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.
French's chills out with mustard-flavored ice cream
Here's one condiment that won't do well on the hamburger or hot dog you just pulled from your red-hot grill.
For National Mustard Day on August 2, an ice cream with the popular French's brand condiment is being introduced. The unique treat, available in Los Angeles and New York City for a limited time, was developed with Coolhaus Ice Cream — a California maker known for flavors such as Milkshake & Fries, Midnight Munchies and Buttered French Toast.
"It's been so fun to explore this classic condiment in a whole new way and create an unforgettable thoughtfully crafted ice cream flavor with an All-American taste," Natasha Case, Coolhaus’s CEO and founder, said in a statement.
The French's brand was purchased by McCormick & Co. as part of its $4.2 billion acquisition in 2017 of Reckitt Benckiser's food division, which was the biggest deal in the company’s history. The purchase also added Frank's RedHot sauce to the Maryland seasonings powerhouse's portfolio.
The 130-year old company is best known for its spices, seasoning mixes, flavorings and condiments. But increasingly, the company has been leveraging the brands it recently acquired to expand its reach into other parts of the supermarket. Last year, it took the Frank's into the frozen food aisle by launching Frank’s RedHot frozen chicken wings.
The French's ice cream, while being available in only two cities, is no different. Even though the mustard flavor is novel and unlikely to become a grocery store staple, it underscores McCormick's effort to expand into other areas. With frozen chicken wings and now ice cream, McCormick is quickly turning up the heat in the frozen food space.
— Christopher Doering
Bringing Shark Week to the breakfast table
Kellogg is the latest company to dive into the sea of products for kids — which were probably created by people who have never had to deal with kids themselves. For everyone who’s ever pushed a shopping cart while singing and doing hand motions, there's now Baby Shark cereal (doo doo doo doo doo).
It makes sense that the mega-popular tot track has become breakfast. After all, today’s cereal aisle features offerings inspired by blockbuster movie "Toy Story 4" and mythological creatures like caticorns and mermaids. Why not music?
The cereal is colorful and sweet, much like the viral Pinkfong video that has more than 3 billion views logged on YouTube. The "Berry Fin-Tastic" flavored breakfast, with rings in pink, yellow and teal, also has white marshmallows. It hits shelves later this month, starting exclusively at Sam’s Club, and then arriving at Walmart in September.
While the cheery melody actually hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart this year, peaking at #32, it’s more than just an earworm. The news was announced as America’s TVs were tuned to sharks that don’t sing K-pop tunes. Discovery Channel’s Shark Week — which it calls television’s longest running and most anticipated summer event, runs from July 28-Aug. 4.
In its 29th year, Shark Week is quite the pop culture event. According to legend, the educational network’s week devoted to all things shark was born from an after-work brainstorming session in a bar in 1988. Since then, it’s been a great white ratings win for the network and the basis of promotions both intriguing and puzzling, including shark-themed Vans shoes and the annual appearance of inflatable shark Chompy on Discovery’s former headquarters in Maryland.
While America at large is appreciating sharks this week, the toddler set doesn't need time set aside to appreciate their favorite song. The box features the same cartoon sharks from the viral video, meaning the youngest shopping cart riders will recognize Baby Shark on the shelf.
While many food companies and advertising firms pledge not to target kids with advertisements, they are not needed here. As any parent knows, kids don't need words to ask for things — and as soon as they can move their arms back and forth, they can demand Baby Shark. The cereal may inspire health-conscious parents shopping with a child to skip the cereal aisle. Just like the online video, the breakfast version of Baby Shark is kid bait — and could lead to meltdowns if it doesn’t find its way into a shopping cart. And, for parents, that’s the end (doo doo doo doo doo doo doo).
— Megan Poinski
Celebrating fall in the middle of summer
Consumers won't have to wait until the leaves are falling to get their hands on that signature Pumpkin Spice Latte taste.
Starbucks is partnering with Nestlé to launch Pumpkin Spice Latte Creamers this month, according to Market Watch. The creamers are now being sold in grocery stores across the country.
The classic seasonal drink is inspired by the original version that launched in Starbucks stores about 16 years ago. Since then, the beverage has become a fan favorite for a number of people, even former U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
But this is far from the first product to have the pumpkin spice flavor. In 2017, Pepperidge Farms launched pumpkin spice Milano cookies, and Starbucks rolled out ready-to-drink beverages and ground coffee with the flavor.
And the pumpkin spice products have been popping up earlier and earlier in the year. Last year, Starbucks debuted its seasonal latte early and saw record sales. But it wasn’t the only one benefiting from the flavor. From pumpkin-spice potato chips to pumpkin-scented deodorant, annual sales of pumpkin-related items hit $488.8 million last year.
Creamers could be a smart choice for the latest innovation from the flavor. The creamer could allow consumers to have that same taste in their homemade cup of joe. Starbucks' Creamers product line already comes in three flavors inspired by their classic drinks: Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte and Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha.
The market for creamers continues to grow along with the market for coffee. According to ReportBuyer, the coffee creamer market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 5% by 2023. And Starbucks and Nestlé aren't the only ones capitalizing on this growth. Companies are making more unique creamers lately, with one of the latest coming from Elmhurst, who made a hemp creamer.
As companies increasingly move into get into the coffee space and U.S. consumers continue to consume copious amounts of the caffeinated beverage, this pumpkin spice creamer could be a lucrative launch to pair with coffee brewed at home.
— Lillianna Byington