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.
Brach's makes a (literally) sweet Thanksgiving dinner
Candy corn is a pretty polarizing confection. Many consumers have strong feelings about the marshmallow-and-marzipan flavored kernel-shaped candy that becomes ubiquitous in the fall, either passionately loving or despising it.
Brach’s, which has been making candy corn since the 1950s and is one of the top manufacturers of the tri-colored sweet, released a variety this year that is sure to deepen the divide between lovers and haters. The candy maker, which is part of the Ferrera Candy division of confectionery giant Ferrero, has created Turkey Dinner Candy Corn.
The multi-colored pieces of candy are all flavored to represent different components of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Flavors included in a bag are Green Beans, Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Ginger Glazed Carrot, Sweet Potato Pie and Stuffing. (Yes, they skipped the obvious one: corn.)
This launch from Brach’s is the first of the year to simulate Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s unlikely to be the last. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on traditional get-togethers, it’s likely that many people will be celebrating the holiday differently. When November gets closer, more brands could do the same thing: offer all of the flavors of a traditional holiday in a single package of a snack product.
Since 2017, Pringles has launched a Thanksgiving dinner package every year. The 2017 version, which was a limited taste test and not available for retail sale, was a TV dinner-like tray of chips flavored like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, creamed corn, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese and pumpkin pie. A year later, a single can of Pringles including turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie chips was sold online. And in 2019, the Kellogg-owned snack brand created a stackable Turducken kit — with chips flavored like roasted turkey, duck and chicken. The brand has not announced a specific offering for this year yet.
The Thanksgiving-themed candy corn started appearing in Walgreens stores earlier this month and has launched a subgenre of YouTube videos of amateur tasters trying them at home. And while reaction is varied, the new flavors are bringing renewed attention to candy that’s largely remained unchanged since its launch at the end of the 19th century.
— Megan Poinski
Ballpark pretzels at home
With baseball parks and movie theaters closed, consumers might be missing snacks like soft pretzels while cooped up at home.
To satisfy that craving, J&J Snack Foods is launching SuperPretzel Filled Soft Pretzel Bites. The microwaveable snack is available in the freezer section at select retailers nationwide in three flavors: Mozzarella, Pepper Jack and Pub Cheese. The bites have 7 grams of protein per serving.
Alissa Davis, vice president of marketing for J&J Snacks, said in the release the company has worked to develop a product that would enhance its "long-standing iconic soft pretzel," and cheese was the conclusion.
Cheese-filled products make up about 40% of the total frozen snack category and continue to grow nationwide, according to IRI data cited by J&J. The company does have competition from Auntie Anne’s, which offers frozen pretzel bites, but the cheese filling could help SuperPretzel stand out on shelves.
The company said the cheese-filled soft pretzels can be served as an appetizer, after school snack or quick meal replacement. Coronavirus has shifted eating habits as consumers eat at home for more meals, and many have been snacking more
Launching new CPG products could be a good move for J&J as it looks to recover from a difficult time during the pandemic. In March, J&J said that two-thirds of its annual revenue of roughly $1.2 billion was from venues and locations that largely shuttered operations, Food Business News reported. In its most recent earnings report at the end of last month, J&J's total sales were still down by about a third compared to a year ago, but President Dan Fachner said in a statement with the earnings that the retail component of the business has been making improvements.
— Lillianna Byington
Godiva indulges in mini chocolates
High-end chocolatier Godiva has made a name for itself with delectable sweets sold in candy shops around the world. Now, the company is launching Godiva Signature Mini Chocolate Bars with the goal of grabbing a bigger share of the $18 billion premium chocolate market.
The release of the new bite-sized chocolates in bar form will allow the nearly 100-year-old Belgian-born company to grow its presence in supermarkets and drugstores, such as Target and Walgreens. The offering also taps into trends increasingly popular with consumers, including making the chocolate easier to consume, share and enjoy on the go.
The new Godiva minis are available in several flavors including Milk Chocolate, Sea Salt Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate and Almond and Honey Milk Chocolate.
The premium chocolate market is populated with a slew of other well-known companies including Lindt, Ghirardelli and Ferrero, not to mention scores of smaller producers throughout the world.
In the U.S., the chocolate market is expected to gradually increase, growing from about $19 billion today to $20.7 billion in 2025, according to data from Statista. While mainstream brands from Hershey, Mars Wrigley and Ferrero — which snapped up Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and other sweets from Nestlé in 2018 — will continue to dominate the market, consumers are also looking for more premium variations of everything they eat and drink.
By bringing its premium chocolates to more consumers and more stores, Godiva gives itself a better chance to grab the attention of people who may not go into one of the brand's high-end chocolate shops, but are looking to treat themselves.
— Christopher Doering