Leftovers: Beers for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hidden Valley Ranch blasts into dip
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.
Cheers to the Notorious RBG
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once famously declared, “There will be enough women on the Supreme Court when there are nine.”
Boston Beer thinks she deserves a drink for that remark — literally. Sam Adams is naming a Belgian Brut IPA after her comment, calling it "When There Are Nine."
The beer will be released at a tap room event March 29, according to an event post from the company. Part of the money raised from the event will be given to the Pink Boots Society, which advocates for more women in the beer industry. The beer was created by the society and hop purveyor Yakima Chief to celebrate International Women’s Day, which took place earlier in March.
“We are dedicating this brew to feminist icon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” the event page says. “We wanted to name it Brut Bader Ginsburg but our legal team, uh, dissented.”
Beer campaigns and brands have largely catered to the male demographic, but are now trying to reach more women. It could be a smart move for Sam Adams to donate proceeds to an organization that brings more women in the industry and to name a beer after this gender inclusive remark.
The beer industry has been struggling as volumes have declined for five years in a row. Since females represent 70% to 80% of all consumer purchases, beverage companies have been shifting their strategy. AB InBev launched fruity, lower alcohol products to specifically target women, and Constellation Brands is investing $100 million in female-led alcohol brands.
Since Ginsburg has become a feminist and pop culture icon in recent years, with her face on everything from mugs to action figures, a beer in her honor could attract more of her fans to the brand and be a winning strategy for Sam Adams — with no dissent.
— Lillianna Byington
Bolder flavors? Bet the ranch on it.
There is something distinctly American about ranch dressing.
It was created in the late 1940s by Kenneth Henson, then a plumbing contractor working in Alaska. After that stint ended, he and his wife bought a California dude ranch, which they named Hidden Valley Ranch — and which became a household name for the distinct buttermilk dressing they made. Clorox bought the brand in 1972, and the CPG giant got the dressing on enough grocery shelves and kitchens to make ranch the favorite salad dressing in the United States.
What else is distinctly American? Crazy and over-the-top flavor combinations. Hidden Valley Ranch just started selling three supercharged Blasted Creamy Dipping Sauces, all with flavors of some of the non-vegetable items that are most popular with the dressing. The new flavors include Bold Buffalo, Ranch-Dipped Pizza Flavor and Zestier Ranch.
The rollout of the dips has made waves in grocery stores as well as consumer media, which seems to be fixated on Ranch-Dipped Pizza Flavor. This could be because some people have strong feelings that the dressing does not belong on the Italian delivery staple. (According to a survey done by Greatist and Hidden Valley Ranch, 57% of people dip their pizza in the dressing.)
However, the dips also are a savvy business move for Clorox, which ranks Hidden Valley Ranch as one of its power brands. According to a transcript of the company’s most recent earnings call, Hidden Valley has posted sales growth for 16 straight quarters. Clorox CEO Benno Dorer said about three quarters of consumers use ranch as a dip, so it makes sense for the brand to try and expand its reach.
“This is a logical place for us to get into ... and through the new ready-to-eat dips we are essentially doubling the access to a new category with Hidden Valley Ranch,” Dorer said at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York conference last month, according to a transcript of his presentation. ”Salad dressing is about $2 billion in sales. Dips is about $2 billion in sales and growing fast.”
Regardless of how they are billed or marketed, these new dip flavors are not all that crazy from a brand standpoint. Twenty-five years ago, Hidden Valley Ranch produced a Pizza Ranch dressing flavor — as well as Taco Ranch, Nacho Cheese Ranch and Super Creamy Ranch.
— Megan Poinski
A stinker of an Easter treat?
What’s in your Easter basket this season? How about bunny flatulence?
With Easter only three weeks away, store shelves are stocked with the usual jelly beans and chocolate eggs and bunnies. But there’s one product this year that’s sure to cause a stink: Bunny Farts cotton candy.
A company named Bag of Farts is selling the product it describes as “a delicacy” guaranteed to make a child’s Easter. The question, of course, is what does the sweet treat, “smell” like? Bag of Farts says it tastes like fruit punch.
Bag of Farts, which has produced other flatulence-themed cotton candy varieties from cats, dogs, dinosaurs and unicorns, said the bunnies are fed a "magically unique diet of apples, carrots, and candy ... known to produce farts that are sugary and delicious."
If the smell of flatulence has you feeling a little grossed out, the product does come with a refreshing bit of news to help clear the air. Bag of Farts says on the packaging that 10% of all profits are donated to charity to support children with disabilities; though the company doesn’t specify which ones. Each package, which depicts a bunny emitting those reportedly sugary and delicious fumes, sells for $9.95 on Bag of Farts, or on Amazon for $8.95.
The gas-themed Easter treat is not the first to candy to jump on the eeeew bandwagon in a bid to attract children and older kids at heart. Jelly Belly famously sells a collection of “weird and wild flavors” including stinky socks, rotten egg, barf, booger, moldy cheese, baby wipes and skunk spray.
— Christopher Doering