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.
Oktoberfest from home
Oktoberfest was cancelled this year because of the pandemic, but now consumers can get a taste of it at home.
Snyder's of Hanover and Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. partnered to launch a limited-edition Snyder's Pretzel Keg this week. It is available online and at Captain Lawrence's taproom in Elmsford, New York, according to a release.
The keg includes a 27-ounce canister of Snyder's of Hanover Baked Pretzel Rods and a five-liter keg of Captain Lawrence's Marzen Style Oktoberfest brew. The company describes the brew as a malty lager with notes of toasted bread, honey and chocolate.
This year was the first time Germany's Oktoberfest was canceled since 1945, when it was put on hold because of World War II.
"This year, it was important for us to bring the spirit of Oktoberfest to consumers in a different way," Campbell Snacks Vice President of Marketing Betsy Morreale said in a release.
Campbell Soup, which bought Snyder's-Lance for $4.9 billion in 2017, is among the many CPG companies that have tried new development and innovation strategies amid the pandemic.
Although the nostalgia of Oktoberfest and the combination of pretzels and beer could draw in consumers, it is a pricey purchase at $49.99 per keg.
— Lillianna Byington
Hard Rock ready to rock the seltzer category
Hard Rock, the chain known for disrupting the restaurant industry with its hamburgers, rock memorabilia and city-themed t-shirts, is hoping to create waves in another popular category: hard seltzer.
Hard Rock partnered with root beer maker Stewart's Enterprises to bring Hard Rock Premium Hard Seltzer to select retailers and grocery stores later this year. The brightly colored aluminum cans have the recognizable Hard Rock logo prominently on the label and an outline of a guitar close by.
In addition to Hard Rock Premium Hard Seltzer, the restaurateur said it will continue to introduce a variety of new products to fans around the world throughout 2020 and beyond — though it did not say whether they will be food or beverage offerings.
"Through our partnership with Stewart's, we have created truly unique flavor profiles and music-inspired package designs that fans will love," Mark Linduski, director of licensing for Hard Rock International, said in a statement. "As we continue our efforts to grow Hard Rock's licensing platform globally, this collaboration positions us as a premium brand within a surging category."
Hard seltzer accounted for 21% of millennial alcoholic beverage consumption in the last year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch found in a global beverage survey. UBS expects the category to balloon to $2.5 billion in sales by 2021, according to analysis cited by Markets Insider.
Hard Rock Hard Seltzer will have no shortage of competition as more companies enter the ultra-competitive space. The market is dominated by White Claw, which is the category leader, followed by Truly, owned by the Boston Beer Company.
But Anheuser-Busch has released Bud Light Seltzer and said in 2019 it planned to invest an additional $100 million into the hard seltzer category. Soda giant Coca-Cola announced last month it will roll out in the U.S. hard seltzer under its Topo Chico brand in 2021, and analysts expect energy drink giant Monster Beverage to eventually introduce a new brand of alcoholic seltzer beverage.
Hard Rock’s rock star image and internationally known name should give it instant market recognition wherever it’s carried, but it’s uncertain whether that will be enough to top the charts or turn it into a one-hit wonder.
— Christopher Doering
Sun-Maid goes for Halloween treat gold
Raisins and Halloween have a tricky relationship.
A running joke is that the best way to get trick-or-treaters to avoid coming to your door is giving out raisins. Sun-Maid is trying to change that perception this year, with new launches designed to make healthy raisins seem like more of a treat to small candy hunting ghosts, witches and monsters.
Sun-Maid is truly going for the Halloween candy gold, with one of its launches targeting the most popular treat for little tricksters: the peanut butter cup. Chocolate and Peanut Butter Covered Raisins come in small boxes, with some raisins covered in chocolate-flavored yogurt and some in peanut butter-flavored yogurt. The brand is also keeping the peanut butter theme going with PB&J Yogurt Covered Raisins. Some of these raisins are covered in the peanut butter-flavored yogurt, while others are in strawberry yogurt.
And for those avoiding peanuts and dairy, or who just don’t have a sweet tooth, Sun-Maid launched trick-or-treat sized glow-in-the-dark packages of Strawberry and Blue Raspberry Sour Raisins. There are also fun-sized pouches of Chocolate and Vanilla Yogurt Covered Raisins. The trick-or-treat-sized packages are available on Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
However, the demographics of most raisin consumers are far from who the makers of natural snack would prefer to target. Most people who bought raisins in 2018, according to National Consumer Panel data cited by Business Insider, were baby boomers and senior citizens. Younger consumer groups — who are also the ones more likely to be parents of young children — are passing on the sweet dried grapes.
A launch like this, which makes raisins more fun and indulgent, is a good way to build sales among younger adult consumers. Despite what children think, most parents would prefer they receive healthier Halloween treats. These new Sun-Maid raisins could capture that ideal without having to trick kids into seeing raisins as a treat.
— Megan Poinski