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.
Dr Pepper wants to be a strawberry, too
Dr Pepper is adding a new permanent flavor that it hopes consumers will think is berry sweet.
Dr Pepper Strawberries & Cream comes to shelves nationwide this month, a new blend that the company says adds “refreshing strawberry flavor and a smooth, creamy finish” to the original 23 flavors that give the soda its signature taste. The flavor will make an appearance in both original and Zero Sugar versions of the soda, and will be available in a variety of sizes and packages. The brand says this will be the only dark strawberry soda on the market.
Strawberry is a popular flavor for many food and drink items. According to statistics from FONA International, strawberry is a popular flavoring in dairy products, candy, gum and desserts. According to FONA, there was 23% growth in strawberry flavored health care products globally between 2019 and 2020. And a YouGov poll last year found that 43% of people said they liked strawberry ice cream.
For beverages, however, consumers really need to look for strawberry. None of the soda giants produce a strawberry flavor as part of their regular lineup. One of the more common ones on shelves is Faygo’s Red Pop, a fruity flavor that includes strawberry and has been produced since 1907, according to a brand timeline from the International Directory of Company Histories. The flavor was called “Faygo Strawberry Soda” until the 1960s. Fruity soda maker Fanta also has a strawberry, which has been in the U.S. since the 1960s.
A new jolt of energy into Dr Pepper’s business could help parent company Keurig Dr Pepper. In the call after the company’s last earnings report, former CEO Ozan Dokmecioglu said carbonated soft drink consumption was up 12%, both compared to a year before and year-to-date in 2022.
More sales and a differentiated flavor can help Dr Pepper continue to stand out to consumers. Other big soda companies are bringing new flavors and drinks to shelves as 2023 kicks off — PepsiCo launched lemon-lime soda Starry and overhauled its Zero Sugar formulation, while Coca-Cola is launching “Creations” flavors that translate concepts to soda and toeing into alcoholic beverages.
With Strawberries & Cream, Dr Pepper is building on its brand with a flavor consumers already like, but can’t often find in soda. If people like the combination, this move could be exactly what the Dr ordered.
— Megan Poinski
Social Brew launches pancake mixes to support human trafficking victims
Coffee brand Social Brew is entering a new product category with a worthy cause.
The company announced the launch of Hawaiian-inspired pancake mixes. Half of the proceeds of all Social Brew products go towards victims of human trafficking worldwide, according to the brand.
The pancakes come in four flavors inspired by the tropical state — Coconut, Guava, Macadamia Nut and Mochi — and range in price between $4.99 and $5.99. They are available on the brand’s website.
Social Brew’s debut of a product in a new category was a natural step for the company, and expands upon its mission to support survivors, the company’s founder and CEO Simone Ispahani said.
“Each pancake flavor pairs perfectly with our gourmet coffee blends, and offers consumers another option to support the fight against human trafficking with their purchase,” Ispahani said.
The proceeds will go towards include Denver-based Beautiful Feet Wellness, which provides services to victims freed from trafficking, and Hawaii-based Ho'ola Na Pua, which specializes in the prevention of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
Social Brew’s coffee beans are sourced from the Aloha State, which is also where its founder first got the idea for the brand. According to its website, Ispahani started the e-commerce company with the intention of using her love of coffee to fight for social justice causes.
Brands often use a new product launch to draw attention to a charitable cause. Unilever-owned ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s has paired a variety of philanthropic endeavors with new flavors, such as its 2020 Change The Whirled, launched with former NFL star Colin Kaepernick and aimed at supporting Black and Brown communities. Last month, Ben & Jerry’s and Tony’s Chocolonely debuted ice cream and chocolate bars inspired by the other brand, respectively. The ice cream brand announced it would join the chocolate maker in combating modern slavery in the cocoa supply chain by adopting their sourcing principles.
— Chris Casey
Nyak partners with Trina to promote new flavors
Nyak Cognac, known for its notoriously smooth notes, is adding rapper Trina to help launch its new Nyak Peach and Cinnamon Fiyah flavored offerings.
Brown spirits are enjoying an increase in market interest, and Nyak is banking on these new flavors and the addition of Trina to help propel it further.
“I won't just be the face of Peach and Cinnamon, I'm invested in this," Trina said in a release announcing the partnership. "The release of the peach and cinnamon are synonymous with my lifestyle and music – which can be both sweet and spicy – so it's a great tie-in."
Spirits now hold a 42.1% share of alcohol sales compared to 41.9% for beer, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) data reported by MarketWatch.
For years, European Cognac makers have been making a big push into the U.S. market. Producers like LVMH Moet Hennessy, Remy Cointreau, Pernod Ricar and Beam Suntory have become more aggressive with marketing campaigns in the U.S. aimed at a wider audience.
Nyak is not the only rapper-assisted cognac on the market. Hip hop legend and businessman Jay-Z developed D’Ussé in partnership with Bacardi more than a decade ago. Last week, Bacardi bought a majority stake in the brand.
Former executives at Remy Cointreau and Seagram’s Spirits and Wines were on the team that created Nyak Cognac. The brand became the fastest-growing cognac brand in U.S. history with an unprecedented 1,000% annual growth rate in 2021, Nyak said in its press release.
— Rose Palazzolo