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.
Skittles zombie flavor might spook your taste buds
If you're going trick-or-treating this Halloween, then this might be the year your taste buds get the biggest scare.
Skittles is introducing Zombie Skittles that give consumers a chance to taste a rotten flavor for the first time. Each package of candy comes with a mix of five fruity flavors: Petrifying Citrus Punch, Mummified Melon, Boogeyman Blackberry, Chilling Black Cherry and Blood Red Berry. But it comes with an unexpected twist. Candy lovers won't know which one may have the repulsive taste known as rotten zombie.
"Hidden beneath the candy shell of select pieces in the pack is a rotten zombie flavor that will reveal itself only once you've started to chew," Mars said in a statement. "It's an utterly disgusting taste experience that will elicit strong reactions from anyone and everyone daring enough to try it."
As part of the product launch, Skittles is "daring" fans to participate in its #DareTheRainbow challenge, a take on the candy's popular "Taste the Rainbow" tagline. Mars is encouraging consumers to gather with friends and record their experience looking for the zombie flavor before sharing it on Instagram.
It's a smart move because younger consumers will be the most likely to seek out the candies and post about it on social media as they look for the zombie flavor. It also taps into the zombie craze made popular with the likes of TV shows such as "The Walking Dead."
The unsavory Skittles flavor is not the first candy to delve into the realm of weird and unusual. Jelly Belly is infamous for its extensive product offering that challenges the taste buds, including booger, earthworm, earwax and rotten egg. Maybe the zombie flavor won't be such a bad alternative this Halloween after all.
Oscar Mayer wants to serve dinner and dessert in one
Ice cream and hot dogs are often staples during the summer season, so Oscar Mayer decided to combine the two.
This month, Oscar Mayer announced its Ice Dog Sandwich, made with hot dog flavored ice dogs, candied hot dog bits, spicy dijon gelato and a cookie bun. The shock factor in this latest product launch seems to have drummed up a lot of attention.
When the company tweeted out the new creation there was a strong reaction on social media, with thousands using the hashtag coined by the campaign, #OscarMayerIceCream.
During the week of Aug. 12, the Ice Dog Sandwich was distributed in New York City with the Wienermobile, Oscar Mayer's 27-foot-long hot dog on wheels. People who couldn't get to New York could enter a sweepstakes for a box of the sandwiches by direct messaging Oscar Mayer on Twitter.
Although the company said the brand isn't planning to immediately sell the Ice Dog Sandwich in stores, the product did see a surge of interest. The Ice Dog Sandwich was so popular that Oscar Mayer was forced to close its direct messages on Twitter. The company could leverage that popularity by launching the product in frozen sections, but not all of the reactions to the product have been good. One Arizona Republic reviewer called it "highly unpleasant."
This isn't the first time hot dogs and condiments have found their way into other products. Pringles launched a limited edition "Hot Diggity Dog" flavor in 2016, efrutti makes hot dog shaped gummies and French's offers mustard ice cream.
Oscar Mayer has been ramping up its marketing efforts this year. Its signature Wienermobile was turned into a Airbnb campsite, the company opened a hotline after it declared hot dogs were sandwiches and it expanded its partnership with UFC.
All of this marketing comes as its parent company Kraft Heinz struggles and could benefit from consumer attention. The company recently weathered a tumultuous quarter where Kraft wrote down the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands by $15.4 billion, resulting in a $12.6 billion net loss and slashing its dividends more than 36%.
Keep it keto with this new ice cream
Healthy ice cream brand Enlighted just jumped into the ketro trend with the release of a line of keto ice cream pints and bars. The company says this is the lowest net-carb ice cream on the market, offering those following a ketogenic or low-carb diet a dessert that fits their nutritional needs. The product line will roll out in more than 8,000 stores by October.
The keto diet has been on a growing trend for the past several years as high fat, low-carb diets have made a comeback. Keto made Google's list of most-searched diets in 2018 as more products have launched and raised money as a result. For instance, keto-friendly Love good fats recently raised $5 million and the Canadian keto snack bar brand is now planning a U.S. expansion.
Enlightened will have competition in the keto-friendly ice cream category though. Arctic Zero, Rebel Creamery and Wink Frozen Desserts are all brands that are categorized as keto-friendly.
The new keto ice cream line consists of seven pints and four bars, which are made with real cream to deliver on the high-fat, low-carb claims. Each serving contains less than 1g of sugar, 1g of net carbs and is sweetened with two zero-calorie sweeteners: monk fruit and erythritol. As consumers look to reduce their sugar intake, more companies have been turning to alternatives sweeteners.
This new ice cream line seems to check several boxes popular with consumers today when it comes to keto and sweeteners. If the products can attract consumers interested in those factors, then it could be a lucrative launch for the company.