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.
No trick, just treats: Candy corn gets a makeover
As trick-or-treaters begin sifting through their Halloween haul, they may find one of the most iconic fall candies has received a makeover.
Ferrara, which makes Brach’s Candy Corn, introduced six new versions of the sweet to help satisfy "all of your candy corn cravings." The treats are available as Trolli Sour Brite Candy Corn, Brach’s Mini Candy Corn & Chocolate Peanuts, Brach’s Mermaid Candy Corn, Brach’s Donut Shoppe Candy Corn and Brach’s Pumpkin Pie Candy Corn.
"Our number one product of the season is one of America's favorite Halloween candies – candy corn!" Mariah Havens, a senior brand manager with Ferrara, said in a statement. "We've continued to innovate and add a fresh spin on classics."
According to the National Confectioners Association, about 9 billion pieces of candy corn are produced every year. Despite all the kernels, candy corn is a polarizing sweet. Comedian Lewis Black once said manufacturers just collect and resell the same candy every year because no one eats it.
Ferrara has a vested interest in drawing more attention to candy corn, and these latest offerings do just that. They help freshen the treat up a little with versions that mix the sweetness of candy corn with the salt of milk chocolate-dipped sea-salted peanuts, or Mermaid Candy Corn featuring mermaids, seashells and hearts in a mix of fruity flavors.
If the treats are a success this year, more trick-or-treaters could find their bags loaded with these candy corn offshoots a year from now.
— Christopher Doering
Halo Top goes super premium
What's better than ice cream that's low in calories and sugar and high in protein?
Halo Top is trying to deliver that with super premium varieties of its ice cream sold in the U.K. Halo Top's Platinum Series bars and pints feature swirls of flavor and chunks of cake, candy and cookies, but with less sugar and fewer calories than many brands.
Pint flavors include Space Candy with a glittery swirl and popping candy; Triple Chocolate Cake with a non-dairy fudge swirl and chunks of cake; and Monster Cookie with a peanut butter swirl and chocolate chip cookie chunks. Bar flavors include Vanilla Crunch coated in chocolate with wafers; Cookies and Cream with white chocolate coated and plain cookie pieces mixed in; and Salted Caramel Swirl featuring swirls of the salted sticky candy and chocolate.
In a press release, Halo Top CEO Doug Bouton explained the reasoning behind Platinum Series.
"I grew up on traditional ice cream like Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs, but there hasn’t been significant innovation in that space in decades," he said. "In the past, if you wanted to indulge with regular ice cream, you had to consume astronomically high amounts of calories and sugar. But we wondered … what if that wasn't the case?"
Like all flavors of Halo Top, the packages for these new varieties prominently feature the number of calories in the whole pint. But for these, the number is a bit jarring. Most Halo Top pints contain 280 to 360 calories per pint. In contrast, these new pints have 676 to 692 calories.
Consumers who are accustomed to seeing low numbers on Halo Top pints might pause before taking a variety out of the freezer case that broadcasts it has more calories than a Burger King Whopper. It's hard for a consumer to see something that is worth about a third of their recommended daily intake of calories and think it is a "healthy" snack.
Of course, no ice cream is "healthy," even Halo Top. And that knowledge doesn’t stop consumers from eating large amounts of the frozen dessert. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the average American eats about 23 pounds of ice cream per year. And premium ice cream varieties, like Halo Top Platinum, are most popular at grocery stores.
Perhaps Halo Top may want to modify its signature packaging to focus on something other than its calorie count. And that could be why right now it's only launching in the U.K. and as fall starts to turn into winter: It’s a good test market. If this launch is successful in a relatively small place and at a time of year when many consumers don’t buy ice cream, Halo Top will know it has a hit — regardless of the calories in a pint.
— Megan Poinski
Can you smell what The Rock is distilling?
The future of tequila seems to be in the hands of celebrities.
This week, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced the launch of his new tequila brand: Teremana Tequila. To announce the news, the celebrity shared a picture of himself on Instagram holding a glass of the beverage outside his distillery in Mexico with his team standing behind him.
"TERA is meant to represent ‘Terre’ which means of the earth and MANA is our powerful Polynesian spirit that guides us," he wrote in his caption, describing how he came up with the brand name.
The beverage will officially launch on shelves in 2020. Johnson said he has been working on developing it for years. The small batch, hand-crafted tequila comes from blue agave and matures in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico.
"After years of hard work, this blessing is truly a dream come true — but it’s just the beginning and there’s much work to be done," Johnson said.
As the alcohol industry searches for profitable brands as consumer demands shift, premium liquors such as tequila have become popular. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, tequila volumes have grown 158% since 2002. Tequila has become especially popular among millennials who are turning toward spirits.
Johnson’s fame will definitely attract some consumers to the new brand. But the former WWE superstar and Fast and Furious actor is just the latest in a long line of celebrities launching tequila brands.
In collaboration with John Varvatos, Nick Jonas released Villa One tequila featuring artesian well water and sustainably sourced, 100% blue weber agave in August. Several years earlier in 2013, George Clooney founded Casamigos tequila, which was purchased by Diageo four years later for $1 billion. Justin Timberlake also has his Sauza 901 tequila brand.
The Rock's Instagram post announcing the brand already has more than 2 million likes and he shared it with his 150 million followers on the platform, calling the drink "the tequila of the people." If his fans become Teremana buyers, this could be a lucrative new tequila brand. Similar to Casamigos, big beverage giants might be on the lookout for acquisition targets as these new celeb brands rise up and take market share from legacy liquors.