Leftovers: Buzzy wine, honey nut trolling
Tony the Tiger gives a favorite cereal flavor a new form, and a Japanese snack manufacturer's new product is made for young women to say "cheese."
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.
Luxury wine certain to create a buzz
If wine is your drink of choice, a California company is hoping its latest creation will generate a buzz.
House of Saka is producing Saka Wines, a product it claims is the first luxury line of cannabis-infused, alcohol-removed wine from Napa Valley. The company said in a statement that its sparkling brut rosé and still rosé wines are blended with a tasteless, odorless water-soluble ratio of THC and CBD from organic craft cannabis.
"With regulations and infrastructure mature enough to bring the brand to life, I knew it was the perfect time," Cynthia Salarizadeh, House of Saka Founder said. "Wine has been infused with cannabis for as long as we can find in sacred texts throughout history.”
The wines, which are expected to reach shelves before April, will be available in more than 600 stores throughout California and Nevada before expanding nationwide and globally, according to the company.
With cannabis making its way into more food and beverages, alcohol has been a natural partner. Constellation Brands, the marketer of Corona and Modelo Especial, has invested roughly $4 billion to purchase a 38% stake in cannabis company Canopy Growth. Molson Coors Canada has a deal with The Hydropothecary Corporation to create a joint venture to sell cannabis-infused drinks.
A study by A.T. Kearney found that of the U.S. respondents who said they would try recreational cannabis, most would consume it in place of beer (26%) followed by wine and spirits (23%). The alcohol space seems to have wisely adopted the mantra; if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
— Christopher Doering
Frosted Flakes baits Cheerios with new flavor
The cereal industry is a competitive one and Kellogg seems to be taking a page out of General Mills' book with its latest launch.
In January, Kellogg will start selling Honey Nut Frosted Flakes, according to a release from the company. The cereal will be available nationwide in two sizes: 13.7 and 24.5 ounces with a suggested retail price of $3.99 and $5.49, respectively.
The Honey Nut flavor joins a variety of other Frosted Flake options, including original, cinnamon and marshmallow. In October, Kellogg launched a chocolate flavor. Kellogg said in the release that honey-nut is a top flavor for adults and children, and it was selected to be the latest addition after testing more than 50 flavor combinations.
“It was such a fun challenge to combine the two well-known flavors of honey-nut and Frosted Flakes to make something completely unique and quite frankly, g-r-reat,” Brant Wheaton, senior brand manager for Frosted Flakes, said in the release.
Cereal sales have been slumping in recent years as consumers have turned to alternative, better-for-you breakfast options. To combat that, cereal companies have been trying out new flavors and kinds.
But for this product launch, it seems Kellogg is trolling its competitor General Mills. At the start of the new year, if consumers are a fan of honey-nut flavor, they will be faced with choosing between Tony the Tiger and the signature O-shaped cereal.
— Lillianna Byington
Young Japanese women say (and snack on) cheese
While companies in the United States have redesigned product packaging for Instagram, Calbee has taken it a step further with new chips in Japan.
The manufacturer, which has 54% of the Japanese domestic snack food market share, introduced Lovely Cheese chips this week. This snack, which comes in a pink bag, was made explicitly for selfie-obsessed women in their 20s and 30s in Japan. Not only is the bag pretty, but the flavor — a mixture of gouda and cream cheese with a hint of blueberry — was designed to pair with the sparkling wine fashionable young women tend to pop open at holiday parties.
Calbee is synonymous with snacking in Japan, and the brand has a seemingly endless variety of flavors — including several that are regional and ones that are limited-time offerings. Lovely Cheese will only be on shelves until mid-January, taking full advantage of the holiday party season.
Social media — specifically Instagram — is a powerful marketing tool for brands. According to Hootsuite, 1 billion people worldwide use Instagram. Almost three-quarters of users have bought a product that they saw on Instagram, and people who are under 25 years of age use the platform an average of 32 minutes a day. Given the tremendous power of the service, consultants have suggested manufacturers and retailers design their packaging and products for social media photos. The platform already has an outsized influence on restaurants.
Not only is Calbee targeting the type of consumer who’s likely to Instagram the new product, but it’s also following a popular marketing tip: Using the platform to create a contest. Consumers posting photos eating the product with #potatochipslovelycheese can win — what else? — more chips to take pictures with.