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.
Smartfood pops up Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut popcorn
Krispy Kreme and PepsiCo's Smartfood popcorn are hoping their sweet collaboration pops with consumers.
The popular brands are coming together to create Smartfood Original Glazed Doughnut flavored popcorn. The limited-time offering, which has Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnut flavor, is available at Sam's Club and in-store and online across major retailers starting May 24.
Early signs point to the snack being a hit with the 18-ounce bag out of stock at Walmart-owned Sam's Club. The companies said the launch comes in response to "countless fan requests asking for doughnut-flavored popcorn."
"We are constantly looking for inspiration and pushing the boundaries of what's possible, which is why we're so excited to be teaming up with Krispy Kreme to give our fans something that's new and never been done before," Tina Mahal, vice president of marketing with PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America, said in a statement.
In 2020, Smartfood partnered with PepsiCo's Cap'n Crunch to release Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries Popcorn Mix as the first-ever co-branded limited-edition flavor. After positive reviews, it assembled a panel of Gen Z consumers to brainstorm other mashup ideas. The research showed a Krispy Kreme fusion would be the perfect addition to the lineup, Smartfood said.
Food mashups are a popular way for two well-known brands to tap into their product awareness. PepsiCo recently created a soft drink that combines the taste of Pepsi with the flavor of Peeps. Dunkin' has worked with Kellogg to create coffee-flavored Pop-Tarts. And General Mills and Danone have each partnered with the Girl Scouts to create cereal and coffee creamers, respectively, based on flavors of the iconic cookies.
While Krispy Kreme is best known for its doughnuts, moving into popcorn is another way to grow brand awareness and develop a presence in a part of the grocery store that may have been previously unexplored.
For Smartfood, the collaboration with Krispy Kreme brings additional attention to the brand and expands its offerings for consumers. The snack not only offers 50-calorie serving options but indulgent choices such as Movie Theater Butter and Hot Buffalo along with limited-time flavors like Snickerdoodle, Caramel and Cinnamon Apple Mix, and now Smartfood Original Glazed Doughnut.
— Christopher Doering
Goldfish teams with Frank's RedHot to bait adult snackers
The newest flavor of Goldfish crackers may be RedHot, but they’re still smiling in spite of the heat.
Campbell Soup’s snack cracker has teamed with one of the top hot sauce brands to debut a co-branded spicy snack this summer. Goldfish Frank’s RedHot crackers, featuring the flavor of the McCormick-owned spicy sauce, will hit grocery shelves in May.
While Goldfish are usually seen as a kid-friendly snack, these new crackers are not necessarily designed for the younger set.
"We learned that adults are big fans of Goldfish and it's an appetite we've never fully satisfied," Janda Lukin, chief marketing officer for Campbell Snacks, said in a press release. "'Hot' is the No. 1 most requested Goldfish flavor across social, so we wanted to bring the heat with an unexpected partnership between Goldfish and Frank's."
Goldfish, first created in Switzerland in 1958 by a cracker maker who designed them for his wife, swam their way across the Atlantic Ocean four years later. As legend has it, Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin saw the crackers during a European trip and developed them at home for U.S. consumers. Goldfish crackers appeared in U.S. grocery store aisles starting in 1962, the year after Campbell Soup acquired snack and bread maker Pepperidge Farm.
In the 49 years the fishy crackers have been made by Pepperidge Farm, they’ve assumed many colors, shapes and flavors. A writer at Thrillist was able to purchase 30 different varieties last year. And while the cheddar flavor is most commonly associated with Goldfish crackers, the brand has recently tried new flavors and formulations to win over teen and adult consumers. These include a baked line made with organic wheat that's targeted at millennial parents and the short-lived Epic Crunch Goldfish with a tortilla-like texture and strong dose of flavor.
Goldfish Frank's RedHot crackers also target this grown-up demographic, but they do it using one of the spiciest brands consumers know. And spicy is perpetually getting more popular. Data from Statista shows hot sauce sales have been steadily climbing for the past decade as consumers look to cut calories without sacrificing taste. In 2022, hot sauce sales in the U.S. are forecast at $1.65 billion, up 50% from $1.1 billion in 2010.
But are Frank's RedHot and Goldfish crackers a winning combination? The next few months will show if the snack can get adults hooked.
— Megan Poinski
Piedmont Candy looks to thin out the sugar with new snack
Piedmont Candy has launched Thinful, a better-for-you snack mix with 2 grams of sugar and 60 calories per half cup serving, according to a press release.
This new offering will come in five flavors: Chocolatey Drizzle, Peanut Butter, Sea Salt Caramel, Snickerdoodle and Birthday Cake. Each batch consists of popcorn, caramel corn, salty twists and waffle pretzels, with either a chocolate drizzle or a sprinkled topping.
The new snack will be available at select retailers throughout the U.S. for $4.99. Three-packs will be available online on Amazon and Thinful's website.
The low-sugar snack is different from the traditional candy offerings from Piedmont, meaning consumers won’t have to worry as much about the snack they consume. For example, the company's Candy Red Bird Soft Peppermint Puffs have 30 grams of sugar for six pieces. According to Ipsos, 70% consumers are also looking to cut their sugar intake. Consumers are also looking to cut sugar instead of switching to an artificial sweetener like stevia, Innova Markets survey finds. With Thinful strictly reducing sugar instead of experimenting with artificial sweeteners, this could be a great selling point for the snack.
Snacking also has been big business during the pandemic. Consumers have referred to it as a “lifeline,” with 88% of adults saying they were doing it more or the same amount, according to a survey from Mondelez. Salty snacks did especially well in April 2020, NPD Group reported, as did chocolate.
— Barbara Smith