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.
Pringles cans Wendy's Baconator
If you’re craving a Baconator while shopping in the grocery store, Pringles has a solution.
The Kellogg-owned brand partnered with Wendy's to launch Baconator Pringles. The companies said that each bite of these potato crisps packs in all the flavors of the burger, including beef, American cheese, smoked bacon, ketchup and mayo.
Pringles Baconator is available for a limited time in snack aisles nationwide starting this month. Each can also comes with a code that can be used to get a free Wendy's Baconator, Son of Baconator or Breakfast Baconator when ordering through the chain's app.
Pringles hasn't shied away from replicating more out-of-the-box savory flavors. From rotisserie chicken-flavored chips to Thanksgiving Turducken Pringles, the brand has amped up its flavor innovation in recent years.
For this launch, the company is working with Wendy’s, which could be beneficial for both brands. There are already bacon-flavored chips on the market from brands like Kettle Chips and PigOut, but having the Baconator branding could make these new Pringles stand out.
The Baconator has been one of Wendy’s most popular items through the years. Carl Loredo, Wendy's U.S. chief marketing officer, said in the release that its “fanatics will be in for quite a treat.”
Brands are increasingly working on limited-edition partnerships and product promotions to drum up more consumer interest. Pringles also recently partnered with animated series “Rick and Morty” for a limited-edition Pickle Rick flavor-inspired can of chips around the Super Bowl.
More big food companies have also turned to restaurant chains to add to their own portfolios in recent years. From Conagra's P.F. Chang's frozen meals to Nestlé's California Pizza Kitchen line, partnerships between the two spaces have produced more permanent products as well as limited-time ones. If this launch from Wendy’s and Kellogg works out, more could be on the way.
— Lillianna Byington
Hormel reaches peak 'Pour On'
Just in time for summer, Hormel has improved the chili dog, no beans about it.
The canned chili king is launching two new varieties that are designed for pouring over a hot dog. They’re thicker, bean-free and formulated to accentuate the taste and feeling of hot dogs. The new varieties exemplify Hormel’s “Pour On” ad campaign from the start of the year, which shows how pouring on a bit of Hormel chili makes everything more exciting.
"Consumers love chili dogs," Sarah Johnson, Hormel Chili brand manager, said in a press release. "While usage spikes in the summer, we know consumers enjoy chili dogs year-round. Our new pour over chilis provide consumers a convenient, exciting and great tasting option to upgrade their daily meal routine."
The cans on both varieties proclaim, “Perfect for chili dogs” and feature a photo of one, but there's no chili dog-specific branding. The Chili Cheese variety is made with American cheese, while the Coney Island variety has mustard and onions.
If any food personifies the United States, it’s the chili dog. Born out of the melding of immigrant traditions and comfort foods, chili dogs are enjoyed by millions of people from sea to shining sea. And even without chili on top, hot dogs are an all-American favorite. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, between Memorial Day and Labor Day last year, Americans ate 7 billion hot dogs — the equivalent of 818 per second.
With its new chili, Hormel is making a small shift to an already successful product to create a summertime essential. And not only is the nation clamoring for chili dogs, but this summer, everyone is hungry for comfort food. Hormel is working to deliver.
— Megan Poinski
Vending machine meat
If you can’t get your favorite sirloin or ground beef at the grocery store, a butcher in upstate New York has a solution.
Kevin McCann, the owner and head butcher at McCann’s Local Meats, told Fox News the “24-hour meat machine” at the front of his store in Rochester has been hugely popular with consumers who can purchase his products with minimal person-to-person contact. The meat machine is located in an area of the shop that has been cordoned off.
“The response has been unbelievable,” McCann told the news outlet. “On Saturday, I was cutting and restocking the machine four or five times.”
McCann said he got the idea from a friend in New York who has been using a refrigerated meat vending machine. In addition to social distancing, he said the concept helps local healthcare workers who have unpredictable hours and may not have a lot of time to go grocery shopping.
Vending machines have been around for decades offering candy, soda, crackers, prepared sandwiches, mini-pizzas and a host of other products. But as consumers have changed their consumption habits, so have these convenient machines.
A Hong Kong-based food entrepreneur created vending machines that offer a variety of healthy, ready-to-eat boxed meals under 550 calories each. Another company in California sells caviar and truffles from vending machines. And Farmer’s Fridge focuses on nutritious ready-for-market meals that contain “chef-curated, restaurant quality meals” and snacks.
In recent weeks, meat and poultry have come under fire as coronavirus quickly spread among meat processing employees. While a meat vending machine won’t address these issues, it does respond to other concerns by giving shoppers afraid of going out to the store or hesitant to deal with another person a convenient way to buy their next T-bone or pork chop.
— Christopher Doering