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.
The softer side of Häagen-Dazs
For consumers who have bitten into a chocolate-covered ice cream bar only to have part of the coating shatter and fall to the ground, Häagen-Dazs has something new to chew on.
The premium chocolate brand is rolling out an ice cream bar wrapped in a decadent, soft chocolatey coating that lovers of the treat can gently sink their teeth into. The smooth coating, the brand promises, “won’t make a crack or a sound when you bite into it.”
The Soft Dipped Ice Cream bars come in three flavors: Soft Dipped Vanilla, Soft Dipped Chocolate and Soft Dipped Caramel. It is expected to hit store shelves later this month and sell for $4.49 for three bars.
The challenge for a premium brand like Häagen-Dazs — which Nestlé makes under license from General Mills only in the U.S. and Canada — is to stand out in a crowded ice cream space. The concept of a soft coating is certainly one way to do that, while at the same time solving a problem that has undoubtedly perplexed many consumers in the past.
Häagen-Dazs is currently the second top selling ice cream brand in the United States, with $569 million in sales last year, according to data from Statista. Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s, with $682 million in sales, is No. 1. For Häagen-Dazs to catch Ben & Jerry’s, it will need to continue innovating and coming up with novel new creations to attract the interest of the consumer.
Earlier this year, Häagen-Dazs rolled out limited edition Ruby Cacao bars and Häagen-Dazs Heaven, ice cream with a third-fewer calories. And in 2019, it saddled up to a bar of a different kind with booze-infused ice cream. With new innovations like these, Häagen-Dazs is showing no signs of losing its cool.
— Christopher Doering
Kayco plans for a Passover to remember
For many families, Passover this year is likely to be a unique experience.
With more than 100 new SKUs for this year, kosher manufacturer Kayco is ready for that uniqueness to come from different takes on traditional favorites. The maker of Manischewitz, Haddar, Heaven & Earth and Tuscanini launched several on-trend products intended to make food one of the more memorable parts of Passover this year.
So what’s new to eat to keep kosher this year? In short, there’s lots of new snacks. Kayco’s Absolutely Gluten Free brand has stacked cans of potato chips that are kosher for Passover in original, BBQ and onion & garlic flavors. The Tuscanini brand, imported from Italy, has single-serve potato chips made with 100% olive oil. Manischewitz has also created a Sicilian-style gluten-free pizza to nosh.
And as far as sweet snacks, Manischewitz has made two new varieties of macaroons straight out of favorite morning drinks: Cold Brew Earl Grey and Cold Brew Coffee.
Other new products will help fill out the seder plate or are ingredients to ensure that meals during Passover are on-trend and kosher. Under the Tuscanini brand, there’s a new imported extra light olive oil, as well as crushed tomatoes and tomato juice. Manischewitz has upgraded the traditional beetroot horseradish to be sugar free and packaged in premium mason jars.
For millions of Jews, Passover is an important holiday. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center poll, 70% of American Jews participated in a traditional Passover seder — including 42% who are not religious.
But these products aren’t only for those who purchase them for religious reasons. Kosher certification organization Star-K says kosher food is a $12.5 billion industry, and pegs the number of kosher consumers in the U.S. at 12.35 million, far outweighing the number of Jews in America, regardless of how they are counted. The certification group says these consumers also include Muslims, some Christian sects, vegetarians and people with gluten or lactose intolerance. Other consumers say they prefer kosher food because it is made with strict guidelines regarding how it is prepared and they think it is better.
These new products both help Kayco appeal to a broader consumer base as well as make things more fun for the core group of observant Jews. After all, people have been keeping kosher for Passover for thousands of years. Kayco knows how to maintain the essentials but make this year's Passover food different from all the years before.
— Megan Poinski
Using the whole fruit
A new brand is hoping its line of upcycled chocolate snacks will draw consumer attention.
Candid Holdings is debuting Noons, a line of chocolate snacks made with upcycled cacao fruit and organic quinoa. The company's first four flavors in the U.S. market are Pineapple & Coconut, Banana & Nibs, Golden Berry Turmeric & Mango, and Mango & Cinnamon.
The products don’t use emulsifiers, unnatural sweeteners or added cane sugar. They are made from organic ingredients including tropical fruits and superfoods, while also touting popular labels like paleo-friendly, vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO.
The snack is sweetened with cacao fruit, the large pod whose seeds are used for creating chocolate, which is usually discarded in the chocolate-making process. The company describes the product as offering “a deep dark chocolate taste with slightly fruity, tart undertones and a pleasant, crunchy texture.”
Cacao fruit is becoming a more popular ingredient. Global chocolate giant Barry Callebaut is working to make the entire fruit available — both for confections and snacks as well as any other culinary product — through its Cacaofruit Experience initiative. There are some other products with the ingredient on shelves now. Last year in Japan, Nestlé created a new chocolate using only the cacao fruit pulp for sweetness, omitting the need for added refined sugar. And on the West Coast of the U.S., CaPao, which is under the umbrella of Mondelez's SnackFutures, makes cacao fruit snacks.
The new products from Noons check a number of trend boxes for consumers today, including functionality and sustainability. The brand said in a release the new line offers consumers a strong nutritional profile with magnesium, B vitamins and various antioxidants.
Since the snacks also use the whole cacao fruit, there is less food waste, which has become an increasingly important issue to consumers. A study by Future Marketing Insights found that the upcycled food waste business was worth $46.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow 5% during the next decade.
The products come in a recyclable box with a compostable inner bag. The company works with farmers in Latin America to responsibly source ingredients and support regenerative agriculture. Although the snack is a unique twist on one of the world's favorite treats, consumers may be more interested in trying Noons because of how it prioritizes sustainability.
— Lillianna Byington