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.
Lupini bean hummus spreads out the shelf life
In March, as Americans frantically shopped for food items to stockpile in their pantry, one thing they could not buy for later was hummus. While there are many different brands and varieties, large tubs of hummus are all perishable, meaning anything that consumers bought had to be eaten quickly.
Brami, the lupini bean snack company, is changing all of that with its new hummus. Made from a base of lupini beans, olive and sunflower oils and lemon or lime juice, it has no artificial preservatives. It also does not need to be refrigerated.
“Most hummus has a short shelf life, which means companies often put artificial preservatives in them to extend their life,” Brami founder an CEO Aaron Gatti said in a press release. “Also, because of the short life, it is hard to buy hummus online and keep it stocked in your pantry as you would other items, meaning consumers must constantly be replenishing their supply whenever purchasing from physical retailers. We have solved these pain points with a non-perishable, multi-serve, hummus that you can easily b[u]y online and keep in your pantry until ready to use.”
The lupini bean hummus comes in four flavors: Original Recipe, Garlic & Rosemary, Calabrian Pepper and Mediterranean. They’re available for purchase in multi-packs on Amazon and Brami’s website.
According to statistics from the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council and the American Pulse Association quoted by NPR, Americans spent nearly $800 million on hummus at stores in 2018. The snack dip, which easily doubles as a spread or topping, has been getting more popular in recent years as consumers are looking for healthier and cleaner label items to munch on.
Not only is this the first shelf-stable hummus, but it’s also the first to be made from lupini beans. These protein-packed beans are a common snack in Europe, and are just now getting into the United States as a mainstream ingredient.
As far as hummus goes, the classical recipe for the spread uses chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice. Other brands have changed up that blend by using other pulses, such as lentils or white beans. This take on the spread gives it a distinctly Mediterranean taste and feel, as well as adds lupini beans’ nutritional value. And this version may see a faster adoption rate than Brami’s signature snacking whole beans. After all, Americans have been eating their beans in hummus for years.
Sustainability percolates in single-serve coffee
While single-serve coffee has been lauded for its convenience, the popular serving size has been criticized for its negative impact on the environment. One tiny California company is hoping to change that, one cup at a time.
Steeped Coffee said its entire brewing method has been certified fully compostable, including the packaging, the filter and the brewing process that uses renewable plant-based materials. Steeped Coffee — available in light, medium, dark, French roast and decaf varieties — is brewed similar to tea.
Each single-serve coffee bag is made from non-GMO food grade renewable and biodegradable material. Its retail cartons are formed using 100% recycled materials that have a minimum of 85% post-consumer materials or recycled fiber.
Steeped Inc. is a Certified B Corp, which tells consumers the company adheres to standards and values including transparency, accountability and standing for something.
“Since 2009, so many plastic pods have been used that if placed side-by-side, they would wrap around the planet over 130 times,” Josh Wilbur, Steeped Coffee’s founder and CEO, said in a statement.
In addition to licensing its compostable brewing system to more than 125 specialty coffee roasters, Steeped Coffee now offers compostable packaging to other sustainably minded packaged goods companies.
Steeped Coffee hits on several attributes important to a growing number of consumers.
Along with its environmentally friendly halo, Steeped Coffee is made in America. The company sources each bean by cultivating relationships with farmers and engaging in buying practices that exceed Fair Trade minimums. The single-serve coffee bag also allows consumers to instantly have a fresh cup of joe on the go without the need for a cumbersome machine. It's also unlikely that there will be leftover coffee to deal with because the consumer had to brew an entire pot.
As consumers increasingly want the brands they buy to stand for something, sustainability and the environment have factored heavily into their buying habits. That could bode well for companies such as Steeped Coffee that make it a key focus of their brand development. Shoppers who take the environment into consideration when making purchases increased to 78% in early March from 71% the same time last year, according to a survey from global management and consulting firm Kearney.
Few companies have come to symbolize single-use coffee more than Keurig and its popular K-cups. The brand, part of Keurig Dr Pepper, has said its pods will be recyclable by the end of 2020. Until then, billions of pods that can't be recycled get thrown away each year, creating a staggering amount of waste.
— Christopher Doering
Cocktail in a pod
With the touch of a button, a Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade could be made in your own home.
Brown-Forman and Drinkworks unveiled a co-branded Lynchburg Lemonade pod made with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey for its Drinkworks Home Bar system for a limited time.
To make the drink, a consumer takes a pod and puts it into a single-serve Drinkworks machine, similar to how K-cups make coffee.
Matt Blevins, Jack Daniel’s global brand director, said in a release this is a prime time to launch the Lynchburg Lemonade pod because it is a classic cocktail for the return of warmer weather.
Since many people are quarantined in their homes during the pandemic, this pod could make happy hour easier. Alcoholic beverage sales have already jumped during this time, rising 55% in the third week of March compared to the same time a year ago, according to Nielsen data.
Drinkworks was established in 2017 through a joint venture between AB InBev and Keurig Dr Pepper. Drinkworks and Brown-Forman partnered back in November and this is their first collaboration cocktail.
But it won’t be their last. In the release, the companies said they plan to release more collaboration cocktails this year, likely featuring Gentleman Jack, Herradura and Chambord, and including cocktails like margaritas, Manhattans and French martinis.
This also isn’t the only partnership for the drinks machine. Drinkworks teamed up with Los Angeles-based Golden Road Brewing recently to offer four of its wheat brews that consumers can brew at home.
— Lillianna Byington