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 the leftovers pulled from our inboxes.
For Generation Z, Babybel is on a roll
This new cheese comes with a twist.
Babybel is using its traditional cheese to launch Babybel Mini Rolls, a new spiral shaped dairy product that consumers — specifically children — can unroll and peel before eating. The rolls are available at major retailers for a suggested retail price of $3.89.
About 74% of millennial parents now include their children in buying decisions, which is more than Generation X parents, according to a study from Consumer Insights. Babybel said the product attracts both ages of consumers.
"While kids are motivated by taste and experience, parents are on the hunt for nutrition and convenience," Babybel Brand Director Melanie Nemoy said in the release.
Babybel isn't alone in this tactic. Companies are increasingly targeting Generation Z — consumers ranging from ages 4 to 24 — especially in the snack category. Gen Zers and their parents are looking for products that are convenient, but also nutritious. Kashi recently turned to them for product development, working with Gen Z influencers to develop its latest snack, Organic Super Food Bites.
The snacking category reached sales of $89 billion annually in 2018 and was growing at a 3% clip, so it could be a smart move for more cheese makers to get in the convenient snack game with new products. This is especially true since the dairy category has faced difficulties lately. Stockpiles of cheese in the U.S. are higher than ever, prompting cheese and milk prices to plummet.
This new cheese roll, which might remind consumers of a cross between Fruit Roll-Ups and traditional string cheese, could appeal to children since it incorporates an activity while eating. It also may be attractive to parents since the cheese has no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.
— Lillianna Byington
Oreo gets out of this world
To commemorate one small step for man half a century ago, Oreo is taking a not-so-giant leap into yet another limited edition flavor.
Spotted on Instagram accounts earlier this month, Marshmallow Moon, which will have purple filling and glow-in-the-dark packaging, will commemorate the Apollo 11 mission and Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon on July 20, 1969, according to Food & Wine.
It makes sense for Mondelez’s iconic sandwich cookie to add a new variety to mark the historical occasion. In recent years, Oreos have been used to commemorate holidays like July 4 and the final season of "Game of Thrones." Mondelez launches new Oreo flavors fairly often. Those varieties, analysts told Food Dive, take advantage of the strong market share for the cookie as well as consumer desire to try something new.
Why a purple marshmallow flavor for the moon landing? That's anyone's guess, though that combination does sound better than an Oreo featuring the flavor of Apollo 11's preferred beverage, Tang.
Instagram users found pictures of two other new Oreo varieties set to appear on shelves, Food & Wine reported. One is a mint chocolate chip flavor made through a partnership with ice cream shop Baskin Robbins. This will be the latest ice cream-inspired variety of the cookie. Last year, in a partnership with Good Humor, Oreo sold a cookie with creme filling that tasted like the company’s Strawberry Shortcake bars. These flavors amp up brand recognition and summertime nostalgia while offering a summer treat that can be enjoyed year-round.
The third new flavor follows the maple craze with creme that tastes like the natural sweetener and popular pancake topping. With maple growing in popularity — sales of beverages with maple rose 25.6% in the year ended Sept. 2, 2017, maple syrup jumped 6.9% and processed meats with maple went up 7.3%, according to Nielsen, the biggest question here is why it took so long for Mondelez to tap into this trend.
— Megan Poinski
Jelly Belly expands into gum
While Easter is often associated with jelly beans, fans of the iconic candy could soon find another way to consume their favorite sweet treat.
Ford Gum, through a licensing agreement with California-based Jelly Belly Candy Company, will be introducing Jelly Belly sugar-free gum based on many of the treat’s popular flavors, according to Candy & Snack Today.
Each package, which has 12 pellet-shaped pieces, will be available in flavors including Island Punch, Watermelon, Very Cherry and Berry Blue. But even though the line will be introduced at the 2019 Sweets & Snacks show in Chicago next month, the first shipments won’t head to the market until the first quarter of 2020.
Ford Gum said Jelly Belly was a logical partner because of its widespread brand recognition and unique array of flavors the candy maker is known for around the world. For its part, Ford Gum also makes well-known products such as Smarties and Big League Chew.
“Purchase interest for a Jelly Belly sugar-free gum was very high among both Jelly Belly fans and gum enthusiasts,” Brian Heiser, director of marketing at Ford Gum, told Candy & Snack Today.
Jelly Belly was founded in 1898, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the company started making its signature beans. Today, Jelly Belly produces an estimated 15 billion jelly beans annually, its CEO recently told Food Dive.
“People think that we’re a huge company but the truth is our brand is big,” Lisa Rowland Brasher, Jelly Belly’s CEO, said in an interview. “I think we have a very, very good story behind us.”
For Jelly Belly, gum is a logical extension. Chewing gum sales reached nearly $4.1 billion in the U.S. last year, a slight increase from 2017, according to a study from Packaged Facts. Sales of low-calorie and sugar-free varieties accounted for 85% of sales.
— Christopher Doering