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.
Cereal goes savory
Syrup covered waffles and crunchy fried chicken is a classic brunch dish, but now it's taking a whole new form: cereal.
Post is launching two new savory breakfast cereals exclusively at Walmart for National Cereal Day on March 7, according to USA Today. Chicken and Waffles cereal and Maple Bacon Donuts cereal will be available for a limited time and sell for $2.98 each.
Both of the new flavors are part of the Honey Bunches of Oats cereal line. The savory Chicken and Waffles cereal includes tiny chicken drumsticks and little waffle shapes bites. The Maple Bacon Donuts flavor offers cereal that is shaped like donuts with bacon-flavored bits mixed in. Although these are classic breakfast flavors, Post is taking a risk that consumers will want them as a bowl of cereal.
These new flavors are another attempt from Post to boost excitement in the cereal category. Cereal was once the go-to breakfast option. Now consumers are looking for convenience and health, which has forced cereal sales to fall. Although cereal manufacturers have remained optimistic, cereal sales decreased 17% from 2009 to 2016, according to IBISWorld.
To keep up with changing consumer demands, more cereal brands have been launching indulgent, crazy cereal flavors. Post also recently launched Sour Patch Kids cereal, as well as Hostess Donettes and Hostess Honey Buns in cereal form. However, there is heavy competition from competitors General Mills and Kellogg, which have also been launching unique sugary flavors like Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros and Caticorn berry-flavored loops.
Post's decision to launch a pair of savory cereals is either a genius move that will help them stand out in a crowded category, or a something to turn consumers away.
— Lillianna Byington
Chocolate milk grows up
As adults turn away from alcoholic beverages and sodas, it only makes sense they're returning to a wholesome beverage they remember from their youth: chocolate milk.
While chocolate milk has seen many recent resurgences among adults — as a post-workout refueling drink or a source of protein for those who don't feel like "adulting" — a new iteration is its most sophisticated comeback yet.
Earlier this month, entrepreneurs Josh Belinsky and Manny Lubin put Slate, their new adult-focused chocolate milk drink, on Kickstarter. Slate is lactose-free, has 50% more protein than regular chocolate milk and 75% less sugar.
"If you can get past the childish branding and juvenile connotation associated with chocolate milk, it's really a great drink," Lubin said in a statement announcing the product. "But Josh and I realized that the only way to bring chocolate milk back into the daily routine of millennials is to create an improved version with millennials in mind – much healthier, without sacrificing taste."
The beverage will come in cans in three flavors: classic chocolate milk, dark chocolate milk and mocha flip, which blends chocolate milk with coffee. It's treated through a retort process and will not require refrigeration. And once the product fully launches, it will be ordered online and ship directly to consumers.
While the Slate team has designed a smart product, one big question remains: Will adults drink it? According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics from 2006, everyone is drinking less milk than they were 30 years before. Adults' consumption of the dairy drink was almost cut in half during that time frame.
And though those are older statistics, the numbers still ring true. Dairy distributor Dean Foods has been posting steep losses in recent quarters due to less demand for milk. An active campaign to convince adults to have a post-workout chocolate milk was not successful, The Washington Post reported.
But perhaps the problem is a lack of understanding. After all, according to a 2017 study by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, 48% of U.S. adults don't know where chocolate milk comes from — and 7% think it comes from brown cows. While Slate doesn't get the average consumer any closer to the farm, it does promise a better nutritional profile, which may lead to more consumer interest and enjoyment.
— Megan Poinski
Reese's aims to boost your self confidence
Besides tasting good, Reese's is looking to make you feel good, too.
The popular peanut butter and chocolate treat has created Peanut Butter Appreciation bars with words of encouragement splashed across the label. Made by candy and snack giant Hershey, they include pick-me-up phrases, including "Shout out to you!," "You’re awesome!" and "Can't thank you enough!"
Reese's is not the first product to have motivational or funny phrases added to the outside of the packaging. Taco Bell sauce packets are synonymous with clever quips like "Your hands are freezing" and "Will you marry me." Oreo has introduced cookies with sayings on them, too, like "Dunk In Love," "Let's Twist" and "Dear Cupid Send Oreo."
But few are as well known, especially around Valentine's Day, than Sweethearts. The popular candy has been around for more than 150 years, but fans of the sweet treat are being left brokenhearted this year as a bankruptcy by its former owner has left it absent from store shelves. That has opened the food market up for a wave of new motivational munchies.
For Reese's, the motivational candy is the latest twist for a snack that has seen itself morphed into every conceivable shape, size and use. In recent years, it has been stuffed with Reese's Pieces, added to a pretzel and popcorn snack mix and formed into spooky eyeballs for Halloween and trees for Christmas. Expect Hershey to keep adding more Reese's varieties to the market — possibly loaded with other catchy phrases to encourage consumers to buy.