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.
Oatly spreads into cream cheese
Start spreading the news: Oatly’s getting into cream cheese.
The Swedish oat milk creator’s new spreadable cream cheeses will start to hit grocery shelves nationwide this month. They come in two varieties — Plain and Chive & Onion — and the company says they deliver “all the savory, tangy goodness of a ‘traditional’ cream cheese without any dairy whatsoever.”
The hero ingredient of the new option is Oatly’s oat base ingredient, which powers its oat milk, yogurt and ice cream.
“We’re extremely excited about the launch of our new cream cheese in the US, as it not only expands our mission to bring more plant-based consumption occasions to consumers, but also continues to prove the versality and opportunity for oat-based products,” Oatly North America President Mike Messersmith said in a release.
While the cream cheese is new to the U.S., a similar Oatly product exists in Sweden — though they cannot call it “cheese” there because of labeling restrictions.
Oatly’s plant-based cream cheese joins a wide variety of alternatives on grocery shelves. While well-known plant-based brands including Daiya, Miyoko’s Creamery and Kite Hill have had products available for years, several newcomers have recently added their takes on cream cheese alternatives.
Kraft Heinz’s Philadelphia brand launched a plant-based cream cheese in December. And Nature’s Fynd’s dairy-free cream cheese made from Fy protein — a fungi-derived ingredient — has been launching in more stores nationwide in recent months, including all Fresh Thyme Market locations.
But as far as dairy alternatives go, oat is a favorite key ingredient. According to data from the Plant Based Foods Association and SPINS, Oat was the second favorite milk alternative in the U.S. last year, tallying $621 million in sales and making up 22.4% of the plant-based milk category.
Some consumers have said they prefer oat milk because of its neutral taste and creamy mouthfeel, similar to that of dairy milk. While that sets Oatly and its products apart in the dairy case, it also may bring immediate notice to its cream cheese.
The major ingredient in many other cream cheese alternatives is coconut, which has a similar mouthfeel and spreadability factor compared to dairy, but lower melting point. Consumers may go all oat for a plant-based option that won’t melt on a freshly toasted bagel.
— Megan Poinski
Kellogg harvests better-for-you Pringles
This summer, Kellogg is gathering new ingredients and touting a health halo with a new variety of its signature canned chips.
The company debuted Pringles Harvest Blends, which include blended multigrain and sweet potato ingredients — a first for the snack brand.
The Pringles are available in four flavors, two of which feature sweet potato: Farmhouse Cheddar, Homestyle Ranch, Sweet Potato Sea Salt and Sweet Potato Smoky BBQ.
"With our new Pringles Harvest Blends collection, we're ecstatic to bring our fans an elevated tasting experience — one that is both familiar with the bold flavors our fans know and love, and completely unique with its irresistibly crunchy texture and flavorful blends of sweet potato and multigrain,” Mauricio Jenkins, U.S. marketing lead for Pringles, said in the press release.
The launch follows the brand’s 2020 debut of Pringles Scorchin’ — a lineup of spicier alternatives of its classic flavors including BBQ and Sour Cream & Onion — in expanding the varieties of the chips.
With a multigrain Pringles option, Kellogg is following consumer trends for greater nutritional benefits in snacks. The global better-for-you snacks market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% until 2032, when it could be worth $70 billion, according to Future Market Insights.
Kellogg is heavily investing in its biggest snack brands like Pringles and Cheez-It as it spins off its snacking division into Kellanova, which current Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane will lead. A large majority of the company’s overall sales — 80% in 2021 — come from its snacking segment.
Last year, Cahillane said at a Wall Street conference that the snacking business will be buoyed by its “world-class portfolio” of brands and continue to drive growth in the category, which is dominated by snacking giants like PepsiCo and Mondelēz International.
— Chris Casey
Sam Adams toasts to laziness this summer with new ‘I Can’t’ can
As consumers look for another reason to let loose this summer, Sam Adams has found the answer: just shake your beer.
The popular brew is giving beer lovers a reason to say no to their responsibilities with the Samuel Adams “I Can't” Can. Similar to the Magic 8 Ball, consumers shake the “I Can't” Can and an excuse will appear at the top.
The empty beer can, which is modeled after Boston Beer’s Samuel Adams Summer Ale, reveals excuses including: "Working on a 6-pack," "Caught an ale-ment" and "Blew out my flip flop."
“Summer should be the season of fun, not obligations," Lauren Price, head of brand for Samuel Adams, said in a statement. "We created the 'I CAN't' Can as a lighthearted way to help drinkers take a well-deserved break from some of life's less desirable occasions and return to what they love most - cracking open a cold one.”
A recent survey from Samuel Adams conducted online by The Harris Poll found 80% of Americans say they have obligations on their calendar they would be eager to ditch this summer, but 22% of them have struggled to come up with a believable excuse. This was the impetus for the limited-edition “I Can't” Can.
The alcohol space is known for coming up with unique beer-themed items, such as popsicles and lollipops.
Last fall, Boston Beer’s Angry Orchard partnered with Brooklyn-based pie shop Four & Twenty Blackbirds to launch limited-edition Boozy Baked Apple Pies made with Angry Orchard’s most recent cider innovation: Natural Baked Apple Pie Style Hard Cider. The beer maker also partnered to create a chocolate bar inspired by the 2021 release of Samuel Adams Utopias.
— Christopher Doering