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.
Rosé trend hits berries
As the weather heats up and manufacturers tout all things millennial pink, berry growers also are trying to cash in on the rosé trend.
Berry grower Driscoll’s has launched Rosé Berries, carefully bred strawberries and raspberries that are the same off-pink color as the popular wine. And while these pink berries look like they were picked too early, according to the company, they were bred through non-GMO methods by Driscoll's Joy Makers team. The group is responsible for developing proprietary berry varieties.
The press release describes the berries much like connoisseurs might describe the taste of wine. The strawberries "have a smooth, silky, creamy texture that delivers a sweet, peachy flavor paired with a soft floral finish." The raspberries' "flavor profile promises a sweet taste sensation."
While it's strange to see light pink berries for sale, it makes sense for growers to jump on the rosé trend, which has snowballed in the last few years.
According to Nielsen statistics reported by a Wine Economist blog post, the rosé market is growing 40% per year. Experts say rosé is now more of a lifestyle. Vox reported that rosé as a flavor is making its way to categories such as energy drinks and mustard.
But will consumers buy berries that look a bit unripe? Maybe they will, considering the popularity of both berries and rosé. Statistics from the California Strawberries Commission said berries make up almost 10% of total produce sales — worth about $6.5 billion and growing at a rate of 4%.
But for those who aren't into all things pink, Driscoll’s also is launching succulent-looking bright red Sweetest Batch strawberries and raspberries. These were bred to be more high flavor and indulgent, according to the company.
— Megan Poinski
Run a marathon, help the Earth
If you're out running as you contemplate whether to enter a marathon this fall, Michelob Ultra may have found an Earth-friendly way to help you decide.
The low-calorie brew is offering 95 runners — the same number of calories in a bottle of its beer — the chance to join the brand for the New York City Marathon in November. But there is a catch, in order to score a coveted Team ULTRA bib runners will need to incorporate plogging into their fitness routines and share what they do to help make the environment a better place.
What is plogging? It's a Swedish trend where people pick up waste while they are out running. In order to get a chance to win a bib to run the grueling 26.2 mile race through all five New York City boroughs with Michelob Ultra, entrants need to post a "plogging selfie."
If you're a runner preparing for the race, you may be wondering if it's worth the effort to stop, pick up dirty garbage, put it in a bag or trash receptacle and snap a picture confirming your work. The AB InBev-owned brand is hoping that providing people with another chance to enter one of the country's more prestigious road races will be enough to entice them.
According to the New York City Marathon, runners had a 9% chance of being selected to compete against roughly 50,000 other people. It’s uncertain how many individuals will apply for a Michelob Ultra bib.
Michelob Ultra, the fastest growing beer brand in the United States by share, has benefited from its association with many of the hot trends important to consumers today, including low calories, low carbs and no artificial flavors or colors.
Much of the Michelob Ultra's positioning in recent years has focused on introducing more consumer-friendly products such as an organic version or a 7-oz. bottle to attract more weeknight consumption. And in 2017, the beer launched ULTRA 95, a free, dedicated skill on Amazon Alexa that delivers a dozen customized fitness workouts to beer drinkers.
— Christopher Doering
Milk's favorite cookie goes all in on cereal
If you prefer overly stuffed Oreos in the morning, then you're in luck.
Post Holdings just released its latest indulgent cereal: Mega Stuf Oreo O's. The chocolate cereal, which is packed with marshmallow chunks, is being exclusively sold at Walmart stores nationwide for $3.98 per box, according to Hey Boom.
Although its mega stuffed version is new, Post first introduced regular Oreo O's in 1998. The product was discontinued in 2007, but revived 10 years later. This latest product is taking the cereal a step further by packing it with even more marshmallows. Oreo cookies have been increasing the amount of cream packed into some of its new products, and this same concept is now being applied to cereal.
Kellogg, General Mills and Post have all been turning in some form to this strategy of launching indulgent, out-of-the-box flavors to draw in consumers who have abandoned the traditional breakfast bowl. Some efforts to remove artificial colors and flavors, like General Mills did with its Trix cereal, have drawn mixed reviews from shoppers.
"The cereal industry specifically has had a rough go of it over the recent past, I would say we are seeing some of those category trends moderating a bit," Post's Chief Marketing Officer Roxanne Bernstein told Food Dive earlier this year. She said nine out of 10 households are now buying cereal.
Looking at the numbers so far, it doesn't seem like the strategy has been all that successful for Post. In its most recent earnings report, sales of the company’s ready-to-eat cereals fell 0.7% from the prior year. If the company's indulgent product launches don't boost sales soon, the brand might turn away from these creative flavors or rethink its strategy.
— Lillianna Byington