need to dig deep for their next new and novel flavor – even if the new item has a better chance of being buried in the graveyard than chilling in ice cream infamy.
— Christopher Doering
Kettle Brand gets into the air fryer trend
Air fryers have been a trendy kitchen tool for consumers, and now snack makers are using it too.
Kettle Brand Air Fried Chips use the hot method to crisp up their signature chips. The Campbell Soup-owned brand says it uses a patent-pending technology to kettle cook and then air finish its newest potato chips. The end result, the brand says, is a light and crispy texture with 30% less fat than Kettle Brand’s original chips.
The Air Fried Chips come in three flavors: Sea Salt & Vinegar, Himalayan Salt and Jalapeno.
It’s not surprising that Kettle Brand is the first big potato chip maker to utilize air fryer methods to create a healthier snack. The brand was started by entrepreneur Cameron Healy in 1982 to improve the nutritional profile and clean label attributes of high quality potato chips. The company uses carefully sourced potatoes and cooks its chips at lower temperatures, resulting in a lower fat content than some other chip brands.
Air fryers have become popular with consumers in the last few years. The device works like a fan-powered convection oven, with extremely hot air blown around food that sits on a perforated basket or tray. The hot air allows the food to brown and crisp on the outside as it cooks, often without the need for even small amounts of fat.
Food manufacturers haven’t gotten into the air fryer trend much in creating their food. Most frozen prepared foods or baking mixes now have air fryer directions on their packages, but items that are air fried themselves are few and far between. The notable exception is Gorton’s Seafood’s line of air fried frozen items, which the company says has the crisp and lightness of ones coming out of an air fryer.
Hundreds of recipes for homemade air fried potato chips are found online, so this is an item that consumers want. Other snack makers may follow in Kettle Brands’ footsteps if this new snack is successful. No matter how easy it is to create air fried potato chips at home, it is much more convenient to open a bag.
— Megan Poinski