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.
Breakfast gets more Fun(fetti)
In the 1990s, Pillsbury’s Funfetti took over the baking world. The white cake mix with rainbow sprinkles on the inside became the very definition of festive, and made food a whole lot more colorful — a trend that’s mainly stuck around through the decades.
Hometown Food Company, which now owns the Pillsbury baking brands, has started sprinkling Funfetti on breakfast. It became a Coffee-Mate flavor through a licensing partnership with Nestlé, and came to Pillsbury’s pancake mix. And in August, it’s going to be cereal.
Funfetti Cereal, which is a first foray into the category for Hometown, features large puffs that look like miniature cupcakes. And, of course, those puffs are speckled with Funfetti.
Hometown Food Company Chief Operating Officer Dan Anglemyer told Food Dive that the company had been thinking about getting into cereal for a while. Now seemed like the perfect time to inject some fun into breakfast, he said.
“People have been looking for interesting things, for new news and for fun,” Anglemyer told Food Dive.
The Funfetti brand brings back nostalgia for the ‘90s, when many millennials were children. Researchers have noted the power of nostalgia in food marketing, bringing consumers back to a time when things seemed better. Nostalgia was used to coax wary consumers back to favorite brands following the Great Recession. The world consumers are living in as everyone slowly emerges from the coronavirus pandemic is also one where they will be craving feelings of better times.
But unlike a “throwback” product with an old-fashioned label on it, Funfetti Cereal is brand new. And nostalgia aside, it’s right on trend. Extremely colorful food is popular, latching on to the “unicorn food” trend. In this trend, the more colors, sprinkles and sparkles, the better. Unicorn branded items have come to consumers through cereal, pudding and hot chocolate.
Funfetti Cereal isn’t the only blast of rainbow sprinkles coming to breakfast. Pop-Tarts is also channeling the ‘90s with new Frosted Confetti Cake Bites.
— Megan Poinski
Kashi GOes to the freezer aisle with protein waffles
Kellogg’s Kashi brand is packing a classic breakfast staple with more protein.
Kashi GO is launching frozen protein waffles available in three flavors: Wild Blueberry, Cinnamon Brown Sugar and Vanilla Buttermilk. The new waffles will be available at retailers nationwide.
They deliver 13 grams of protein, “single-digit sugar and 100% whole grains per serving,” according to a release from the company. The protein comes from a mix of hemp seeds, cage-free eggs, soy and whey protein.
"Our Kashi GO line is all about offering products that fuel an active lifestyle and we saw a need to create a waffle with protein to jumpstart the day," Jeanne Wilson, director of marketing for Kashi, said in a release.
Kellogg, which bought Kashi in 2000, rebranded the brand’s ready-to-eat cereals and snacks last year from Kashi GoLean to Kashi Go to address a shift in consumer demand for health and wellness. The brand has focused on targeting younger consumers, even working with a group of Generation Z influencers to create its Organic Super Food Bites.
Packing products with protein is a growing trend. A Euromonitor study found millennials are working to increase their protein intake, with consumers in this demographic looking for alternative and convenient options that fit into their busy lifestyles.
These aren’t the only protein-packed waffles in Kellogg’s portfolio. Last year, the company launched a line of protein-infused frozen waffles under its Off the Grid brand in the same flavors as this new brand.
Kellogg also has outside competition in the protein-infused waffle category from Van's Foods, which has a line of egg-free and dairy-free Power Grains Waffles, and from Birch Benders' Protein Toaster Waffles.
Since frozen products are getting a sales boost during the pandemic, consumers may be willing to give Kashi’s new protein waffles a try since they check off boxes for the convenient and functional foods shoppers are increasingly seeking out.
— Lillianna Byington
An udder treat: La Colombe Coffee Roasters introduces Draft Chocolate Milk
La Colombe has become synonymous with its portable ready-to-drink coffees. Now the coffee shop and drink brand has expanded into a new beverage category: chocolate milk.
La Colombe’s Draft Chocolate Milk is the first product to graduate from Fresh Ideas, a line of limited-batch beverages from its Philadelphia-based research and development innovation hub.
The frothy, creamy drink is made with real ingredients such as lactose-free milk and natural cocoa with a foamy texture created from its patented nitrous oxide process. The product is described as an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, low in sugar and caffeine-free.
La Colombe has shown a willingness to go beyond coffee in what could be a push to establish a beverage giant with a reach into multiple ready-to-go beverages. Molson Coors announced last December it was testing La Colombe cold brew with the addition of an alcoholic malt in Denver, Boston and Tampa/Fort Myers in Florida. La Colombe also has rolled out an Oatmilk Draft Latte nationwide to retailers including Amazon, Whole Foods and Wegmans after a limited release last fall.
As consumers turn to better-for-you drinks, beverage companies have invested in water, teas, juices, sports drinks and coffees. Chocolate milk, loved by kids and a childhood memory for many adults, has a reputation for a high sugar content.
Still, consumers are spending more of their time on the go, and having a range of La Colombe beverages to choose from could make them more likely to turn to the brand. A consumer could get a caffeine boost in the morning and indulge with a chocolate milk later in the day.
A broader suite of beverage options also could make the company an attractive acquisition target for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo or Keurig Dr Pepper as they look to diversify their offerings. La Colombe, which also runs a chain of cafes on the East Coast, Chicago and California, reportedly was looking to sell a stake in the brand during 2018 that would have valued the company at more than $1 billion.
— Christopher Doering