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.
Hershey bursts into Hot Chocolate Bombs for the holidays
Hershey is ending the year with a bang. The confectioner and snacking giant is debuting its first-ever hot chocolate bomb, a milk chocolate ball shell containing marshmallows inside that melts when added to hot milk.
The Pennsylvania-based company is selling two versions of its Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolate Bomb. While the standard offering includes marshmallows, the other option has cinnamon chips.
Hot chocolate bombs reportedly were popularized in 2019 when college graduate Eric Torres-Garcia got an idea for the new treat. He was inspired by the idea of a Kinder egg — the chocolate ball containing a toy inside — as well as bath bombs.
Since then, many other companies, such as Frankford Candy, have capitalized on the success of cocoa bombs by launching their own. Consumers regularly post videos of their hot chocolate bomb “exploding” on social media, making it one of the most popular confectionery trends in recent memory. Other brands claim to have invented or made chocolate bombs for years prior to their viral success.
While the bomb is a new territory for the company, Hershey is already a leader in the hot chocolate space with its powder Hot Cocoa Mix.
Premier Protein flips into pancakes
A popular protein shake maker will soon be putting the chill on the frozen foods aisle.
Premier Protein is launching Premier Protein Frozen Pancakes in early 2023 through a collaboration with frozen pancake maker De Wafelbakkers. The breakfast item, which contains 15 grams of protein per serving, will be available in packs of 12 and 24.
“Breakfast consumption at home is on the rise,” Tom Polke, De Wafelbakkers’ CEO, said in a statement. “As people look to add more protein to their diets, protein pancakes have taken off as a delicious way to kick start the day.”
Premier said consumers can enjoy the pancakes as a breakfast item or a post-workout snack, similar to its shakes. The product, owned by Bellring Brands, previously shared recipes for pancakes made with its vanilla protein shake on its website, an indication it may have been exploring an expansion into the category.
Protein-loaded items are currently flourishing in freezers.
Since the pandemic began, whole-grain, high-protein food company Kodiak has expanded its portfolio with Power Waffles containing 12 grams of protein, and Power Flapjacks with 14 grams. Van’s, a brand specializing in foods for people with specific dietary needs, sells Power Grains waffles 10 grams of protein made with whole wheat, steel cut oats and brown rice.
As the consumption of protein snacks has increased, consumers are looking for additional ways to consume it. Premier Protein Frozen Pancakes will soon be another option. The global protein market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.1% and be worth $8.93 billion by 2030, according to Emergen Research.
Lunchables become parents’ holiday helper
For parents, the holidays are all about making magical memories with children — even when that means scrambling just behind the kids’ backs to make that magic happen.
Lunchables Holiday Packs are designed to give parents some extra room to do that holiday scramble. The packs are large trays of Kraft Heinz’s iconic buildable lunch snacks with parent-targeted outer packaging. The hope, Kraft Heinz says, is that kids will have so much fun building cracker stacks and pizza that they won’t mind that their parents slipped away to get gifts ready for Christmas morning.
“Parents are our biggest partners in continuing our mission to fuel kids’ creativity and imaginations,” Erin Fitzgerald, Lunchables’ brand manager, said in a statement. “This holiday season, it is time for us to help power them forward, provide a little comic relief and give them the opportunity to take a few extra minutes to tackle whatever the holiday season may throw at them.”
The holiday lunch trays come in three varieties: Son of a Nutcracker! I Forgot to Hide the Elf! (Extra Cheesy Pizza); It’s December 24, Where’s the Wrench?! (Turkey and American Cracker Stackers with cookies); and How is the Gift Still Two States Away?! (Ham and Cheddar Cracker Stackers with cookies).
Kraft Heinz isn’t the only company with a kid-targeted brand tapping into the sensibilities of their parents. Kidfresh, a frozen food brand making child staples such as chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese with “hidden vegetables,” launched wines to pair with the food left on kids’ plates.
Lunchables, which were first introduced in the 1980s, are still very similar today to the ones that were enjoyed four decades ago. The brand has stayed relevant by doubling down on one of the things that has made it so popular: It’s food that’s meant to be played with. This fall, the brand launched Lunchabuild kits to help encourage kids to turn their crackers, cheese and meat slices into edible robots and towers.
All that kids need to play is imagination, making a Lunchable a fun distraction. And while parents everywhere will relish the few extra minutes of holiday prep time a Lunchable Holiday Pack will buy them, it’s worth hoping that the kids will get more enjoyment out of the holiday surprises their parents are rushing around to prepare.
– Megan Poinski