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.
Perdue takes on takeout wings with air fryer alternative
Poultry giant Perdue Farms is turning to air fryers in a bid to make wings crispy for longer.
Air Fryer Ready Crispy Wings are the company’s first chicken wing product designed for use in the trendy kitchen appliance. In the press release, Perdue said it wanted to give consumers wings that do not get soggy like takeout wings, while maintaining restaurant quality. The chicken wings arrive in three flavors: Roasted, Hot N’ Spicy and Lemon Pepper.
“To end the takeout vs. at-home wing debate, we wanted to show wing lovers the best way to wing is at home, and with an air fryer,” said Cody Walter, senior marketing manager at Perdue, in a statement.
Perdue claimed 75% of American households have an air fryer, making it something most consumers can now use. In addition, the company is selling 100 wing kits on its website for a limited time for $10, which contain the three new chicken wing varieties, a four-quart air fryer and other merchandise.
Air fryers, which allow food to achieve a crispy consistency as it cooks in hot air, have reached wide mainstream popularity in recent years. A variety of food products have been launched that were made using an air fryer. In 2019, Perdue rival Tyson debuted a line of Air Fried chicken strips. And earlier this year, Kettle unveiled air fried potato chips.
Since the pandemic, Perdue has leaned into the growing trend of cooking at home with its food launches. Earlier this year, the company launched two fully-cooked chicken lines: Flavor-Infused Chicken and Chicken Plus Snackers, the latter of which contains a quarter cup of vegetables.
— Chris Casey
Idahoan aims to shred the potato category with bold flavors
Idahoan is looking for a new best spud in potatoes: shreds.
The company’s Idahoan Potato Shreds are made with Idaho potatoes that come in two flavors: Hidden Valley Original Ranch and Triple Cheese. The new product can be prepared in the microwave in a few minutes and is designed as an on-the-go snack.
These offerings “have widespread appeal out of the gate, but this is an expandable platform,” Ryan Ellis, vice president of retail marketing and business development at Idahoan Foods, said in a statement. “Consumers are increasingly searching for satisfying and convenient snack options; which makes the new Potato Shreds a perfect addition to our product lineup.”
In addition to the shreds, Idahoan has launched Idahoan Mashed Potatoes seasoned with Hidden Valley Original Ranch.
While Idahoan is known for concentrating on one product, potatoes, it has gone to great lengths to expand the brand’s reach through new flavors and formats. Potato Sheds and the Hidden Valley mashed potatoes are just the latest examples.
In recent years, the Idaho-based company has introduced a range of new products, such as soups and a Cheese Across America line featuring its iconic fresh-dried potatoes made with regional cheeses like Wisconsin cheddar, Monterey Pepper Jack and Vermont white cheddar.
The new offerings are in line with recent trends in potatoes where consumers are prioritizing convenience and already-prepared products.
Americans are consuming about 30 lbs of fresh potatoes annually, according to Statista, compared to 47 lbs in 2000. At the same time, data shows the number of people eating frozen varieties has been steadily increasing.
— Christopher Doering
Say hello to Rubī: Vertical farm Oishii’s latest bite-sized sweet treat
New Jersey-based vertical farm OIshii debuted a “fruit tomato” this week.
The Rubī, the company said in an announcement, offers “the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity, and umami.” The word “rubī” means “ruby” in Japanese. The small tomato features a “bright red, shiny, delicate skin that encases its juicy center bursting with flavor.”
Like the company’s Omakase Berry, which debuted in 2018, the Rubi tomato is considered premium and will sell at Whole Foods for $9.99 for a tray of 11.
Hiroki Koga, the CEO and co-founder of Oishii, said in a statement the new item is the sweetest tomato on the market, and helps its goal of redefining fresh fruit.
We’re huge believers that vertical farming is the answer to the future of agriculture; it allows us to grow great-tasting produce in a way that’s better for people and better for the planet. But this technology will only take root if we can grow complex fruits and vegetables – like strawberries and tomatoes – efficiently and at scale,” Koga said. “With The Rubī and The Koyo Berry, we’re here to show that this future is here today.”
Oishii uses AI, data and visual recognition to monitor its farms and automate the pollination process. The latest debut comes as Oishii plans to expand the availability of its products across the Northeastern U.S. The Koyo Berry has increased supply to Whole Foods stores by 600% and “is on track to double again by January 2024,” according to the news release.
While vertical farming is not new, most operations focus on producing leafy greens and herbs. Oishii is one of the first vertical farming startups to dig into indoor strawberry cultivation alongside Plenty.
— Rose Palazzolo