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.
Angry Orchard spices up the sauce segment
The taste of hard cider just got hotter.
Boston Beer’s Angry Orchard has announced it is teaming up with Bushwick Kitchen on a line of hot sauces. America’s top cider maker and the Brooklyn-based artisan sauce company sought to bring the crisp, sweet flavor palette of the drink to a sauce with a spicy kick.
"Bringing together cider and food is one of my favorite ways to show off cider's versatility and complex flavor profile — especially when heat is involved,” said Ryan Burk, the head cider maker at Angry Orchard.
The sauces will come in three fruity varieties based on Angry Orchard's ciders: Crisp Apple Jalapeno, Peach Mango Scotch Bonnet and Strawberry Jalapeno. The Crisp Apple and Strawberry varieties are on the hotter side thanks to the inclusion of the spicy pepper, while the Peach Mango offers a tangy taste.
The sauces are available on Bushwick Kitchen’s website for $13.99. The sauce brand launched in 2014 and is known for bringing the heat with its gochujang sriracha, spicy maple syrup and spicy honey.
Alcohol and food combinations are not a novel concept. The familiarity of the flavors to consumers and their use in different contexts brings intrigue. In 2020, French’s mustard entered the alcohol market for a limited time with the help of Oskar Blues Brewery, creating a beer based on the yellow condiment that featured mango and passionfruit flavors. In July, Dogfish Head launched a plant-based ice cream based on its Hazy-O IPA with the help of alcoholic creamery Tipsy Scoop, containing oat milk and 5% alcohol by volume.
— Chris Casey
Twix shakes its way into ice cream, cookies and other treats
Twix is giving consumers a new way to enjoy its popular confection beyond its iconic bar.
B&G Foods is rolling out Twix Shakers Seasoning Blend, a mix with the taste of the iconic caramel and cookie bar coated in chocolate. Shakers is available at Sam's Club and online. Distribution will expand to include grocery stores and online retailers in the coming months.
B&G said the new Twix mix can be shaken on a variety of different products, including ice cream, cookies, milkshakes, cream cheese, popcorn, desserts, cocktails and fruit. The rollout even includes a mini cookbook with recipes.
The Twix brand, which is owned by Mars Wrigley, is one of the most widely consumed candies. Twix was the 6th most popular candy in the U.S. last year with sales totaling nearly $300 million.
The powder concept of a famous brand is nothing new for B&G. Last fall, it partnered with cereal maker General Mills on Cinnadust, a shaker bottle with the ingredients that can give anything the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
For food manufacturers such as B&G and General Mills, a simple powder shaker could go a long way toward boosting public awareness of the brand and rekindling interest in the namesake product — a valuable tool for CPG companies as consumers are routinely bombarded with choice.
— Christopher Doering
Goldfish pop with '90s nostalgia
Nostalgia for the ‘90s is big right now. From babydoll tops and combat boots to reboots of favorite teen comedies and new heartfelt messages from beloved kids’ TV hosts, it seems everyone is looking back in time for inspiration.
Campbell Soup’s Goldfish crackers are catching on to the trend with the brand’s new flavor: Jalapeno Popper. In a black bag punctuated with neon-look lettering, the new snack flavor promises “a bold, cheesy taste with a slight kick of heat,” modeled after the spicy, cheesy fried snack that made its debut in the ‘90s.
But it’s apparently not enough to come out with a snack that hearkens back to the days of grunge, AOL and “Seinfeld.” The snack brand has paired with iconic superwide jeans maker JNCO to make what it calls “the ultimate ‘90s snacking pants.” The $200 jeans feature the graffiti-inspired JNCO logo, embroidery that looks like Goldfish crackers and jalapeno peppers, and huge pockets that can fit a bag of Goldfish.
In the ‘90s, Jalapeno Poppers truly were one of the “it” snacks. Halved jalapeno poppers were stuffed with either cream cheese or cheddar, then breaded and either deep fried or oven-baked. They were the brainchild of Anchor Food Products, a frozen food manufacturer acquired by McCain Foods and the former H.J. Heinz in 2001. Anchor trademarked the product name in 1992, and they quickly became a spicy standard for millions. And while the snack is strongly associated with the ‘90s, Google Trends information compiled by Eater shows a steady increase in popularity since 2004. (No such data exists for the early days of jalapeno poppers, which predate Google.)
Like other ‘90s food revivals — including Unilever’s Viennetta, General Mills’ Dunkaroos and the resurgence of Funfetti — the new Goldfish flavor aims to bring consumers back to simpler times, when Blockbuster Video was the place to be, call waiting was a necessity and any outfit could become fashionable by adding a flannel shirt. Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool, drawing on a sense of happiness and comfort. Millennials in the midst of pandemic fatigue may be looking for this sort of escape. In ‘90s speak, a product pairing that can take them there could be seen as all that and a bag of crackers.
— Megan Poinski