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.
Snoop Dogg adds a THC sizzle to Snazzle Os
Rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg is continuing his foray into the food business, and his newest product is what most would associate with the classic doggystyle.
“Uncle Snoop’s” new snack, Snazzle Os, are a THC-infused homage to crunchy onion ring-style snacks. They’re part of Snoop’s new partnership with Tsumo Snacks, a company that makes savory snack-style marijuana edibles. Snazzle Os have 100 mg of THC per bag and come in two flavors: Onion and Spicy Onion.
The snacks are now available at MedMen cannabis dispensaries in California, and they will get to other dispensaries in the state later this year.
The launch announcement encourages consumers to “grab some friends and sizzle the fizzle like your favorite uncle, for shizzle.” And Snoop himself said in the press release, “You know that if I’m going to put my name on something, it's guaranteed stamped Snoop D-O-Double-G fresh."
Testers have said they are tasty snacks, much like a more onion-y version of Funyuns .
While Snoop has been closely associated with marijuana throughout his nearly three-decade career, this is his first marijuana-infused edible product. He’s had a cannabis brand, Leafs by Snoop, and he also invests in different cannabis companies through his Casa Verde Capital investment fund.
He’s also worked with much less potent packaged foods. In 2020, he partnered with and invested in Outstanding Foods, the maker of PigOut plant-based pork rinds. He launched Indoggo gin, made with celebrity brand Trusted Spirits, that features seven premium botanicals. He introduced a California wine blend to the 19 Crimes brand later that year. And in August, he debuted Snoop Loopz, a colorful cereal touting “more marshmallows.”
Snazzle Os are the highest profile launch in some time in a category that seems to have taken a bit of a backseat. In pre-pandemic times, it seemed as if the U.S. was on a path to eventually decriminalize cannabis, making edible products legal, and potentially opening the doors to more experimentation by CPG makers.
The pandemic and other national priorities have pushed these movements to the side, though adult beverages with cannabis are still being developed and trialed in Canada and states where they are legal. But if anyone can bring the spotlight back to edibles, it’s the Doggfather.
— Megan Poinski
StarKist hooks onto bowl trend
StarKist is bringing its iconic tuna to the bowl trend but with a twist: It’s contained in a portable pouch.
The new StarKist Smart Bowls have seasoned grains, vegetables and tuna. The product comes in four varieties: Latin Citrus, Spicy Pepper, Tomato Basil, and Zesty Lemon.
Latin Citrus has tuna, quinoa, white beans, sweet corn and a touch of lime and cilantro. Mediterranean-inspired Zesty Lemon includes tuna, plus rotini, kidney and garbanzo beans and lemon.
Each pouch has 10 or more grams of protein and 180 calories or less. A pouch will sell for about $1.25.
"Smart Bowls introduction was inspired by the popularity of grain bowls- today's health-conscious consumers are looking for more convenient options," Tom Aslin, vice president of marketing and innovation at StarKist, said in a statement. "The launch of StarKist Smart Bowls is another example of how StarKist is continuing to expand beyond its well-known tuna product line to become a convenient healthy protein company."
The new offerings tap into the trends of healthy eating and convenience. The Smart Bowls are fully cooked and can be consumed directly from the pouch, or placed on greens or other vegetables for a more filling meal.
StarKist is far and away the most popular tuna brand in the U.S., with sales trending upward since 2011, according to data from Statista. An estimated 121 million Americans consumed Starkist in 2020 compared to 109 million for Chicken of the Sea and 89 million for Bumble Bee.
While StarKist is best known for its tuna, the company is trying to widen the perception consumers have of the brand. The Smart Bowls build on the company’s prior success with its the StarKist Creations line of tuna, salmon, and chicken pouches.
— Christopher Doering
‘Miracle grain’ stars in limited-edition white beer
Brooklyn Brewery launched a collaborative craft beer with Yolélé, a grain company specializing in ingredients from West Africa.
The Brooklyn Brewery x Yolélé Fonio White Beer is made with fonio, a grain native to West Africa. Similar to rice and couscous, fonio is known for its nutritional benefits, such as B vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc and calcium.
The brewery said the beverage combines the nutty, wheaty taste of fonio with hops. It is available at select Whole Foods stores throughout October, and it can also be tasted at Brooklyn Brewery’s tasting room.
Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster Garrett Oliver said in a statement the company became interested in crafting a beer made with fonio after watching a TED Talk by Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam, the founder of Yolélé, in which he called the ingredient a “miracle grain.”
"It's been my mission to bring the flavors of Africa to America. By utilizing fonio in food and beverage sold in the States, Yolélé supports livelihoods on smallholder farms in West Africa,” Thiam said.
The brewery also touts the drink’s sustainability attributes as a key selling point. As a drought-resistant crop, it is able to grow in very hot, dry climates where little else can, such as that of West Africa. This gives it the potential to thrive amid climate change devastation, the brewery said. Oliver added that since the crop does not require irrigation or pesticides, it can help combat desertification.
A few companies have expanded the reach of fonio beyond West Africa. Yolélé, which said in the press release it is building a global supply chain for the grain, also sells fonio chips and pilaf. Terra Ingredients distributes the grain to producers.
— Chris Casey