Leftovers: Brach's parties like it's 1999 this Easter; Mars Wrigley offers a sweet internship
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.
Jelly beans to eat when doves cry
File under things not commonly known about the Easter Bunny: He is a Prince fan.
This year, Easter coincides with the third anniversary of the death of the powerhouse from Paisley Park. While this may inspire some to sport a raspberry beret for the holiday, Ferrera's Brach's brand is bringing its tribute to Easter baskets with Purple Rain Tiny Jelly Bird Eggs.
The small jelly beans come in various shades of the regal hue that was Prince's favorite color and have berry, blueberry, blue raspberry and grape flavors. Even though any mention of Prince is conspicuously missing from the press release about the new candy (Peter Goldman, senior director of Brach’s and seasonal confections calls them "new on-trend innovations"), with a name like that, the reverence to pop royalty goes unspoken.
However, the new jelly beans tap into more than nostalgia for a music icon. Colorful, Instagrammable food is popular among consumers. Ever since Ultra Violet was named Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, standout and vibrant purples have been gracing plates worldwide. The ingredients used to make a natural purple — including ube yams and grapes — indicate a high phytonutrient content, signaling health and well-being to consumers.
While it's unlikely that anyone will be mistaking these jelly beans for health food, what is certain is that the flavor and color mix is intriguing for consumers of all ages — without going too crazy or getting nuts.
— Megan Poinski
Seeking hard worker, must have sweet tooth
Mars Wrigley is looking for an intern this summer who's a strong writer, can multi-task and is proficient in social media. And, oh yeah, he or she must really love candy.
The confectionery giant is seeking candidates for "The World’s Sweetest Internship." This individual will not only spread the company’s brand appeal, but have the chance to sample products that have yet to hit stores or are sold in 180 counties around the world. Another major perk of the job: candidates will have a chance to make their own gum flavor.
The fully paid position — which includes a signing bonus of one year’s worth of candy — requires applicants to be at least 21 years old "but possesses the mindset of a kid in a candy store."
In addition, he or she must have a major sweet tooth.
The world's largest maker of chocolate, chewing gum, mints and fruity confections requires the intern to be able to distinguish between the chocolate used in Snickers vs. M&Ms, name all five fruity flavors in the Skittles rainbow, and prove he or she can keep a potted peppermint plant alive for at least eight weeks.
The summer gig isn't all fun and sweets. The internship, which starts in late May and runs through August, requires applicants to submit the usual qualifications in a resume and cover letter. And applicants should make sure there are not too many bites missing in the food pics on their Instagram. The intern needs to be proficient in photographing candy "without eating it before the work is complete."
Three cheers for coffee beers
Consumers having to decide between an ice-cold beer and an ice-cold coffee this summer now have the ideal solution.
Dunkin' and Harpoon Brewery partnered to solve this dilemma with a coffee-inspired beer. The Harpoon Dunkin' Summer Coffee Pale Ale hit stores last week and will be available through summer in 12 oz. cans and on draft at certain retail locations. With 5% ABV, the drink combines the taste of a pale ale with Dunkin's classic iced coffee.
This is the second partnership for Harpoon and Dunkin'. The two companies released a fall porter beer last year. Dunkin' U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Tony Weisman said in the release that the success of the fall partnership pushed the companies to collaborate again.
Big Beer has faced difficulties recently as volumes in the U.S. have dropped for five years straight. More beer brands and brewers have turned to partnerships and unique offerings to combat the decline. Some have debuted low-calorie and no- or low-alcohol beers to attract shoppers looking for the popular health and wellness trends. This alcoholic partnership with coffee could help boost beer if consumers are intrigued by the flavor combination.
Although consumers are drawn to coffee-flavored products, there is already some serious competition in the space. But Dunkin’s brand recognition, which also recently helped boost Peeps, could be a serious draw.
— Lillianna Byington