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.
Twinkies cereal: Cream filling not required
Sure, Hostess' Honey Buns and Donettes in cereal form makes for a good breakfast treat. But the granddaddy of snack cakes is now coming to a bowl near you.
Twinkies Cereal, which is hitting shelves in late December, is the latest collaboration between Post Cereals and Hostess. The cereal pieces look like miniature versions of the bakery’s nearly 90-year-old signature snack cake.
"Our top priority was focused on delivering the great Twinkies flavor in each bite,” Josh Jans, brand manager of cereal partnerships at Post Consumer Brands, said in a statement. "Knowing that taste remains the No. 1 purchase driver of cereal, we conducted multiple consumer tests, and the new Twinkies Cereal delivered. We think fans will find that it not only tastes great with milk but also outside the bowl."
But do consumers need a new way to snack on Twinkies? The golden cakes with cream filling are ubiquitous nowadays. According to a 2015 Forbes article, the company makes 1 million Twinkies each day. And the flavor has found its way into a host of other products such as K-cups and frozen desserts.
It all goes to show that Twinkies are one of the most loved treats on grocery shelves. And even though Twinkies are not known for their nutritional value, that likely will not stop consumers from eating them for breakfast. Indulgent cereal launches have been popular in the last year, with breakfast forms of Sour Patch Kids, Nutter Butters and Peeps gracing shelves.
It’s not clear if this is the end of Hostess’s cereal launches with Post. However, when the snack bakery announced it was moving to tackle the breakfast space last year, most probably thought the company was looking to move in on pastries, not cereal.
In an email response to Food Dive, the company did make one point clear: Twinkies cereal has no cream filling, but it "does have a very creamy taste though."
Dessert for breakfast, anyone?
— Megan Poinski
Say cheese: Beam Suntory's Basil Hayden's Bourbon infiltrates the dairy case
As if there weren’t enough reasons for cheese-lovers to want more of the dairy product.
Beam Suntory’s Basil Hayden’s Bourbon brand is partnering with Utah-based creamery Beehive Cheese to launch a limited-edition product. Pour Me A Slice features a semi-firm, Jersey cow's milk cheese infused with the spirit, which tastes sweet and has a hint of spice.
"Our goal is to craft cheeses that bring people together through their elevated, artisanal flavor," Pat Ford, co-Founder of Beehive Cheese, said in a statement. "We’re excited to partner with Basil Hayden’s because the trademark spice of this bourbon adds a really unique flavor to the cheese."
Teaming up is a smart move by companies in two different areas of the CPG space. Beehive Cheese benefits from the name recognition that Basil Hayden’s brings to the partnership, while Beam Suntory can tap into the craft cheese maker’s premium perception.
Cheese is regularly paired with an alcohol offering that offers a similar flavor profile. Some big-name alcohol companies have tapped into this symbiotic partnership. Among the most well-known is the Guinness-infused cheddar cheese sold at retailers such as Walmart and online grocer Instacart.
In addition to its clever name, Pour Me A Slice is a smart way to merge the bourbon experience into a convenient block of cheese. But the "pour" isn’t cheap: the wedge will be sold in select retailers, with a 4-ounce pre-packed wedge going for $5.49.
— Christopher Doering
Gingerbread gets a protein boost
As the temperatures drop, seasonal flavors are heating up.
For this holiday season, RXBAR is bringing back its limited-edition gingerbread flavor protein bar. The company mixes allspice, ginger and sea salt with its signature simple ingredients that include egg whites, dates and nuts.
"RXBAR is the perfect canvas for warm Gingerbread spices," Victor Lee, chief marketing officer of RXBAR, said in a release. "We love giving our customers their favorite seasonal flavor in the form of a nutritious RXBAR."
Holidays and changing seasons are typically when companies launch limited-edition products. And every year, a variety of different gingerbread foods and beverages remind consumers of the holidays. This new flavor could attract shoppers simply for the seasonal appeal.
Each gluten-free bar comes with 12 grams of protein and zero grams of added sugar. Protein bars have become increasingly popular with the growth of the better-for-you space. The protein bar market is expected to increase more than 4% annually until 2024, according to Mordor Intelligence. That promise pushed Kellogg to buy RXbar for $600 million in 2017.
Since then, the company has focused on innovation. Earlier this year, RXBAR introduced single-serve oatmeal cups made with the same ingredients found in other bar products. In 2018, the company launched a nut butter spread lineup.
If consumers like the gingerbread bar, then more seasonal products could be coming. Whether it's a new holiday flavor or a whole new product line, it seems like RXBAR is going to continue to use innovation to attract new consumers and help boost Kellogg’s bottom line.