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.
Will white chocolate Snickers really satisfy?
As candy companies look for variety to help their products stand out, Mars Wrigley is turning to white chocolate for its iconic Snickers bar.
Snickers, which was launched in 1930, first tried the white chocolate coated candy treat in 2018. The peanut, nougat and caramel inside of the bar stayed the same.
"We received a resounding positive response from fans when we launched Snickers White as a limited edition offering last year," Josh Olken, brand director of Snickers, said in a statement. “As we continue to see the demand for white chocolate grow, we're excited to present this new take on our classic Snickers for more fans to enjoy."
The white Snickers variety will roll out nationwide in January, the candy giant said. The new product joins other Mars Wrigley brands that have embraced the white chocolate trend, including M&M's and Twix. Hershey is no stranger to white chocolate either, having rolled out Hershey’s Cookies 'n' Crème bars and a white chocolate version of Reese’s cups.
While not exactly new and upcoming, white chocolate remains a popular option for confectionery companies looking to differentiate their products in the sweets space. Statista estimated the global white chocolate market was valued at approximately $17.5 billion in 2016, and is forecast to reach approximately $18 billion by 2022.
It may not be long before white, dark and milk chocolate — the three types currently approved to carry the moniker — have competition in the marketplace. Last month, the government allowed Barry Callebaut to to label up to 60 million pounds of its pink-hued confection as "ruby chocolate" in the United States. First unveiled to consumers in Asia in 2017, the dark pink chocolate has a distinctive taste reminiscent of berries.
— Christopher Doering
Ear Sobar, stay sober
When consumers talk about wanting functional foods, they’re usually thinking of something like probiotics to enhance digestion, yerba mate to enhance alertness or collagen to strengthen bones.
These new bars take functional to another level. The Sobar reduces alcohol absorption into the body, meaning you don’t feel quite so intoxicated so quickly after eating one.
According to a release about the product, the idea was hatched at the time that most consumers are getting tipsy and thinking, “Oh, no. I shouldn’t have had so much to drink on an empty stomach.” Inventor Joseph Fisher is a medical scientist with both his MD and Ph.D. He spent more than 20 years in the biopharmaceutical industry as a researcher and consultant. And instead of simply regretting his alcohol intake, he started thinking of ways to use science to create a product to ease the effects.
Fisher, through his company Zeno Functional Foods, came up with a patented ingredient blend called Alco-HOLD. This slows alcohol absorption on an empty stomach and, the release says, is a proprietary blend of milk protein and insoluble oat fiber.
And yes, there is published research to back this up. Appearing in The Journal of Medicinal Food, Fisher’s research showed in a group of 10 men and 11 women, those who ate a Sobar before drinking had a blood-alcohol concentration 50% lower than those who drank on an empty stomach. Consumers who ate a snack mix before drinking only saw their blood-alcohol levels drop 25%.
Sobar comes in three flavors: White Chocolate Almond, Honey Peanut and Caramel Macchiato. It’s currently only available for purchase online, but its website says it will become available in some retail stores in certain geographic areas.
While this product could help those who indulge excessively during the holidays, the company cautions in its press release that Sobar only lessens alcohol absorption. Consumers eating it can still get drunk, and it should not be seen as a “safe” way to stay sober.
Still, considering that people drink 100% more during the holidays, according to a Morning Recovery study reported on by Beverage Daily, Sobar could be very useful. The same study said that more than two-thirds of those drinkers admit to overindulging. So while Sobar won’t make drinking safe, it could help prevent regrettable moments at holiday parties and reduce the number of consumers celebrating the new year with a hangover.
— Megan Poinski
Tipsy ice cream with a trendy twist
Angry Orchard wants to give consumers a boozy way to relax discreetly when the holidays get hectic.
Tipsy Scoop partnered up with Angry Orchard to launch a new flavor of alcoholic ice cream. The vanilla ice cream comes with brown sugar, cinnamon and caramel apples, infused with Angry Orchard’s new flavor, Angry Orchard Unfiltered. The ice cream has a 5% ABV.
“Perfect for those holiday moments that leave you feeling overwhelmed, #GoingUnfiltered serves as a reminder to slow down and enjoy the sweet stuff this holiday season — especially when Grandma is asking why you’re still single,” Tipsy Scoop wrote on its website.
The seasonal, limited-edition flavor is available nationwide online on Goldbelly, where the company is selling a four-pack of pints for $99, including shipping, through January 2020. The ice cream is also available at Tipsy Scoop’s New York locations, where they will be offering free scoops Dec. 21. Although the high retail price could be a deterrent for many, consumers may be interested in trying the frozen treat because it is a unique, specialty product made with a popular hard cider brand.
This isn’t the first time that Angry Orchard has introduced frozen treats. Last year, Angry Orchard teamed up with NYC’s Davey’s Ice Cream to offer two limited-edition flavors: Pine-Apple Hibiscus Rosé Sorbet and Rosé CreamCider.
More companies are doing limited-edition promotions and partnerships to boost consumer interest. This launch could get consumers to try some of Tipsy Scoop’s other seasonal flavors, including Drunken Gingerbread Man, Candy Cane Vodka Martini and Holiday Spiced Eggnog.
Boozy ice cream has become increasingly popular in recent years. Besides Tipsy Scoop, there are various other brands and shops serving up alcoholic ice cream. Arctic Buzz offers a frozen dairy dessert with vodka. And this year, Häagen-Dazs launched booze-infused ice cream.
As the dairy category as a whole has struggled, ice cream could use a boost. Per person annual ice cream consumption has dropped from 18.2 pounds in 1975 to 11.8 pounds in 2018, according to USDA.
Consumers have been buying more hard cider in recent years, and Angry Orchard is the category leader. With the trendy twist of hard cider, this new ice cream flavor has the potential to get a lot of consumers tipsy.
— Lillianna Byington