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.
Perdue Farms' turkey nuggets offer a convenient way to get stuffed
Opting out of a traditional big Thanksgiving feast with family and friends this year, but still wanting turkey? Perdue Farms has you covered.
The century-old poultry giant is launching a convenient sized main course tailor-made for a 2020 Thanksgiving feast: ThanksNuggets. Each bag of frozen turkey meat nuggets includes both turkey-shaped white meat and drumstick-shaped ones with dark meat. According to the company, the dark meat nuggets are inspired by cranberry sauce and stuffing and the white meat nuggets by sweet potatoes.
"Forget the hours of prep, the brining, the roasting, the mountain of dishes, the fancy place settings: this year is all about having a 'LazyGiving,' “ Tracy Hostetler, vice president of marketing for premium prepared foods at Perdue Farms, said in a release. "Whether you prefer white or dark meat turkey, our ThanksNuggets have got you covered so you can still enjoy your favorite holiday flavors without all the effort."
As the coronavirus pandemic rages and officials advise against large get-togethers, turkey producers are bracing for a tough season. In a normal year, about 46 million turkeys are eaten around Thanksgiving, according to statistics compiled the University of Illinois Extension. This year, turkey producers fear sales will take a hit as consumers want smaller birds. The average Thanksgiving turkey weighs 15 pounds, according to the university's data. According to Delish, a bird this size can feed 12 people, which is a larger get-together than many officials are suggesting.
Perdue’s ThanksNuggets might be the perfect solution for consumers looking for a right-sized holiday feast and for producers not wanting turkey meat to go to waste this year. However, these nuggets are being sold in an extremely limited quantity: only 100 bags. They can be ordered starting at noon today on Perdue’s website. According to the press release, the limited quantity pays homage to the company, which turns 100 this year. And the price is a bit steep when compared to the more common chicken nuggets: $19.20, again honoring the poultry company’s founding year.
Perdue isn’t the only company offering an easier alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving this year, but ThanksNuggets are by far the most conventional one. Brach’s, known for its candy corn, is selling a Turkey Day variety. This sweet spin on Thanksgiving dinner features candy pieces that taste like green beans, roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, ginger glazed carrot, sweet potato pie and stuffing. Pringles also has offered Thanksgiving-themed options for the last several years, though it hasn’t yet announced one in 2020.
It’s probably safe to say this isn’t going to be the last Thanksgiving during which consumers can buy frozen turkey nuggets. In fact, turkey producers unable to sell their birds this year might jump on Perdue Farms’ idea and try to make frozen turkey nuggets as ubiquitous as those from chicken. After all, nuggets are something consumers like to gobble all year round.
— Megan Poinski
Truly partners to launch hard seltzer-infused chocolates
With a holiday season that promises to be unlike any other, Boston Beer has come up with a way to make the season a little more boozy and a lot more tasty.
The Sam Adams brewer is taking its Truly hard seltzer brand and partnering with Los Angeles chocolatier Compartes to make hard seltzer-infused truffles. The set, inspired by Truly’s Berry Mix Pack, are filled with hard seltzer-spiked chocolate ganache encased in a chocolate exterior. The company called it "the perfect sweet treat to celebrate the end of a rather sour year."
"Truly is the most innovative hard seltzer, and collaboration products have helped us hold that title," Casey O’Neill, senior product development manager with Truly Hard Seltzer, said in an email. "With plenty of first-to-market products under our belt, … we knew we needed to up the ante this holiday season — so hard seltzer-infused chocolates felt like a no brainer!"
The unique collaboration with the chocolatier is not the first for Boston Beer. Truly partnered with Tipsy Scoop to create the first hard seltzer-infused ice cream. The company’s Angry Orchard hard cider collaborated to create an infused cheese with Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont.
Mashups are increasingly popular in the food space. Other companies have entered into their own partnerships, including Post Consumer Brands and Dunkin' teaming up to launch Caramel Macchiato and Mocha Latte cereals, while Oskar Blues worked with French’s Mustard to create French’s Mustard Beer brewed with the classic yellow condiment. Klondike bars are among the sweets to incorporate Mondelez International’s Oreo cookie, and countless brands have worked with Cinnabon to bring the iconic cinnamon role to their products.
These and other partnerships are unlikely to ever contribute to a meaningful jump in revenue for the big CPG companies, but they do have an underlying purpose. The recognition and buzz created by the new products serves to increase consumer awareness about the brand, oftentimes in parts of the store where it may not have a presence, and likely boosts sales of the original cookie, condiment, drink, ice cream or sweet roll.
— Christopher Doering
Pringles turn Scorchin’ hot
Pringles is cranking up the heat and launching three spicy varieties of its classic curvy chips.
The Kellogg-owned brand announced it is debuting a new Pringles Scorchin' lineup by adding “fiery heat” versions to three original flavors: Cheddar, BBQ and Chili & Lime. All three spicy flavors will be available in a limited release to retailers nationwide in December, with a full-scale launch expected next year.
Pringles is known for innovating its signature chips with trendy and wild flavors. The chip brand has introduced a variety of unique varieties, from Baconator-flavored chips to Thanksgiving Turducken Pringles, and it hasn’t shied away from spice either.
The company has previously launched spicy flavors such as Nashville Hot Chicken, Cajun Fries and Wazy Fire Roasted Jalapeño. But Gareth Maguire, senior director of marketing for Pringles, said in a release that Pringles Scorchin' is its “first dedicated collection.” Each Scorchin' can features a picture of a chip and a pepper on fire.
“Each bite is designed to test snackers' limits, delivering bold flavor followed by a heat that builds over time,” the company said in the release.
Companies have increasingly turned to spicy food innovations as hot flavors become more trendy in the food and snack space. Pringles will have heated competition in the category with fan favorites like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Takis. Other chips brands also are making their classic flavors spicy like Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos and Flamin’ Hot Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips.
Since consumers have been stocking up on salty snacks during the pandemic, and there are no signs of that trend slowing down, it could be a savvy time to launch more flavors and drum up shopper attention in the popular chips space.
— Lillianna Byington