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.
Oreo Thins get a little bigger
When Mondelēz International debuted Oreo Thins in 2015, the snacks maker was aiming for consumers who want to eat better but aren’t willing to give up some of their favorite treats.
Now, the CPG giant is giving fans of the cookie a little more of its indulgent creme filling with the launch early next year of Oreo Thins Extra Stuf.
The new cookie is described by Mondelēz as an “adult-friendly option for everyone who loves the crisp snap of Oreo Thins wafers, but desires a bit more creme for extra enjoyment.” The extra creme will, not surprisingly, come with a few extra calories. Each Thins Stuf has roughly 43 calories, compared to 35 calories in an Oreo Thin and 53 calories in a regular Oreo.
The move to bulk up the center of an Oreo with extra creme has been done by Mondelēz before. The company previously introduced Double Stuf and Most Stuf, the latter reportedly having a gut-busting four times as much of the delicious center. The creations are just one way Oreo has worked to keep the more than century-old brand fresh. A big part of its strategy has come through the introduction of limited-edition flavors such as jelly donut, a firework variety with popping candy and mystery flavors that consumers have been invited to guess.
The Oreo cookie, which was created in 1912, remains a hot seller for Mondelēz with about $3 billion in annual net revenues. The treat is sold in more than 100 countries, according to the company, with 40 billion cookies produced every year — enough to circle the Earth five times. Now with Oreo Thins Extra Stuf's extra-wide middle, the number of times the cookie could go around the planet might get a little bit bigger.
— Christopher Doering
Better than a major award: Oh Fudge! ice cream
There are times when what you really want to say is "Oh Fudge!" Premium ice cream maker Serendipity has made a new pint for those occasions.
Inspired by the 1983 classic holiday movie “A Christmas Story,” Oh Fudge! Peppermint Cookie Fudge Sundae features mint ice cream swirled with thick fudge, crushed peppermint candies and broken cream-filled cookies. And while it may not have received any major awards at this point, the pint features a picture of a waiter carrying an enormous dish of the ice cream with a leg lamp — a famous prop from the movie — on the side.
When it comes time for the holidays, CPG companies have often created treats that tie into favorite movies, TV specials and entertainment. Consumers can find Kellogg’s Elf on the Shelf Hot Cocoa Cereal and green-wrapped Hershey’s Kisses that have been “stolen” by Dr. Seuss’s character The Grinch on store shelves now. Campbell Soup has created Pepperidge Farm Toy Soldier cookies inspired by the Rockettes’ iconic “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” routine in the annual Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. And taking a cue from Alec Baldwin’s iconic “SNL” Christmas sketch, Ben & Jerry’s launched a Schweddy Balls ice cream flavor.
Considering that “A Christmas Story” is a holiday favorite — it’s been broadcast for 24 hours straight between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on TNT or TBS annually since 1997 — it’s surprising that there haven’t been more food and drink product tie-ins with the movie. (Not even the obvious “Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine” campaign from Nestlé has surfaced in the last nearly four decades.)
Serendipity’s new flavor may be perfect for curling up with on the couch this holiday season while wearing those nice pink bunny pajamas Aunt Clara made. After all, this “Oh Fudge” tastes better in the mouth than a bar of Lifebuoy soap.
— Megan Poinski
Squareat offers square meals for the day — literally
The idea of an entire meal that can be fit into an edible square and eaten on the go sounds like a concept from a science fiction movie that predicts how Earthlings will consume food in the year 3000. One Miami-based company has decided that the future is now.
Squareat, created by two self-described fitness enthusiasts, has debuted a line of square-shaped meal pods, according to a press release. There are 15 different flavors that be combined to create a meal, from savory options like chicken, salmon and vegan burger to sweet choco pancake and hazelnut. It also offers seven meal boxes containing a combination of squares to create flavor pallettes such as "Mediterranean" and "Sweet Break."
The company says that it cooks the foods through a “low temperature method” that allows the squares to retain all of their nutritional value and flavor. All of the squares are ready to eat, but Squareat said cooking the savory squares in a microwave, air fryer or stove is best. The peanut and hazelnut squares can also be frozen to reach an ice cream-like consistency.
The company advertises itself as a meal plan service, with consumers being able to select a plan that best suits their calorie and dietary needs. The squares are made with 100% natural ingredients, sugar- and gluten-free, and contain no preservatives, Squareat said.
Squareat also touts other eco-friendly benefits, such as packaging that it says is 100% biodegradable and would break down within 26 weeks in a sea environment.
Meal replacements that consumers could eat without a plate and fork are not new. In September, personalized nutrition company Meepo debuted MealCubes — tiny, bite-sized cubes resembling and tasting like candy with the flavors of cherry, orange and green apple. By providing food in this portable, portion-controlled format, startups are aiming to help convenience consumers who still prefer a full meal even when they're on the go.
— Chris Casey