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.
Cinnabon melts into ice cream
The signature cinnamon roll consumers look for at airports and malls will now be available as a frozen treat.
Breyers teamed up with Cinnabon to create Breyers Cinnamon Cinnabon Frozen Dairy Dessert. The ice cream contains “swirls of gooey cinnamon and delicious dough bites in a sweet vanilla base,” according to a product description.
Many food and beverage companies have been turning to partnerships to boost interest and gain new consumers. Even though Breyers already offers a Cinnamon Swirl flavor, the name recognition of Cinnabon could help this new product sound more appealing to shoppers.
This is not the first partnership for the cinnamon roll maker. In 2013, the company partnered with Beam Suntory's Pinnacle to make cinnamon roll-flavored vodka. And in the past two years, Cinnabon treats have appeared on dessert menus at Pizza Hut and Sonic.
For Breyers, which is owned by the world’s largest ice cream maker Unilever, this partnership could bring a small boost to the brand as the category faces hurdles. In the company's most recent earnings report, global ice cream volumes were down — mostly due to a cooler summer in Europe — though U.S. sales had improved.
Unilever Chief Financial Officer Graeme Pitkethly told The Wall Street Journal last year the company was having difficulty boosting profit margins for its U.S. mainstay ice cream lines, like Breyers. Unilever is encountering competition from smaller brands like Wells Enterprises-owned Blue Bunny, he said. And Wells may continue to give Unilever problems in this segment. It recently acquired low-calorie, high-protein ice cream brand Halo Top.
In addition to Breyers' new Cinnabon flavor, Unilever is following the hottest trends for its new launches. In 2018, the company rolled out Culture Republick in the U.S., a premium low-calorie ice cream brand containing probiotics. The year before that, the company unveiled low-calorie, high-protein ice cream varieties called "Breyers delights" to rival Halo Top.
As the dairy category as a whole has struggled, ice cream has not been immune. Last year, Unilever shut down an ice cream factory in Nevada, cutting 300 jobs. Per person annual ice cream consumption has dropped from 18.2 pounds in 1975 to 11.8 pounds in 2018, according to USDA data. If this trend continues, more ice cream brands could be looking to find new ways to keep consumer interest from melting.
— Lillianna Byington
Easy indoor s’mores: Just add graham crackers
Even though most of the country is months away from the kind of weather that’s good for campfires and cookouts, a new product is bringing s’mores inside and making them easy to assemble.
Stuffed Puffs are marshmallows with chocolate in the middle. The chocolate melts as the marshmallow roasts — or as it’s put in the microwave — making a perfect s’more that just needs a graham cracker. And it’s a product that makes everyone ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The chocolate-filled marshmallows are available online and at some Walmart stores nationwide. For the holidays, the brand put together a Stuffed Puffs S’mores Kit: the chocolate-filled marshmallows and two packages of graham crackers.
Stuffed Puffs couldn’t have chosen a more all-American treat to disrupt. According to legend, s’mores were invented by Girl Scouts, with the first recipe for the marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker treat appearing in a scouting handbook in 1927. According to a 2015 survey from graham cracker brand Honey Maid reported on by Foodbeast, 87% of Americans have tried a s’more. Americans buy 90 million pounds of marshmallows each year, with half of those sold in the summer months being roasted for s’mores, according to statistics from “The S’mores Cookbook” in Real Simple magazine.
And by making a big push in winter, Stuffed Puffs is getting ahead of the crush of s’mores products that hit store shelves in the summertime. The chocolate and marshmallow treat has been a featured flavor for bagels and English muffins, ice cream treats and allergy-friendly snack bars. Chocolate and granola bars, as well as snack mixes, also have taken on the classic flavor.
However, if Honey Maid’s 2015 statistics still ring true, Stuffed Puffs may have its work cut out for it this winter. While 55% of Americans know ways to prepare s’mores when there is no campfire available, only three in 10 have made the treat in their own kitchen.
— Megan Poinski
Flour maker King Arthur bakes up new trends
King Arthur Flour has become best known for wheat flour during its 230-year-old history. Now, the Vermont company is moving beyond the baking staple by adding new products to its portfolio that address many of the changes taking place in the industry today.
"At King Arthur Flour, we are dedicated to providing products that meet our consumers changing needs," Bill Tine, the company's vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
The baking ingredients company has rolled out King Arthur Flour's Paleo Baking Flour, which can be substituted for all-purpose flour in most recipes. It has four grams each of protein and fiber per serving and it is made with no preservatives — all attributes in demand with modern-day shoppers.
King Arthur Flour’s second new product line, Gluten-Free Single Serve Dessert Cups, taps into the wheat-free craze, consumers’ ongoing interest in convenience, and the occasional urge to indulge.
The snacking cups, which have “gluten-free” prominently displayed on the front of the package in big white letters, come in Super Fudge Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie flavors. The desserts are essentially gluten-free mug cakes — requiring only water, a quick stir and 30 seconds of microwave time without the prep work or clean-up.
Companies such as King Arthur Flour have lasted due in large part to their ability to evolve and adapt to new consumer trends.
The paleo diet has grown in popularity amid claims that a diet rich in fish, eggs, limited fruit, nuts, meats and vegetables is healthy and can help contribute to weight loss.
Other food companies have latched onto paleo. Mondelez took a minority stake in clean-label snack brand and New York City restaurant Hu last April. Kraft Heinz announced in late 2018 it would purchase better-for-you condiment and sauce brand Primal Kitchen for $200 million.
As paleo remains hot, the gluten-free trend shows no sign of losing momentum. U.S. sales of gluten-free products were projected to exceed $2 billion in 2019, according to Packaged Facts. King Arthur Flour is no stranger to the gluten-free space with an extensive line including cake, doughnut, pie crust and cornbread products.
These additions show King Arthur Flour is aiming to make a bigger name for itself by embracing products with characteristics that are important to consumers. Even if it takes time for the new launches to gain momentum, the company has its wheat flour to fall back on to help fund these new initiatives and expand into other trends as they unfold.
— Christopher Doering