Leftovers: Sun-Maid makes sweet raisins sour; Tyson's pizza chicken nuggets hit shelves
The growers' co-op is raisin the stakes with trendy innovation, and a bone broth joins the expanding list of keto diet foods.
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.
Definitely not sour grapes: Sun-Maid relaunches sour raisins
Nature's candy just got sour. Sun-Maid's sour versions — first developed and sold a few years ago — will be back this summer. The California-based raisin cooperative is relaunching four sour varieties: strawberry, mixed berry, watermelon and grape.
The revamped raisins are a part of new president and CEO of Sun-Maid Growers of California Harry Overly's campaign to grow sales by $100 million during the next four years, according to The LA Times. Overly told the newspaper that raisins are seen as a snack just for young kids, and the cooperative is interested in broadening its audience.
Sour flavors are traditional in candy, even going back to the turn of the last century when vinegar was added to give confections an extra punch. And Post has even brought that somewhat acrid taste to breakfast with its Sour Patch Kids cereal. According to Mintel, sour flavors are on the rise in non-chocolate candy varieties.
But who wants sour fruit? Maybe a lot of people. After all, Sun-Maid isn't alone in the sour fruit snacks market. Kellogg makes its Fruity Snacks in sour flavors. General Mills' Annie's makes a Sour Bunnies Fruit Snack. And grape titan Welch's also once made a tangy version of its fruit snacks.
In competition with these fruit snacks, Sun-Maid has a very clear advantage. The sour raisins are just that: raisins that are flavored with fruit juices. The other snacks are gummies, which at the very least are more processed.
Another advantage Sun-Maid has: consumers are starting to realize the health benefits of raisins. They can aid in digestion, boost iron levels, increase antioxidants and provide fiber. Because of the health halo raisins naturally carry, Transparency Market Research projects the market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% between 2018 and 2026.
Add some innovation to that market growth, and the future for Sun-Maid looks like it could be pretty sweet.
— Megan Poinski
Pizza or nuggets? Now you can have it all
Tyson Foods combined two fan favorite foods to create pizza-flavored chicken nuggets.
The nuggets are antibiotic-free and contain mozzarella, pepperoni dust, basil and garlic, according to Tyson. The product originally launched last month on National Pizza Day and are now available at some Meijer and H-E-B locations. They will soon be going nationwide, according to Thrillist.
"I'll be honest. When I first heard the idea of a Pizza Nugget, I was skeptical that we could make it work," Shanna Motl, the lead R&D scientist behind the project, said in a statement. "But when we actually made the first couple batches, I couldn’t believe how good it was."
This product launch could be an effort to revive consumer interest in chicken nuggets. According to The NPD Group, chicken nuggets are not showing up on menus as often, and demand dropped from 2017 to 2018. Chicken in general has been less popular as more Americans turn to pork and beef. And it doesn’t help that Tyson, Perdue Farms and Pilgrim's Pride all recalled chicken nuggets for contamination last month.
As the demand for unique flavor increases, Tyson is likely hoping that pizza will bring back consumers. But Tyson isn't the first to merge this two classic flavors. Five years ago, Dominos launched a pizza crust made of chicken nuggets.
This product could be a good bet for Tyson since it checks a big box that consumers today want: convenience.
— Lillianna Byington
Hot broth latest to tap into hot keto diet trend
Few food trends are as popular as the keto diet, and now a company best-known for broth is tapping into the space.
Bonafide Provisions is launching a Keto Broth line available only on its website. The product combines key nutrients Bonafide claims support and promote ketosis: organic bone broth, which helps the body digest fat, and MCT oil, a fatty acid that helps the body produce ketones. Keto Broth also is convenient, coming in a portable, heat-and-go cup.
"You can eat all the fat you want, but, if you're not able to digest that fat, you won't be able to experience the benefits of a ketogenic diet," said Sharon Brown, founder and CEO of Bonafide Provisions, said in a statement. "Bone broth is essential for anyone eating keto because it is the best whole-food source of glycine — an amino acid that helps the body digest fat."
While keto joins Whole30, paleo, gluten-free and other regimens as the trendy eating patterns of today, it remains to be seen whether it will have staying power. There have already been some concerns over keto. Researchers in Switzerland found last year that the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets could increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, particularly in the early stages of the eating plan.
— Christopher Doering