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.
With Ben & Jerry’s new cookie dough snacks, who needs ice cream?
Ben & Jerry’s newest launch offers many of the things consumers love about the brand — except the ice cream.
The Unilever-owned ice cream company is introducing Cookie Dough Mixes. The refrigerated pouches contain ready-to-eat dough chunks and small candies — like the kind mixed into some favorite flavors. It's a decadent treat that is decidedly finger food, doesn't need a cone and is less likely to melt.
The new snack mixes come in two varieties. S’mores Cookie Dough Mix is a blend of graham cracker cookie dough and marshmallow truffles, and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Mix contains peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough and mini peanut butter cups.
Ben & Jerry’s first launched standalone Cookie Dough Chunks in 2019, responding to demand from consumers who used their spoons to dig out the dough. After nearly three years, the company makes nine flavors of cookie dough chunks.
Edible cookie dough has gone from dessert shop trend to CPG-enabled indulgence in recent years. Cookie dough scoop shops were popular in 2017 and 2018, but major CPG companies set out to make varieties of dough that could be enjoyed at home. Nestlé’s Toll House brand quietly launched two varieties of dough to be enjoyed raw — and not to be baked — in 2019, and General Mills’ Pillsbury brand reformulated all of its refrigerated cookie and brownie dough to be safely eaten raw or baked in 2020.
The edible cookie dough trend stretches back decades further. It was started by none other than Ben & Jerry’s in 1984, according to a blog post on the company’s website. In those days, Ben & Jerry’s was a small Vermont scoop shop, and a patron suggested they launch a flavor featuring chocolate chip cookie dough mixed into vanilla ice cream. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was one of the first flavors made into Ben & Jerry’s grocery store pints in 1991, and the brand has continued to add different varieties of unbaked dough to additional flavors.
While these new snackable pouches feature favorite flavors from Ben & Jerry’s, it does seem like something vital is missing from these offerings. Calling this new product Cookie Dough Mixes is straightforward enough, but maybe the mixes should have the name of one of the ice cream maker’s classic pints: Everything But The…
— Megan Poinski
Kashi offers a nutritious taste of nostalgia
Consumers have been feeling nostalgic in recent years, as the pandemic pushes them to seek out comforting memories and foods. Kellogg-owned organic brand Kashi is taking aim at this trend — and adding a dose of nutrition — with its newest cereal, Maple Waffle Crisp.
The offering recreates the experience of a crispy waffle covered in maple syrup. In addition, each serving contains 22 grams of whole grains, 4 grams of fiber and chickpea flour, according to a press release.
This is not the brand’s first cereal made with chickpea flour. Its keto-friendly Kashi Go line and some of its Kashi by Kids offerings feature the legume. The ingredient’s high fiber content, similar to wheat, makes it a worthy addition to the cereal world. Chickpea flour also features more protein per cup than wheat flour, along with fewer calories and carbohydrates, according to USDA data.
With its healthier aspects and maple sweetness, the brand says the cereal is targeted at both children and adults with nostalgia for a Saturday morning plate of waffles, a breakfast staple of their youth.
Brands have augmented or launched new products that evoke flavors, designs and other characteristics of products popular in the past. Nestlé's Stouffer's launched LasagnaMac, a pasta mashup containing mac and cheese, in 2021 amid a renewed interest in comfort foods during the pandemic. A 2020 Mondelēz International survey found 53% of consumers said they were buying nostalgic childhood snacking brands.
This is also not the first cereal to take inspiration from the breakfast staple popularized by Belgium. Kellogg, which acquired Kashi in 2000, has Eggo waffle cereal, while Post has Waffle Crisp, which was first introduced in 1996. Kashi, which launched its own line of high-protein waffles in 2020, offers Maple Waffle Crisp as a better-for-you alternative to this lineup.
— Chris Casey
Icee’s cherry flavor hangs with the Joneses
While Jones Soda has made a name for itself by creating unconventional flavors, the craft soda manufacturer’s latest roll out could give consumers the chills.
The Seattle-based company is partnering with Icee, the maker of dispensed frozen beverage treats, on a pair of new sodas. Jones picked Icee’s popular cherry flavor as the latest soda in the company’s special release program that features limited-edition flavors that change every few months. It also plans to sell a soda with Icee’s blue raspberry flavor starting in May.
In addition to the new drinks, Jones Soda has created a new Mango Melon flavor for Icee to sell at mass merchandisers, convenience stores and quick service restaurants.
“It’s not only a way to introduce new retail flavors but also a promising outlet for growing our foodservice business,” Eric Chastain, president of the Jones Soda Beverage Division, said in a statement. “And most importantly, it’s a natural fit between two iconic brands that consumers know and love. That’s a recipe for success.”
Chastain said partnerships like the one with Icee are key to growing a company that has posted five consecutive quarters of increased revenues and profitability. In its quarter ending Sept. 30, revenue increased 29% to $4.6 million compared to $3.5 million in the same period a year earlier.
Jones has touted itself as a maker of premium soda, with many of its offerings in unique flavors that Big Soda wouldn't touch, including Blue Bubblegum, Green Apple and Strawberry Lime.
But in recent years, a key part of its strategy has been creating flavors that stay on the shelf for a limited period of time. Last year, it brought back two sodas from its archives: Birthday Cake and Pineapple Cream. Jones also revived its legendary Turkey & Gravy Soda for the first time in more than a decade with a limited-edition 35,000-bottle run.
— Christopher Doering