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.
One small step for man, one giant leap for cannabis edibles?
Fifty years ago, Pillsbury created Space Food Sticks, a nutrient-packed snack product designed for Apollo 11 astronauts to be able to eat with their helmets on.
Space Food Sticks became a popular consumer snack in the 1970s, and slipped from grocery store shelves later in the decade. But a newly created version of the snack — with 5 mg of THC — is truly out of this world.
The cannabis-infused Space Food Sticks are not made by Pillsbury, which is now owned by General Mills. This version comes from New York-based Retrofuture Products and The Art of Edibles in Los Angeles.
Retrofuture owner Eric Lefcowitz spent decades wanting to relaunch the iconic snack. He started the Space Food Sticks Preservation Society in 2001 and hired a food scientist to reverse engineer the energy bar precursor from the ingredients list. The initial 21st century variation of Space Food Sticks is available online, as well as at gift shops of several prominent museums.
So why is a new version preparing for liftoff? Lefcowitz has been saying for years that he hoped to make a weed-infused Space Food Stick. According to the press release, the idea was hatched from a meeting with B Le Grand of the Art of Edibles craft cannabis collective.
"Cannabis is a serious and important business but the element of whimsy shouldn't be overlooked,” La Grande said in the release. “With Space Food Sticks, we've captured that spirit of fun that's been missing."
While the original Space Food Sticks were popular with kids, those consumers have grown up. Some of them may be in the market for an edible that is fun and functional. And since children today have a number of bars to snack on — and would likely be unimpressed with the old-school Space Food Sticks — there's less of a chance they accidentally eat something with marijuana.
For now, the buzzy snack is only available at marijuana dispensaries in California. But if it can tap into baby boomer nostalgia and deliver the high consumers are looking for, there's no reason why it shouldn't blast off.
— Megan Poinski
The smaller, the better
Kellogg is shrinking its signature bars to target younger generations.
The company is launching Nutri-Grain Kids, which are bite-size bars with filling made from different fruits and 8 grams of whole grains per serving, according to a release.
The flavors for the new product line include Awesome Apple, Strawberry Blast and Grapetastic, which are packaged in boxes of single-serve 140-calorie pouches.
These snack packs could be a hit with kids since Generation Z consumers are more interested in healthy and convenient food. A recent study found that Gen Z — people born between 1995 and 2010 — has helped shift food culture in the U.S. from three traditional sit-down meals a day to several snacking and eating experiences throughout the day.
Since the new product is free from artificial flavors and high-fructose corn syrup, it seems to check the better-for-you box this generation — and their parents — want. And since they are in single serve packages, they are also easy for on-the-go munching, which has become more popular across generations.
Nutri-Grain Kids was developed through a partnership with social media personalities Cat & Nat, who are known for their #Momtruths — things moms don’t talk enough about. Kellogg is definitely targeting parents with these latest snack pouches, hoping to connect with them through social media influencers and make packing lunches easier.
"Even though we'll continue to make mom mistakes every day, new Nutri-Grain Kids have made this one small part of parenting a little easier," Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer, known as Cat & Nat, said in the release.
This isn't the first product that Kellogg has developed to target younger consumers. Kellogg's Kashi previously teamed up with a group of Generation Z influencers to develop its Organic Super Food Bites, which are filled, soft baked snacks. More companies will likely be looking to target this generation as they get older and it seems like these better-for-you, convenient snacks will continue to crop up as they do.
— Lillianna Byington