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 some leftovers pulled from our inboxes.
White Castle takes a bite into burger snacks
Burger chain White Castle is venturing further into the frozen aisle with the national launch of its latest retail product, Castle Bites.
Castle Bites are made with real beef and onions, evoking White Castle’s popular Slider hamburgers, and are wrapped in a crispy crust. The Bites come in two flavors, Cheeseburger and Hamburger, and are available in 18-ounce stand-up bags and 40-ounce party packs.
Ohio-based White Castle, which has 368 restaurant locations in 14 states, has been able to expand its brand nationally by launching retail products. White Castle Bites, which resemble General Mills’ Totino’s Pizza Rolls, are made in partnership with frozen food company Bellisio Foods. They join another CPG product that White Castle launched with Bellisio this summer: a freezer-aisle version of the fast-food chain’s popular Chicken Rings. White Castle also sells frozen Sliders at retail in all 50 states.
White Castle opened its first restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921, and claims to be the original fast food burger chain. It has sold 6 billion of its signature Slider burgers. In recent years, it has expanded into new markets like Florida and Arizona, after record turnout at restaurant grand openings in both states.
Frozen appetizers, particularly snack roll items, have seen significant growth since the start of the pandemic, and all signs point to that trend continuing. The frozen appetizer and snack category grew 10.6% to $3.5 billion in the 52 weeks ending April 17, 2022, marking a second consecutive year of double-digit growth, according to IRI data shared by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery.
— Chris Casey
Eat the Change hungers for vegetables in new snack
Eat the Change is hoping its new offering will give vegetable-starved adults something to chew on.
The upstart, founded by Honest tea co-founder Seth Goldman and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, is launching Organic Carrot Chews targeted for adults, an extension of a similar release for kids that debuted earlier this year.
The chews are made with four ingredients, primarily organic carrots and organic fruit juice. Each 4.32-ounce multiserve pouch has vitamin A, 2 grams of fiber and 130 calories per serving. They are available in three varieties: Ginger Turmeric, Maple Cardamom and Meyer Lemon.
The Organic Carrot Chews have a suggested retail price between $6.49 and $6.99 and are available for sale at Eat the Change’s website.
“Following the successful launch of Cosmic Carrot Chews, our new lunchbox treat for kids, we saw an opportunity to create a snack that appeals to adults of all ages,” Goldman said in a statement. “Consumers are looking for convenient and delicious ways to incorporate more vegetables into their diets.”
A lot of attention has been paid to the fact that adults are falling short in their daily fruit and vegetable consumption. Only 9% of adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables and 12% the suggested amount of fruit, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Increasingly, food and beverage companies have been looking for ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their offerings in order to attract well-intentioned consumers who want to eat better.
Salt & Straw has included spinach, fennel, corn and carrots in some of its recent quirky ice cream flavors. And Mondelēz International’s Dirt Kitchen has created bars made with everything from tomato and beets to pumpkin seeds and carrots.
— Christopher Doering
Zaxby’s sauces up popsicles
September isn’t exactly the most popular time of the year to launch a new popsicle, but this limited-time offer from Southern QSR chain Zaxby’s and Alabama popsicle maker Frios is more than a little bit saucy.
The chain known for its fried chicken has immortalized two of its signature dipping sauces into popsicles — or as it calls them, “Saucesicles.” On Sept. 19, consumers will be able to order free eight-packs of frozen and lickable versions of Zax Sauce and Tongue Torch.
"Saucesicles were created for our most loyal fans that can't get enough of our signature sauces," Patrick Schwing, chief marketing and strategy officer at Zaxby's, said in a release.
The Zax Sauce popsicle has the sweet and tangy flavor of the restaurant’s signature sauce blend of spices, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce, the company says. The Tongue Torch variety has a mild tomato base with notes of garlic, paprika, turmeric and lime.
The array of condiments — especially the top-secret-recipe Zax Sauce — is one of the things the Georgia-based chicken chain is best known for. But will consumers want to eat sauce on a stick?
Zaxby’s isn’t the first manufacturer to make an unconventional dessert on a stick this summer. In June, the Canadian arm of McCormick’s French’s condiment brand launched the “Frenchsicle,” a ketchup-flavored popsicle. While the company shared results of a survey that showed nearly four out of five Canadians said they either really liked or loved ketchup, social media users were not impressed. The New York Post quoted a Twitter user who said the frozen treat was “horrifying.”
And as summer ended, Kraft Heinz’s Oscar Mayer brand teamed up with Popbar to create the Cold Dog, a frozen pop that looked and tasted like an Oscar Mayer wiener. Consumers on social media were mostly alarmed, but a Delish writer gave it a positive review.
— Megan Poinski