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.
Plant-based (and protein-packed) skyr
While French dairy company Lactalis owns Icelandic yogurt brand Siggi’s, its newest products don’t need any cows.
The skyr market leader launched a plant-based variety this month. But this isn’t just any plant-based yogurt. Instead of coming from a single dairy alternative, plant-based Siggi’s is made from a proprietary blend of coconut, macadamia and pea protein. And like its conventional yogurt, the plant-based version has impressive nutrition credentials. The company touts the fact that its yogurts have more protein than sugar. Each plant-based Siggi’s cup has 10 grams of protein and eight or nine grams of sugar depending on the flavor.
"We are really excited to enter the plant-based segment and offer a truly unique product that delivers on what consumers have asked for," Siggi's President and CEO Carlos Altschul said in a press release. "Siggi's fans all over the country will recognize our classic creamy texture, not-too-sweet taste, lower sugar, and higher protein content. We are proud to continue to enhance the yogurt aisle through innovation."
The brand, founded by Siggi Hilmarsson in 2004, was the first Icelandic-style yogurt on U.S. shelves. It’s far from the only one there now, with several other startups building brands and jumping into the space.
Icelandic yogurt has seen impressive market growth. According to statistics from Nielsen, as yogurt sales on the whole have dropped, Icelandic yogurt has grown at a 51.2% compound annual growth rate during the last four years. The only other yogurt segment that has experienced that kind of growth is plant-based, which has seen a 44% jump during the same period.
As long as these new plant-based varieties can satisfy consumers, Siggi’s should definitely have a hit on its hands. No other skyr brands have plant-based varieties, and the health credentials — as well as the use of macadamia nut, which is rather unusual in CPG products — could attract curious consumers.
In an interview with Food Dive earlier this year, Altschul said he is excited about all of the opportunities yogurt presents.
"It's a category that continues to reinvent itself," he said. "You also see within that reinvention, that transformation, that players within the category change and evolve."
The evolution of skyr is most likely only beginning with these plant-based products. Altschul told Food Dive to expect more innovation from the brand in 2020.
— Megan Poinski
31 cans of non-alcoholic Heineken beer in the box, 31 cans of beer…
If the holidays find you drinking too much beer, wine, spirits or champagne, Heineken is giving consumers a way to have a booze-free January.
The Dutch brewing company created the January Dry Pack, a case of 31 cans of Heineken 0.0, the brand’s non-alcoholic beer. Heineken, which debuted the beer in the U.S. last January, will allow some consumers to get a limited-edition pack of the brew starting Dec. 27. The setup is much like an advent calendar, with three rows of eight cans and an additional row of seven where the person can open a tab to remove their beer.
Non-alcoholic drinks are an increasingly popular trend among companies aiming to lure consumers who like the taste of beer but are also interested in health and wellness. Guinness owner Diageo has Open Gate Pure Brew, and Carlsberg has been making nonalcoholic beers since 2015. Anheuser-Busch refreshed the look of its O’Doul’s brand in November 2018. Earlier this year, Hoegaarden released a nonalcoholic version of its brew in the U.S.
Data released last year showed a dry January can set the tone for alcohol consumption for the rest of the year. Research cited by Forbes last December found 800 people who opted not to consume alcohol during January ended up drinking less eight months later. People drank fewer days per week — from 4.3 days to 3.3 days — as well as drinking smaller quantities.
As beer makers struggle with their iconic brews, they have turned to other options like craft, spiked hard seltzer, premium ciders and non-alcoholic products to spur growth. While non-alcoholic beers are unlikely to lift their financial fortunes, they do position Heineken, AB InBev, Molson Coors and other beer makers to tap into a different audience.
— Christopher Doering
Mushrooms instead of marshmallows
As the temperatures drop, consumers are reaching for hot beverages to warm them up.
When they do, Laird Superfood is hoping that shoppers will want to reach for a healthier version of a classic winter drink. The company just announced the launch of its hot chocolate with functional mushrooms.
The new product combines organic cacao powder, cinnamon and powdered coconut milk with three functional mushrooms: reishi, chaga and maitake. The company said consumers won’t be able to taste the mushroom flavor in the beverage but will receive the benefits.
“When we develop products, we obsess on four things: it has to be good for you; it has to taste good; it has to be eco-friendly, and it has to be inclusive for everyone,” Paul Hodge, CEO and co-founder of Laird Superfood said in a release. “Our new hot chocolate with functional mushrooms checks all of the boxes.”
It could be a smart move to add mushrooms to this seasonal staple because the fungus has grown increasingly popular. The global mushroom market is projected to jump from $34.1 billion in 2015 to $69.3 billion by the end of 2024 as consumer interest in functional foods grows.
But Laird isn’t the only company capitalizing on this trend. From jerky to bars, more CPG companies are adding the ingredient to food and beverage products with hopes of tapping into its numerous health benefits.
This mushroom hot chocolate joins a variety of new products that Laird has added to its portfolio. The company has unveiled several trendy products in 2019, including pumpkin spice coconut creamer, kombucha and creamer with functional mushrooms.
Its latest innovation hits on several trends in the food and beverage space. Even though it is a unique deviation from the signature holiday drink, the company could convince consumers to give it a try since it has the benefits of functional mushrooms without the taste.
— Lillianna Byington