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.
Pepsi leaves fans wanting s’more
Commonly associated with a campfire, PepsiCo is hoping a canned version of the s'more will quench heightened consumer demand for the popular treat.
The soda and snack giant launched its Pepsi S'mores Collection on Thursday, the last day of summer. The sodas include three flavors — toasty marshmallow, graham cracker and chocolate — packed inside small 7.5-ounce cans. The classic dessert is in such high demand it is a top food trend in 2022, PepsiCo said, citing the National Confectioners Association.
“S'mores is one of the most unapologetically delicious treats that everyone likes to enjoy in a different way,” Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "This newest drop allows fans to construct their own s'mores to their liking … in a deliciously indulgent drink without any of the mess.”
“The classic” has a third each of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. For those who enjoy graham crackers or marshmallows, the company suggested the drink contain half of the preferred item and a quarter of the remaining two sodas. A chocolate connoisseur should mix two-thirds chocolate with a third marshmallow before adding a splash of graham cracker.
Pepsi is no stranger to bringing novel flavors to its popular cola. The New York-based company has previously introduced flavor innovations including Maple Syrup Cola, Pepsi x Peeps, Pepsi Apple Pie and Pepsi x Cracker Jack.
— Christopher Doering
Kellogg goes nutty for nostalgic flavor
With nostalgia sweeping the food space, Kellogg sees a sweet opportunity with its newest cereal.
Kellogg partnered with the Little Debbie brand on a cereal called Little Debbie Nutty Buddy. According to the company, the flavor combines creamy chocolate and lightly roasted peanut butter flavors with pieces covered in fudge — a nod to the snack it is designed after.
It’s the third cereal collaboration between Kellogg and Little Debbie, the No. 1 brand in the baked sweet goods category according to its owner McKee Foods. In 2020, the companies partnered for the first time on cereals based on Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies and Cosmic Brownies treats.
"Since dropping our first two Little Debbie cereals, fans have been hungry to see Kellogg transform more Little Debbie snacks into cereal," Sadie Garcia, director of brand marketing at Kellogg All Family Cereal, said in a statement. "Our newest collaboration brings the iconic Little Debbie Nutty Buddy bars to the breakfast table for the first time ever."
Nostalgia continues to play an important role in the cereal space — appealing to older adults with the products and flavors from their childhood. This became especially pronounced during the pandemic, as consumers longed for comforting flavors. Brands also have tapped sweets such as Sour Patch Kids, Hostess Honey Buns, Nutter Butters and Peeps in recent years for use in cereals.
In 2020, General Mills reformulated four of its cereals by bringing back classic ‘80s recipes for each — Golden Grahams, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp and Trix. Last month, it harkened back to the ‘80s once again by re-debuting four Halloween-themed cereals from the past — Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo-Berry and Frute Brute.
— Chris Casey
McCormick’s Old Bay puts pumpkin spice on notice
McCormick’s Old Bay is aiming to spice up the fall by taking the classic blend in a sweet direction.
The company debuted Old Bay Caramel Seasoning that combines the iconic blend of 18 herbs and spices with caramel flavor for what a sweet-and-salty mix. It's available online for $5.95.
"Move over pumpkin spice," the company said in a press release. "This blend is the perfect seasoning to have as we make the transition from summer to fall.”
McCormick, a manufacturer of spices, seasoning mixes, flavorings and condiments, suggested a wide variety of places where the Old Bay Caramel could be used, including popcorn, chicken, seafood, vegetables, hot apple cider and baked goods.
Old Bay, once found only along the Chesapeake Bay in the eastern U.S., is now sold across the country and other parts of the world.
The seasoning — which includes black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, celery seed and salt — is often used in mashups.
Campbell Soup, which owns the Goldfish brand, sprinkled Old Bay on a new variety of its golden crackers in May. And an alcohol company in Maryland, the same state where McCormick is headquartered, introduced an Old Bay-flavored vodka. There has even been Old Bay-flavored ice cream and beer.
— Christopher Doering