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.
Reddi-wip's coffeehouse in a spray can
Long synonymous as a last-minute addition to waffles, milkshakes and sundaes, the popular whipped topping from a can is moving into the coffee space.
Conagra Foods, which owns the Reddi-wip brand, has introduced its Barista line of cream-based products — Nitro Creamer and Sweet Foam — that will “give consumers a coffeehouse experience any time of day, without the coffee shop lines or price.” Nitro is meant to be dispensed throughout a beverage while the Sweet Foam sits on top of the product.
The Reddi-wip line hits many of the key trends consumers want today. It is gluten-free, contains real sugar and has no artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives. Both varieties are made with only six ingredients, and contain 40-45 calories per serving.
"Given the continued strength of coffee sales and the fact that many consumers already use our regular Reddi-wip in their coffee, we saw an exciting opportunity to bring a cream-based innovation to market that would better replicate popular coffee drinks and the coffeehouse experience but in the convenience of home or work," Ryan Clark, president of Conagra’s refrigerated and frozen division, said in a statement.
As premium coffee consumption in the U.S. increases, Conagra is wise to try to grab a chunk of the value-added options consumers want with their favorite brew. The Barista line comes in a sleek black, white and gold spray can, compared to the classic bright red Reddi-wip option.
Conagra said the new products have a distinctive taste that is different than regular Reddi-wip whipped topping, but both deliver dairy sweetness and notes of vanilla. Unlike regular Reddi-wip, Barista doesn’t contain corn syrup, an ingredient with health credentials that have long been debated.
The Chicago snacks and frozen food maker said the Reddi-wip Barista product will ship to retailers this month and will be available nationally soon after.
— Christopher Doering
No reason to bug out: Mini-Kickers has crickets in your favorite flavor
There’s a new high-protein crunchy snack hitting shelves with a flavor to please every consumer’s taste — though they may not find the delivery method something to chirp about.
Entosense, a Maine company with a goal of making every edible insect available to the U.S. market, has launched a new snack made out of whole crickets. Mini-Kickers Edible Crickets are snack-sized vials full of the insects in a wide variety of flavors.
Just how wide is that variety? With Indian Curry, Italian Lasagna, Lemon Meringue, Cotton Candy, Mango Habanero, Orange Creamsicle, Mexican Mole, Sun Dried Tomato, Jalapeno Garlic and White Cheddar flavors, there truly is a flavor for every palate. As long as those palates are interested in eating bugs, that is.
Despite the ick factor, bugs as food have been getting more popular. Ever since a 2013 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations laid out several health, sustainability and economic reasons people should be eating insects, consumers and startups alike have been getting more interested in the culinary possibilities of arthropods.
And the market is growing quickly. According to a recent report by Meticulous Research, the global edible insect market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 23.8% between 2018 and 2023, eventually being worth $1.18 billion. While the Asia Pacific market represents the largest segment, the report says North American countries will register the fastest growth because of new interest, demand and concerns about sustainability of more traditional protein sources like meat.
While companies like Chirps Chips, which makes cricket flour tortilla chips, and Chapul, a producer of protein bars and powders from cricket flour, have products that don’t look like insects, there is growing evidence that Americans don’t always mind eating something that actually looks like a bug.
Since they were first introduced at Safeco Field in 2017 (now T-Mobile Park), fried Mexican grasshoppers called chapulines have been the hottest concession item at Seattle Mariners games. The general manager of the restaurant where they are sold told Forbes that during the 2017 season, 1.6 million bugs were sold. Fans munched on 1.2 million bugs last year. The crispy snack, which actually looks like a grasshopper, is on the menu again this season.
So if Americans are already so excited about eating bugs, why do Mini-Kickers need come in so many flavors? Some say crickets don’t have a strong taste, so these different varieties can make the insects more appealing. And considering that the flavors vary from those of dinners to popular meat snacks to sugary treats, this snack is appropriate for any time of day consumers may want to bug out.
— Megan Poinski
Reese’s heads to the freezer aisle
Peanut butter and chocolate fans who prefer their cake served cold can now purchase the ideal dessert.
Rich Products Corporation just unveiled a Reese's Ice Cream Cake with layers of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cups, whipped icing and Hershey’s chocolate drizzle, according to a release emailed to Food Dive. The cake serves about nine people.
The ice cream cake is now available in grocery stores across the country, including Publix, ShopRite, Giant Martin’s, Giant Landover and Food Lion. It is launching as the seasons change and more consumers look to the freezer aisle for desserts. June and July are the busiest months for ice cream production, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.
"We can’t think of a better way to kick off ice cream season than with this new cake innovation for Reese’s lovers," Marketing Manager Kimberly O’Brien said in a press release.
There have been several new launches under the Reese's brand this year. The candy just released limited-edition Reese’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lovers Cups, calling on consumers to choose which flavor they like better. And months before that, the brand unveiled Peanut Butter Appreciation bars with encouraging words, like "Shout out to you!" and "Can't thank you enough!"
Through the years, the chocolate peanut butter cups have taken a variety of different shapes and forms. Reese’s has been turned into Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, shaped into pumpkins and trees for the holidays and morphed into Reese's Crunchers. But this new product will have competition, since Friendly’s already offers its own Reese’s Ice Cream Cake at Walmart.
It could be a lucrative move for Rich Products to use the popularity of Reese’s in an ice cream cake as more consumer eyes are on the candy. The popularity of ice cream continues to grow, so the mix of these always-trendy flavors with a perpetually popular brand could boost the company’s bottom line.
— Lillianna Byington