Leftovers: Ice cream made for a midnight snack; Hostess enters the cereal bowl
Nightfood hopes to satisfy indulgent cravings and help people sleep, while Ben & Jerry's gets unbaked to the core.
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.
Ice cream for sweet dreams
Midnight snacks are getting an upgrade as Nightfood introduces an ice cream specifically for late night noshing.
According to the company, 80% of ice cream is eaten shortly before bed. But Nightfood is formulated to be healthier than most of the products currently found in the freezer. The company says that Nightfood has 70% fewer calories than similar Ben & Jerry's flavors, with 65% less sugar and 50% more protein. Additionally, it features more sleep-friendly ingredients, like cherries that are higher in sleep-triggering melatonin and decaffeinated coffee.
The company has brought science and ice cream expertise to formulating its products. According to a company release, two sleep experts — Dr. Michael Breus, a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Dr. Michael Grandner of the Sleep and Health Program at the University of Arizona — are on the brand's scientific advisory team, as well as nutritionist and sleep therapist Dr. Lauren Broch. Jim Christensen, former VP of ice cream sales for Unilever, is leading the rollout, according to an investors' site for the publicly traded company.
The product is set to start appearing in stores nationwide next month. According to the investor site, the company hopes it will be at 10,000 retailers nationwide by the end of the year. It will be in eight flavors: Midnight Chocolate, Cookies n' Dreams, Cold-Brew Decaf, After-Dinner Mint Chip, Moon Vanilla, Milk & Cookie Dough, Cherry Eclipse and Bed and Breakfast.
In an interview with Wall Street Reporter, CEO Sean Folkson said that Americans spend $1 billion on bedtime snacks per week.
"This is the start of a new category," he said in the interview. "We think it's going to be tremendous, and we're the only ones playing this game.”
The better-for-you ice cream space has been heating up in recent years. After Halo Top took the segment by storm and became the nation's No. 1 pint of ice cream, many companies have been making their own versions of frozen treats with less sugar, fat and calories, or using functional ingredients. Nobody's taken on bedtime snacks just yet, making Nightfood's launch well worth staying up for.
— Megan Poinski
Twinkies will have to wait: Donettes and Honey Bun soak up cereal spotlight
Sweet treats once relegated to snacktime keep finding a increasingly familiar home: the cereal bowl.
Post Holdings, which has already transformed Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Sour Patch Kids and Nutter Butter into bowl-sized treats, is partnering with Hostess to introduce Donettes and Honey Bun versions starting this month.
While some cereal makers are phasing out artificial colors and flavors or curtailing the sugar content, Post has embraced the sweet-craving taste buds of consumers with these latest products. To spread the word about these new cereals, Post said it will be launching a digital campaign through a series of online videos.
"We are constantly innovating to bring the most delicious cereals to the breakfast table," Roxanne Bernstein, Post chief marketing officer said in a statement. "With our new Post Hostess Donettes and Post Hostess Honey Bun Cereals, we have been able to provide the sweet flavor of these classic treats in tiny cereal form.”
It's evident that while consumers are watching what they eat, they're not afraid to indulge from time to time. Post has generated favorable sales from prior iterations of its snack-inspired treats, and its newest offerings are the latest sign the company is doing more to hit its sweet spot in the crowded cereal aisle.
— Christopher Doering
Calling all cookie dough fanatics
Ben & Jerry's is hoping to capitalize on the cookie dough craze with three new flavors.
The three flavors — which launched this week — are a part of the company's "Core" product line, which features a middle section of the pint filled with a unique batter or cookie. Each of the new flavors — Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Sweet Like Sugar Cookie Dough and Wake & No Bake Cookie Dough — has cookie dough in the middle. The pints are now available in retailers across the country for $4.99.
Cookie dough could be a good bet for the Vermont-based company given its recent popularity. The unbaked treat has been tapping into consumers' memories of licking the bowl. The flavor has appeared in different products and just sold by itself in recent years.
Its popularity, combined with consumer love for ice cream, could make it a perfect pairing for the company. And while most consumers would admit to eating cookie dough, the survey found millennials are more likely to prefer flavors like cookies and creme and chocolate chip cookie dough than older generations.
"We wanted to give our fans a chance to expand their love of our cookie dough flavors and offer both classic and entirely new combinations," Ben & Jerry's flavor guru Craig Koskiniemi said in a release. "In trials, our fans clamored for the new Cookie Dough Core flavors."
But these new ice cream flavors certainly do not follow the popular better-for-you dessert trend. It seems like Ben & Jerry’s is sticking to its core mission of indulgence with this latest product launch.
— Lillianna Byington