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.
Strawberry rose maple forever?
As the strawberry season gets under way across much of the country, the popular summer fruit is getting a sweet makeover.
Runamok Maple is introducing its newest special-edition maple syrup: Strawberry Rose Infused. The maple syrup variety is made with two organic ingredients — rose petals and strawberries — that gives it a sweet and floral flavor profile the company said pairs nicely with summer cocktails, desserts, salads and breakfast dishes.
A bottle of the Strawberry Rose Infused Maple Syrup isn’t cheap, selling for $16.95 for 8.5 fluid ounces. And unlike the Beatles' classic song, this strawberry product won’t be around forever. It’s available for a limited time at the company’s website and through Amazon.
Runamok Maple, which is based in Vermont, is led by Laura and her husband who have taken the popular pancake and waffle topping to the extreme in a bid to broaden the food and beverage areas where the sweetener can be used. Runamok Maple has introduced 16 maple syrup varieties, including Bourbon Barrel-Aged, Cardamom-Infused and Smoked with Pecan Wood.
Maple syrup is increasingly making its way into a host of different food and beverages, in part because of the flavor but also because it hits on a host of other attributes popular with consumers including that it’s organic, natural and has a low impact on blood sugar.
The time-honored ingredient has appeared in cotton candy, maple water — sourced from the sap of maple trees — maple vodka from Vermont Spirits and maple whiskey produced by big brands such as Crown Royal, Jim Beam and Knob Creek. Brown Cow has a maple yogurt and Kellogg’s RXBAR has created a maple sea salt bar. There’s also maple cotton candy, maple salad dressing and even maple-smoked cheddar.
— Christopher Doering
A tortilla chip to go bananas for
Plantain chips are a well known crunchy and savory snack, but Barnana is dipping them into a whole new category.
The startup that upcycles plantains and bananas into chips, chewy bites and crunchy brittle has launched a line of tortilla chips. The company turns ground and seasoned plantains into triangles, fries them in avocado oil, and adds seasoning. They will be available in two flavors: Himalayan Pink Salt and Lime & Sea Salt.
Barnana’s products span the salty and sweet spectrum, and founder Caue Suplicy said there is consumer demand for more snacks in the salty column.
The chips will appear in West Coast stores this month. They can be ordered at Barnana’s website and on Amazon starting in July, and they will roll out to grocery stores nationwide in the fall.
Tortilla chips are one of the most popular salty snacks, worth about 22% of the $24.9 billion segment in the 52 weeks ending in May 2019, according to IRI statistics reported by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery. And as more consumers are looking for chips made without grains, Barnana is occupying a new niche. There are several tortilla chips in the grain-free category, but their ingredients include cassava, cauliflower, coconut, tiger nuts and chia seeds. No others use plantains.
As consumers have spent much of the last several months at home to try to stop the spread of coronavirus, salty snacks are becoming much more beloved. But many consumers say they are now trying to eat healthier. This new product truly gives those snackers an opportunity to go bananas.
— Megan Poinski
A lunchtime staple gets healthier
The classic peanut butter jelly and sandwich is getting a healthy makeover.
Chubby Organics just launched grab-and-go packaged "no junk nut butter and jam sandwiches." Their product line can be purchased online as well as at stores in Los Angeles.
The new “superfood sandwiches” come in four flavors: Blueberry Jam & Almond Butter; Blueberry Jam & Hazelnut Butter; Strawberry Jam & Almond Butter; and Strawberry Jam & Sunflower Butter. The products are served refrigerated and can stay fresh for up to 45 days.
Using more unique spreads instead of classic peanut butter could help Chubby stand out. In recent years, the popularity of nut butters have increased, making their way into a variety of different products from yogurts to bars. And peanuts are one of the leading causes of life-threatening allergic reactions in the United States. About 6.1 million people had peanut allergies in 2019, according to statistics compiled by Food Allergy Research and Education.
Chubby Organics said in a release it swaps out the preservatives of a traditional sandwich for higher quality, organic and whole food ingredients. Chubby’s Blueberry Jam & Almond Butter flavor, for example, contains 13 grams of protein, 20 grams of organic whole grain net carbs and 5 grams of natural sugar sweetened by medjool dates.
This new product is similar to Smucker's Uncrustables, which have consistently delivered growth for The J.M. Smucker Company. Despite their success, the signature frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have been criticized for its healthfulness.
— Lillianna Byington