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.
Cardi B whips it up with vodka
'Tis the season for crazed online shopping, hot beverages with sky-high toppers of whipped cream and alcohol. And rapper Cardi B has managed to combine all three.
Partnering with CPG maker Starco Brands, Cardi B has launched Whipshots, canned whipped cream infused with vodka. The non-dairy, shelf-stable “party in a can” has 10% ABV and comes in three flavors: Vanilla, Caramel and Mocha. It’s available in 50-, 200- and 375-milliliter sizes.
Not only is the product a fun way to combine decadence and drinking, but it’s personally branded by Cardi B herself, who describes it in the press release as "over the top, sexy and unique — kind of like me."
The product, which dropped on Dec. 1, is only sold in limited quantities online right now. Each day, 500 quick consumers can to purchase a can of the alcohol-infused topping through the brand’s e-commerce channel. On the first day, all 500 cans sold out in less than five minutes, Cardi B wrote on Twitter. According to the product announcement, Whipshots will be available in stores nationwide in 2022, but in order to have it for holiday celebrations, consumers will have to relive the quick keystrokes they used to get exclusive Cyber Monday deals.
While the product is novel, other companies have come out with liquor-infused topping, including Temperance Distilling with its Liquor Whipped line. But it's surprising there are not more. After all, whipped cream-flavored vodkas have been popular for years. And the whipped cream segment itself generally doesn’t see much innovation beyond new plant-based dairy options and occasional flavors.
As the holiday season reaches its zenith and Cardi B’s star keeps rising — aside from her five career No. 1 hits, she was named Playboy’s first ever creative director in residence on Thursday — Whipshots are likely to continue selling out quickly. Aside from the star-endorsed novelty factor, the hard-to-get edible alcohol could be a sought-after holiday gift.
— Megan Poinski
Hormel’s Columbus helps consumers craft charcuterie boards
Columbus Craft Meats has launched Perfect Charcuterie Bite charcuterie kits, only available on its website. The company delivers a box featuring an assortment of ingredients (still packaged) to consumers’ homes. There are three different sets with their own flavor profile. The Unexpected features a “spicy and complex” palette with salami and Justin’s peanut butter cups, another Hormel brand. The Italian-inspired Rustic Beauty holds sopressata, prosciutto and olives. And Smoky Vibes serves up peppery meats like chorizo salami. For each, Columbus also provides beverage pairing suggestions, from chocolate stout to pinot noir. Each kit sells for $59.99.
Charcuterie boards — based in French cuisine and containing an array of cold cut meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and more — have become a party and catered event staple in recent years. Small businesses specializing in the boards surged during the pandemic in cities like Washington, D.C. And YouTube tutorials detailing how to make them have millions of views. It’s easy to see why meat companies would see an opportunity for consumers who don’t want to go to the hassle of selecting and buying each ingredient separately.
Competitor Tyson’s Hillshire Farms, another leader in adult snacking and cold cuts, has also capitalized on the charcuterie craze with its own kit. While Hillshire’s kit is less expensive and includes a marble cheese board and slicer, it does not contain as many food components as the Columbus kits.
Hormel first acquired Columbus in 2017 for $850 million, which brought a premium salami offering to the company's deli meats lineup. The market for prepared deli meats grew 16.1% in 2020, according to Statista data, making it a prime time for meat companies to experiment with new ways of packaging their premium sliced offerings.
— Chris Casey
Brach’s decks the halls with funfetti candy canes
As Americans finally recover from their Thanksgiving gorgefests, Brach’s is giving them another indulgent treat to hang on to this holiday season.
The Ferrara-owned brand is debuting a pair of twists on the red-and-white-striped candy cane with Funfetti and Wintergreen offerings.
The sweets maker said the impetus for the Funfetti line — which contains rainbow sprinkles inside each cane — came following nearly 11,000 Tweets celebrating the trendy treat this year. Funfetti remains among the most popular trendy extensions in food, with companies incorporating it into everything from baking mixes and cookies to ice cream, cereal and tea. Now it’s in the beloved candy cane.
"Candy canes are as synonymous with the holidays as sleigh bells and holly," Katie Duffy, vice president and general manager of seasonal at Ferrara, said in a statement. "We love delivering fun and delicious twists on the red-and-white peppermint staple year after year."
Ferrara is no stranger to the popular candy. Last holiday season, the company sold nearly 14 million pounds of candy canes, or more than half of the total sold. The Funfetti and Wintergreen Candy Canes join other unique flavor varieties from Ferrara, including Cherry Rainbow and SweeTarts.
The candy cane was originally available only in white for about 200 years, with the classic stripes added around 1900, according to the National Confectioners Association. Not surprisingly, 90% of candy canes are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
— Christopher Doering