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.
Hidden Valley Ranch spices up meals with a crunch
The latest collaboration from America’s biggest ranch dressing brand promises tangy heat and a crunchy texture to liven up the flavor of food items.
Hidden Valley Ranch and This Little Goat, a sauces and condiments brand founded by chef Stephanie Izard, is debuting Ranch Chili Crunch. The product blends umami flavors with the zestiness of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning, the companies said.
The heat of the sauce comes from gochugaru chilis. The crunch is caused by puffed red quinoa, fried garlic and corn chips, and the savory flavor comes from sesame oil and chives.
Hidden Valley said in a press release the item can be used in a variety of meals to add a flavor boost, including pizza, chicken wings and ramen.
It is available for a limited time on This Little Goat’s website.
Crunchy, spicy sauces have gained momentum in recent years as Asian flavors have spiked in popularity, as well as a way for at-home chefs to add restaurant-tier quality to their cooked meals.
CPG giant Kraft Heinz debuted a line of premium Crunch Sauces last year in Chili Pepper, Roasted Garlic and Mandarin Orange Miso varieties. And Momofuku Goods, known for its chili crunch product, saw a 130% year-over-year growth in 2022, the brand told Food Dive in June.
In recent years, Clorox-owned Hidden Valley has expanded the limits of how wide-reaching ranch can be as a food flavor. A collaboration with Van Leeuwen introduced ranch-flavored ice cream earlier this year, and a 2021 holiday gift package sold by Hidden Valley featured eggnog combined with its ranch seasoning.
— Chris Casey
Hershey’s Ice Breakers makes taste buds tingle
The popularity of flavored seltzer water is gaining a little extra fizz.
Hershey is debuting Ice Breakers Raspberry Lemon Seltzer Sparkling Mints that combine the tangy sweetness of raspberry with the zesty burst of lemon.
"We've truly pushed the boundaries of refreshment with our Raspberry Lemon Seltzer Sparkling Mints,” Taylor Schwartz, senior associate manager for brand refreshment at Hershey, said in a statement. “This innovative product delivers a completely new sensorial experience that will redefine consumers' expectations of mints."
Hershey said in an email that the impetus for the new creation came from the growth in fruit-flavored mints and seltzer/sparkling beverages. For Ice Breakers, the sparkling mints are the brand’s first new platform since 2015 when it debuted Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews, according to Hershey.
Ice Breakers is the number one brand in the mints/breath fresheners category and fruit-flavored mints are helping to drive category growth, the company noted.
Mints are expected to be a popular growth category during the next few years. The global mints market is expected to post a compound annual growth rate of 4.2% during the next five years, according to Mordor Intelligence. The data firm said the growth is being led by increasing awareness of oral health and consumption of products such as junk food, tobacco and alcohol.
— Christopher Doering
Chex Mix taps into late-night cravings with new flavor offerings
As an ode to their night owl customers, Chex Mix is launching two new flavors inspired by popular midnight cravings.
Chex Mix Remix Cheesy Pizza will feature garlic and herbs, Chex, pizza crust bagel chips, cheese puffs, and pizza sauce Chex. The new Zesty Taco offering includes taco seasoning Chex, corn shell chips, cheese puffs, and salsa Chex pieces, according to details shared with Food Dive.
The General Mills brand touts its Chex Mix product line as a “family favorite snack.” The late-night offering joins other unique extensions from the brand that are already on the market, including traditional, cheddar, buffalo ranch, turtle and honey nut.
The two new remix flavors are available nationwide and will be sold at a retail price of $4.29.
Earlier this year, Chex Mix promoted the return of its bagel chips by enlisting Sir Mix-A-Lot to redo his hit song “Baby Got Back” as “Bagel Is Back.” The feature was a play on nostalgia and a bid to engage consumers who look back fondly on the 90s and a fan-favorite recipe.
— Elizabeth Flood