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.
Don’t have a cow: Brave Robot and Coolhaus launch animal-free ice cream sandwiches
What do you get when a trendy ice cream brand meets a trendy ingredient?
In the case of the first co-branded product for Coolhaus ice cream and Brave Robot, it’s a premium ice cream sandwich between a pair of cookies. And, because both brands are owned by The Urgent Company, which is affiliated with animal-free dairy ingredient maker Perfect Day, there were no cows involved in the making of the ice cream sandwich — essentially an animal-free version of the Coolhaus Sammie product.
The Urgent Company, which had a busy 2021 with product launches that showcased applications of Perfect Day’s animal-free proteins, ended last year with the December acquisition of Coolhaus. While Coolhaus’s ice cream products will eventually transition to be completely animal-free, this is the first collaboration between the brands.
"When we brought these companies together, we envisioned our missions coming together, too,” The Urgent Company CEO and co-founder Paul Kollesoff said in a written statement. “This collaboration extends our impact by giving devoted Coolhaus fans a taste of a more sustainable future with delicious animal-free dairy."
The ice cream sandwiches come in two varieties. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough has vanilla ice cream with cookie dough chunks and chocolate pieces sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. Mint Chocolate Chip has mint ice cream with chocolate pieces sandwiched between two double-chocolate cookies. They are available at Kroger stores nationwide.
These ice cream sandwiches look like a summertime treat, but they also are a new way to show off what Perfect Day’s dairy proteins can do. There are several ice cream makers aside from Brave Robot and Coolhaus that use them for animal-free variations. The Urgent Company and General Mills have both launched cream cheeses using these proteins. And three animal-free milk beverages have also launched in the last few months. But these are the first cookies and some of the first chocolate to be made with the animal-free proteins.
Part of the reason The Urgent Company exists is to use consumer brands to show off Perfect Day’s proteins and their potential. Last year, it made an animal-free Brave Robot cake mix in which eggs were not required. These animal-free ice cream sandwiches show the same thing for cookies and chocolate. They may not only be a more sustainable cow-free ice cream treat, but they may also be the precursor for many more animal-free CPG baked goods to come.
— Megan Poinski
French’s hopes new spreads cut the mustard
McCormick & Co.’s French's brand has spread its reach a little further beyond its iconic yellow bottle with the launch of a new line of mustards.
Creamy Mustard Spreads offer lovers of the condiment a little tang along with a new smooth finish in three flavors: Creamy Yellow, Sweet Applewood and Honey Chipotle. McCormick touts the versatility of the spreads, which can be placed on a burger, whisked into dressings or stirred into potato, tuna, shrimp or egg salads.
“The new Creamy Mustard Spreads perfectly complement any sandwich and are so versatile,” Jill Pratt, McCormick’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "They work well as condiments and ingredients."
French's was first introduced to the public at the World's Fair in 1904, according to the company. McCormick added French's, along with Frank’s RedHot, to the fold in 2017 as part of its $4.2 billion acquisition of Reckitt Benckiser’s Food Division.
French’s is far and away the most consumed mustard brand in the category. An estimated 147 million Americans used French's in 2020, according to the latest data from Statista. Store brands and Heinz each had about 53 million consumers, followed by Grey Poupon at 32 million.
Despite its widespread popularity, French’s has been boosting the brand’s recognition and versatility through new offerings like the spreads and by bringing it into other food categories beyond its core. Craft brewery Oskar Blues partnered with French’s on a mustard beer brewed with the classic yellow condiment, for example, and Coolhaus Ice Cream developed a mustard-flavored variety of the frozen treat.
— Christopher Doering
A new cereal aims to start a conversation — about periods
Cereal manufacturers have sought to educate consumers about topics like the importance of pollinators or the plight of sea turtles through their products and packaging. But a feminine hygiene brand is harnessing the breakfast food as a way to get people learning and talking about menstruation.
Sweden-based Intimina has introduced Period Crunch, a raspberry-flavored breakfast cereal with pieces that are in the shape of a uterus. The cereal turns the milk red when they are combined in a bowl.
Period Crunch’s packaging features a diagram of the female reproductive system to help teach consumers about anatomy. Research by the company found 82% of people cannot correctly identify where the uterus is located.
“For the sake of our physical and mental health, we need to talk more about our menstrual health – and that’s what Period Crunch cereal is designed [to] raise awareness of and make a statement about,” Danela Žagar, global brand manager for Intimina, said in a blog post.
The company cited data showing 48% of people are too embarrassed to talk about menstruation, and 77% have never done so at the kitchen table. The cereal is not being sold in stores or online; instead, anyone can request a box through email.
The reaction on social media to the product has been mixed, with some cheering the unique product and others turned off by the subject matter.
But if there’s a food product better suited to force a conversation or to educate, it’s breakfast cereal. About 80% of U.S. adults tend to have breakfast daily, with cereal as the top choice, according to a national survey by Kitchen Infinity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more than 82% of children and adolescents ages two to 19 have breakfast on any given day, with ready-to-eat cereal the most consumed food.
Whether cereal can help ease the conversation about menstruation at the breakfast table is another matter, but based on the widespread media coverage of Period Crunch, it’s definitely gotten people talking.
— Samantha Oller