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.
This summer, you don’t even need a hot dog to fill your mustard fix.
McCormick & Company is collaborating with Mars on French’s mustard flavored Skittles, available for a limited time. In a statement, the sauces and spices maker said with this addition, the company is following its tradition of launching a novel mustard-themed product each year on National Mustard Day, which falls on Aug. 5.
"From Mustard Ice Cream to last year's viral Mustard Donuts, this year marks the fifth time French's has gone all out with unique, flavorful innovations to celebrate National Mustard Day,” said Valda Coryat, the North America vice president of marketing for McCormick. “With the yellow holiday landing on August 5th, we knew we had to outdo ourselves.”
The mustard-flavored ice cream, which debuted in a partnership with desserts maker Coolhaus in 2019, was McCormick’s first product to test the boundaries of what novel foods mustard flavor can appear in.
Fun-sized packs of the mustard candy will be given away next week at pop-up events in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.
McCormick first acquired the mustard brand in 2017 as part of its $4.2 billion deal to buy Reckitt Benckiser’s food division.
Skittles has been known to launch fun and unique varieties. In 2019, it launched Zombie Skittles ahead of Halloween in five flavors, with one containing a taste of “rotten zombies.”
— Chris Casey
Spam sweetens up their lineup with maple
Hormel Foods has introduced the first permanent addition to its flavor lineup since 2015 with the new sweet and savory maple-flavored Spam, bringing the brand’s lineup of varieties to 11 flavors.
The new flavor was created after the Minnesota-based company noticed an outpouring of fan-developed maple recipes on social media as well as consumer insights and feedback that more people were eating at home and making breakfast at home.
“Spam brand has introduced a unique variety of products, aligning our great flavors with consumer trends and feedback," said Lisa Selk, vice president of marketing for the Spam brand, in a press release. "When recent research showed a resurgence of cooking breakfast at home and an unwavering consumption of maple products, we knew it was time to create Spam maple flavored. And as a permanent addition to our lineup, we can't wait to see the culinary creations our fans cook up for breakfast and beyond."
The new variety unites sweet, natural maple flavoring with the savory aspects of the classic salty Spam tinned meat. The company believes consumers will enjoy it with any meal and as a snack.
Many CPGs are now creating innovative offerings that they noticed their consumers leaning toward during the days when we were all eating at home and creating novelty foods for ourselves during the pandemic. Sweetened Spam was something people were creating on their own.
Hormel, which has long been known for its presence in meat through brands such as Spam and Jennie-O, also acquired several snack brands since 2013. Leaning into the snacking trend early, the brand bought brands that included Columbus, a maker of premium craft meats; nut butter maker Justin’s; and Skippy peanut butter. It also is part of a venture established in 2009 with MegaMex that jointly controls Herdez, Chi-Chi’s and La Victoria salsas and Wholly Guacamole, a line of refrigerated dips.
In 2022, Hormel completed its purchase of the Planters snack nut portfolio for $3.35 billion from Kraft Heinz, the largest deal in the company’s 131-year history. The acquisition, which also included Cheez Balls and Corn Nuts, instantly made Planters the biggest brand in Hormel’s portfolio.
Maple-flavored Spam joins Classic (with lite and low-salt versions), bacon, oven-roasted turkey, hickory smoke flavored, hot and spicy, jalapeño, teriyaki and with Tocino, a Filipino seasoning, in the grocery aisles.
Ragu unveils new kettle cooked sauces
In celebration of National Lasagna Day (July 29), Ragu is offering a new line of kettle cooked sauces, featuring three flavors including marinara, roasted garlic and tomato basil.
Mizkan America Inc.’s iconic pasta brand has also teamed up with Lasagna Love — a global nonprofit and grassroots movement — to help fight hunger, and this year, they will be delivering the new pasta sauces to those in need in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Paramus, New Jersey.
The line of sauces will be available at select retailers in July, including Meijer and Kroger stores, and will also be available at Target as well as other retailers starting in August.
The Mount Pleasant, Illinois- based company said that the kettle cooked sauces start with “slow simmering in large kettles,” and the result is an “elevated” sauce quality and flavor. The three sauces are made from ingredients like crushed tomato, basil, oregano, and fresh garlic, with no added sugar.
The pasta sauce market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.74% from 2022-2027, with the main driver as the amount an average household spends on food.
The industry has also seen increased demand for local flavors and varieties.
"We believe 'homemade' doesn't have to mean spending all day in the kitchen, new RAGÚ Kettle Cooked sauces offer a smart shortcut with a rich and savory homemade taste that makes mealtime even easier,” said Megan Frank, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Mizkan America Inc.
With the addition of the kettle variations, Mizkan America’s Ragu now has six sauce variations, the other five being simply, old world, chunky, cheese and pizza.