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.
Cinnabon heats up breakfast with frozen offerings
As consumers flee malls in favor of online shopping, Cinnabon, the popular food court staple, is reaching them where they are spending more of their time: at home.
Cinnabon owner Focus Brands is launching its first-ever Frozen Breakfast Creations line. The brand’s new twist on breakfast includes three savory and three sweet options, including a spicy cheddar pork and beef sausage wrapped in cinnamon sweet dough, a tender fried chicken and cinnamon chip biscuit sandwich with cinnamon sauce, and a cinnamon pastry filled with Cinnabon’s signature frosting.
Cinnabon is no stranger to licensing its name out to a wide-range of companies to incorporate into their products. Unilever’s Breyers ice cream, B&G Foods’ Cream of Wheat, General Mills’ Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls and Keurig’s K-Cup Pods are just a few of the recent offerings to use the Cinnabon name in their products.
Kristen Hartman, Cinnabon’s president, told USA Today since consumers are spending more time at home, the company has moved beyond bakeries into third-party delivery, food trucks and cinnamon rolls sold online through Harry & David.
But regardless of how or where people consume its frosting-glazed rolls, consumers are looking to indulge as the pandemic wears on. At the same time, people are baking more at home and cooking breakfast rather than going out. Cinnabon’s famous rolls have been around for decades, and the brand’s aggressive effort to and bring the product to more consumers through new channels is a way to ensure it has staying power in a competitive and ever-changing food environment.
— Christopher Doering
Even Captain Morgan’s sausage is boozy
Rum brand Captain Morgan is branching out into the meat aisle.
The Diageo-owned spirit is teaming up with 3 Little Pigs to release sausages infused with its Original Spiced Rum. The sausages are available in a variety of flavors, including Spicy Pork and Chicken Caribbean Jerk, which are made with a blend of Caribbean-inspired spices. There is also Citrus Mojo, which is made with a Cuban-inspired blend of orange, lime and garlic.
The Captain Morgan sausage line will first launch with chicken and pork links. Additional flavors and products like patties, precooked and snack varieties are expected to roll out in late 2020 or early 2021, according to a release.
Beanstalk, Diageo’s licensing agency, formed this new partnership. It isn’t the only partner Captain Morgan has on its crew. Last year, Great Spirits Baking Company partnered with Captain Morgan to produce a rum-infused banana-pineapple spice cake, the brand's first extension into desserts.
Captain Morgan is not the first alcoholic brand to get into meat. Last year, Coleman Natural partnered with Budweiser Beer for five prepared pork products. Budweiser also sold its own self-branded sauce in 2016, which is used in the Coleman pulled pork. Jack Daniels and Jim Beam also developed liquor-infused barbecue sauces.
Captain Morgan is the top selling spiced rum and the third largest spirits brand in the U.S., according to the company. Diageo has been focused on M&A in its core alcohol portfolio lately, with its recent acquisition of Aviation Gin, so an extension into food with one of its most well-known brands is an interesting step for the company.
Charcuterie company 3 Little Pigs, founded in 1975 and a subsidiary of Village Gourmet, is known for its specialty sausages and charcuterie made by hand in small batches using French recipes. The company’s niche audience for specialty sausage, paired with the big name of Captain Morgan, could help boost this launch.
— Lillianna Byington
Little Debbie brings nostalgia to cereal bowls
For those who want a little extra sweetness in their oatmeal in the morning, Little Debbie and Kellogg have the breakfast for them.
The cereal giant and queen of lunch box snacks are launching a new partnership, bringing Little Debbie’s iconic Oatmeal Creme Pies to cereal. According to announcements made on online media channels, the round cakes are being transformed into crispy spiced oatmeal cookie pieces made with cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of molasses that are covered with sweet creme-flavored frosting. The cereal will arrive on shelves in December.
The cream-filled snack cake, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, was the first item produced as part of the Little Debbie brand. While owner McKee Foods is a private company and does not report sales figures, Thrillist reported in 2019 that Little Debbie sells more than 200 million cartons a year of its three oldest and most popular varieties — Oatmeal Creme Pies, Nutty Buddy and Swiss Cake Rolls.
Sweet snacks have been crossing over into the cereal category far more often in recent years. Hostess’ Donettes and Honey Bun snack cakes first came to breakfast bowls in early 2019, while Twinkies cereal launched later in the year.
Even though this cereal/snack mashup is coming late into the trend, the timing of this launch may just be perfect. Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies have a special place in many consumers’ memories. As a cherished lunchbox dessert for generations, the thought of the snack conjures nostalgic memories. While nostalgia is a powerful driving force in the food business under normal circumstances, it’s especially key during the uncertainty that is 2020, experts say.
— Megan Poinski