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.
Brave Robot makes sustainability a piece of cake
Want to bake a decadent dessert with minimal impact on the environment? Brave Robot’s new launch makes that task a piece of cake — literally.
Brave Robot, known for its ice cream pints made with Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy, recently launched its second product: Climate Hero Super Cake Mix. This yellow cake mix is more of a dessert base — orders are shipped with recipes to make items including chocolate whoopie pies, carrot cake, coffee cake and chocolate peanut butter brownies. It’s also the first item that isn’t thought of as a dairy product to use Perfect Day’s milk protein, which is made through precision fermentation and involves no cows.
While most cake mixes require users to add ingredients like eggs, milk and butter, Climate Hero Super Cake Mix only needs water and oil. It has no dried egg protein ingredients, making the mix completely animal-free. According to the release announcing Climate Hero Super Cake Mix, the animal-free dairy proteins are creamy enough to take the place of eggs, and can also keep the baked cake tender and moist.
Though traditional cake mixes don’t necessarily have a large environmental footprint, Climate Hero Super Cake Mix comes with several sustainability stats and promises. In a life-cycle analysis of its animal-free proteins, Perfect Day found that its method produces up to 97% less greenhouse gas emissions, and uses up to 60% less nonrenewable electricity and up to 99% less water than traditional cow-based dairy. In addition, Climate Hero Super Cake comes in a fully compostable bag.
Perfect Day, which is affiliated with Brave Robot parent The Urgent Company, has long talked about getting its animal-free dairy in products throughout the grocery store. CEO Ryan Pandya said at a conference earlier this year that he anticipated Perfect Day proteins in 20 new product categories by 2022. Dairy is a ubiquitous ingredient throughout the CPG industry, appearing in snacks, frozen and shelf-stable meals, dips and dressings, cookies and crackers, beverages and desserts.
This launch demonstrates the possibilities of using animal-free dairy in applications where dairy is not the star. It may jumpstart a new generation of CPG products — both through The Urgent Company and other manufacturers — of using animal-free dairy protein as an ingredient. And that could help meet greater sustainability goals, letting environment-minded consumers have their cake and eat it too.
— Megan Poinski
Tropicana Toothpaste aims to solve a morning dilemma
It's an age-old problem: How can you enjoy the flavor of citrus after you have already brushed your teeth, without experiencing that awfully bitter aftertaste?
The Tropicana orange juice brand has announced a solution with a new toothpaste that contains "maximum OJ flavor protection," according to a recent Instagram post. The brand says the limited edition Tropicana Toothpaste is able to protect the flavor of the citrus beverage while still being able to clean teeth.
In a survey conducted by Tropicana, nearly 80% of respondents said that brushing their teeth has the ability to ruin orange juice’s taste. A quarter said that the taste is reminiscent of burnt toast and dirty pennies.
The ingredient in most toothpastes that causes the unfortunate taste is sodium lauryl sulfate, which Tropicana Toothpaste does not contain, according to reports. This ingredient, which the FDA says is safe for use in products and creates a foamy effect in toothpaste, does irritate some people’s gums. Sodium lauryl sulfate-free toothpastes are also sold by brands such as Sensodyne and Burt's Bee's.
Tropicana will be hosting a giveaway for its toothpaste on Nov. 1, National Brush Day, for users who comment on the brand’s Instagram.
Food and beverage brands stepping into the health and beauty segment is actually fairly common. In 2019, PepsiCo announced the launch of Mtn Dew Body Wash Blast that uses the sugary beverage as a fragrance. Soda brands like Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper have collaborated with Lip Smacker to incorporate their flavors into lip balms. Coca-Cola also collaborated with cosmetics brand Morphe last year on a line of makeup inspired by the colors of their sodas. But this may be the first time that a CPG brand has attempted to resolve a barrier between enjoying its product and maintaining good oral hygiene.
— Chris Casey
Mom, you’re just jealous it’s my Beastie Boys beer!
Hip-hop group Beastie Boys populated the charts for years with its innovative music. Now the band is back, but this time with beer.
Source Brewing is re-releasing its Intergalactic Imperial IPA for a limited time. The initial debut in 2020 proved to be among the brewery’s most popular beers ever, selling out in a matter of minutes. The latest iteration will be sold in a 4-pack and be accessible to craft beer drinkers and music fans in 27 states through the app-based bottle shop Tavour.
According to a press release, the brewery said the beer is inspired by the band. It’s “rebellious, edgy, heady, and smooth,” and a “huge Galaxy dry-hop will have your senses in another dimension!” Intergalactic Imperial IPA, with a 9% alcohol by volume content, contains flavors of tangerine, apricot, candied orange and melon.
The owners and brewers at Source “typically will take turns picking our favorite artists then we'll design the beer around that concept and tie in some sweet, original artwork,” the company said in an email. “Intergalactic was the first artist tribute beer we ever made.”
Beastie Boys reportedly enjoyed a beer now and then, and appeared to reference the popular beverage in "(You Gotta) Fight for the Right (to Party!)." "Put your left leg down, your right leg up, tilt your head back, let’s finish the cup,” the lyrics go.
The group, with its mix of punk and rap, entered the music scene in 1986 with its album "Licensed to Ill." It included hits like "Brass Monkey" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn." "Intergalactic" was included 12 years later on Beastie Boys' album "Hello Nasty."
New Jersey-based Source has previously rocked the beer world with other brews that pay tribute to musical legends. It has previously released a Grateful Dead-inspired pale ale and a Beatles-themed All You Need is Love imperial IPA.
The once flourishing craft beer industry built its image and growth on trendy, cleverly named products that often used ingredients in a creative way. But the segment has grown to more than 8,700 brewers, an increase of 82% from 2015. Craft beer was hit particularly hard during the pandemic last year, with production volume down 9.2% compared to 2.9% for the beer industry as a whole, according to the Brewers Association.
— Christopher Doering