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.
The Pitcher Man gets slimed
It’s getting easier and easier for kids to get permission to play with their food before eating it.
Craft City, a craft kit company, is partnering with Kraft Heinz to launch Make Your Own Kool-Aid Edible Slime Kits, according to a statement emailed to Food Dive. The kits, which prominently feature the classic Pitcher Man on its packaging, are now available nationwide at CVS for about $15 each.
Each one has the ingredients to make two slime batches in signature Kool-Aid flavors: Cherry and Blue Raspberry. It also comes with a bowl, spoon, gloves and confetti to add color and texture to the slime.
This isn’t the first slime creation from Kraft Heinz. Last year, the company launched an edible Jell-O slime in unicorn-themed strawberry and monster-themed lime flavors. The Kool-Aid version can be stored and consumed at a later time, while the Jell-O ooze needs to be thrown out after each use, according to People magazine. That could give this new creation an advantage with parents who don’t want to continue buying new slime.
Slime has skyrocketed in popularity recently due to social media attention. At the end of last year, there were more than 20 million slime-related posts on Instagram and thousands of how-to YouTube videos, Kraft Heinz said.
This new creation also could have an advantage when it comes to promoting it. Karina Garcia, the founder of Craft City, is known as the "Queen of Slime" with her YouTube videos that feature her playing with different types of ooze. Her following of more than 9 million subscribers on YouTube could help boost the new Kool-Aid brand.
Other products have taken advantage of the popular slime theme as well. Nickelodeon launched ice cream cups and frozen bars with its classic green slime at Walmart earlier this year. More brands might be developing their own slime creations as the trend grows.
Kool-Aid has been used in different products before, including fruit and vegetables pickled in the juice and sangria made with the drink. With a fan base for Kool-Aid and the popularity of edible slime, this latest kit could be a hit.
— Lillianna Byington
Biscoff chills out in the ice cream section
The Biscoff cookie has long been a popular staple on airplanes and hotels, but now the maker of the renowned snack is heading to the frozen aisle.
Lotus Bakeries, the maker of the famous Biscoff cookie, is introducing a new line of super-premium ice cream available in both pints and bars — enabling the sweet to be consumed while lounging around at home or gobbled up on the go.
Lotus said pints are hitting shelves this month — not surprisingly one of the most popular months for consumption — with bars expected to debut in October. The pints will be available in five flavors: Original, Chocolate Brownie, Salted Caramel, Belgian Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Cheesecake. The bar will dip the ice cream into cookie butter and add a layer of Belgian chocolate.
Michelle Singer, Lotus Bakeries' U.S. general manager, said in a statement that "Biscoff is exploding in the U.S." If that's true, the family-owned Belgium company is smart to tap into a section of the store that is not associated with the brand. Retail stores sell the cookies and a Biscoff spread, and it has even partnered on other items like a cake, but ice cream seems a logical extension, especially during the hot summer months.
Ice cream and sherbert sales rose 0.2% to $6.8 billion in the 52-weeks ended on Nov. 4, 2018, according to IRI data cited by DairyFoods.com, with unit sales rising 1.1% to 1.8 billion during the same period. While much of the focus in ice cream lately has been on lower calorie, lower sugar and higher protein options like Halo Top, the segment is not without its share of innovation.
Unilever-owned Talenti recently introduced a new line called Gelato Layers, while its Ben & Jerry's brand will create CBD-infused frozen treats once there are regulations in place from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The International Dairy Foods Association said vanilla, chocolate, cookies n’ cream, mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough are the five most popular ice cream flavors. Lotus can only hope that one day it will have a place on that coveted list.
— Christopher Doering
Yes, we have no bananas
When someone says “Chiquita,” most consumers think of bananas.
The iconic banana has been imported to the United States since 1899, and the blue Chiquita sticker has represented the gold standard for bananas since 1963.
So it seems that a new launch from Chiquita would have bananas, right? Well, not exactly.
In a partnership with Chiquita-owned packaged salad giant Fresh Express, the company is launching Chiquita Bites and Chiquita Sticks. The new line has five varieties of prepackaged healthy snacks that combine fruit, cheese, nuts, crackers and pretzels.
But the fruit? Apples, not bananas.
While the well-known Chiquita banana has been sold for generations, the company started selling sliced apples about 10 years ago. So this launch is putting together the pre-sliced apples with other nutritious items to make a healthy snack.
Convenient and healthy snacks are especially important to young consumers. Snacks like these are easy to eat on the run, better-for-you and carry the added bonus of an instantly recognizable brand name — even if the snack packs don’t contain what the company is best known for.
It's smart for Chiquita to branch out beyond the banana business. While 78% of U.S. consumers buy bananas, according to a survey from the Produce Marketing Association, the fruit isn’t the best for adding to a prepackaged snack. Extremely soft bananas don’t hold up well once they are peeled — and have a shelf life of only about a week.
While consumers love bananas, researchers have cautioned that a virus fatal to banana trees is spreading. If the virus reaches South American banana plantations, some believe it could lead to the extinction of the Cavendish variety, which is what people worldwide are used to eating.
Adding on-the-go prepackaged apple and protein snacks to its portfolio is a good way for Chiquita to branch out into a lucrative sector of the market — and retain the company’s appeal in the future.
— Megan Poinski