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.
I Double Dare you to get slimed
It’s considered an honor to be doused in Nickelodeon’s green slime, and now consumers can get the iconic green goo in a frozen treats.
Nickelodeon just launched ice cream cups and frozen bars with its signature green slime at Walmart, according to an email sent to Food Dive. The cups consist of low-fat vanilla ice cream and green slime frosting, The bright orange and green popsicle come in lemon-lime and orange flavors.
Slime has become an increasingly popular kid-targeted trend, including in the food sector. Last year, Kraft Heinz’s Jell-O unveiled an edible slime product for children fascinated with the gooey substance. The company said it was getting in on the trend, since there were at the time more than 20 million slime-related posts on Instagram and thousands of slime videos on YouTube.
This isn’t the only time Nickelodeon has used its classic green slime to market products. Target sells Frozen Treats Slime for kids to play with and Nickelodeon also previously sold Green Slime Ice Pops. The production company also teamed up with Walmart just last year to launch Slime Sauce, which is a bright green ketchup.
The ice cream and frozen bars will likely be targeted at consumers young enough to opt to take the physical challenge. That could be a lucrative marketing tactic, given that about 74% of millennial parents now include their children in buying decisions, according to a study from Consumer Insights. And the vast majority of these parents grew up entranced by the network and its ubiquitous green slime.
With Nickelodeon’s established audience of fans and slime's recent popularity on social media, these frozen treats could have young consumers and their parents heading to Walmart to get slimed.
— Lillianna Byington
More hidden vegetables: Kidfresh launches mozzarella sticks, burritos and waffles
While eating healthy is getting more popular among adult consumers, vegetables still aren’t a favorite among the small set.
Kidfresh is continuing its work of hiding vegetables in foods that kids love with three new kid favorites: mozzarella sticks, cheese burritos and waffles. The mozzarella sticks are made with whole wheat and chickpea flour. The cheese burritos wrap in some sweet potatoes and butternut squash. And while the waffles come in blueberry and chocolate chip varieties, they also have butternut squash baked in.
Ever since zucchini was first mixed into bread near the end of the 18th century, recipes have been developed to disguise and fully utilize vegetables. Recipes for hidden veggie items have been available in cookbooks and the internet for years. Kidfresh, which started making frozen food in 2010, now has several hidden veggie frozen meals, such as macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets, as well as and snacks like potato and cauliflower tots and pizza bites.
And while the hidden veggie trend is more popular for kids’ food, it’s gaining traction with adults too. Veggie crust pizzas have been adopted by manufacturers and restaurants alike. Cauliflower is the most popular veggie pizza crust, and sales of cauliflower substitutes were worth $17 million between June 2017 and June 2018, according to Nielsen statistics cited by The New York Times.
Adults who want to get their veggies can buy a pizza made by market leader Caulipower, which also makes sweet potato toast and cauliflower tortillas, Kraft Heinz’s O, That’s Good line and Nestle-owned Sweet Earth. But it’s not just cauliflower. Urban Pie Pizza Co., owned by Palermo Villa, just announced a new sweet potato crust pizza hitting stores this summer.
Having more kid-friendly vegetable options can be big in terms of nutrition. According to a 2014 study in the journal Pediatrics, almost one in five 6-year-old children did not have vegetables daily. And 80% of 2-and-3-year-olds didn’t have the recommended amount of vegetables in their daily diet, which increased to 92% for kids between 4 and 8.
— Megan Poinski
Grab your diploma and a few bottles of Coke
Next year when some Atlanta public school seniors graduate, they may be wearing the same plastic Coke bottle they consumed several months earlier.
Coca-Cola is aiming to collect 7,000 PET bottles — enough to outfit the caps and gowns worn by 200 graduates. The bottles will then be sorted and cleaned locally before being processed in North Carolina. They will then be broken down into pellets, woven into polyester yarn fabric and shipped to a mill to be cut and sewn into caps and gowns.
Coca-Cola will host a second campus recycling drive in late summer, and partner with the Atlanta Braves to recycle plastic bottles collected at their home stadium during the season.
“We will share learnings from Atlanta and the other six markets with our Coca-Cola bottling partners, with the ultimate goal of scaling to additional cities,” Caren Pasquale Seckler, the company’s vice president of social commitment, said in a statement. “This is just the beginning.”
Coca-Cola, which sells more than 500 brands around the world, including Sprite, Diet Coke and its namesake drink, has been among the most aggressive companies seeking to minimize the impact its products have on the environment. Last December, the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage maker extended a loan to a Netherlands-based recycling company Ioniqa Technologies to develop the tools to process otherwise hard-to-recycle types of PET plastics.
PET is one of the most commonly used plastic resins in food and beverage packaging, but recycled PET accounts for just 12% to 14% of the plastic packaging produced. Studies show it can be cheaper and easier to produce new PET rather than manage a complex waste stream and process plastic bottles.
As consumers increasingly value sustainability in many of the products they buy, other companies also have made recycling a prominent part of their businesses. According to Nielsen, 66% of all consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands.
Last year, Danone vowed to use 100% recycled plastic by 2025 for its popular mineral water brand Evian. McDonald's is switching to environmentally friendly packaging materials and offering recycling in all of its restaurants — noting the changes were the top request by its customers. In 2016, PepsiCo announced it would strive to make 100% of its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025, and partner to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates.