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.
A black treat for a sour celebration
For those who are sour on Valentine’s Day, a favorite Mondelēz candy is launching something to sweeten those lonely hearts.
This February, Sour Patch Kids is selling Sour Hearts, a black raspberry flavored version of the sour and sweet candy. The candy is in the shape of a black heart, and comes in a black version of the traditional Valentine’s Day heart-shaped box.
"SOUR PATCH KIDS Sour Hearts candy plays on the mischievous side of Valentines, while still delivering the sour-then-sweet treat SOUR PATCH KIDS fans have come to know and love, regardless of relationship status," Lauryn McDonough, Mondelēz International senior marketing director of Candy, Seasonals and Chocolate, said in a release.
While frilly hearts, flowers and romance appear to rule on Valentine’s Day, there’s actually a large number of people who aren’t in love with the holiday. In a 2021 YouGov survey, 14% of respondents said they had a negative opinion of the day, while 26% were neutral about it. Close to six in 10 said they believed Valentine’s Day is only celebrated because of pressure from commercial entities — it is not a “real” special occasion.
Regardless, Valentine’s Day — and the candy that comes with it — is coming. The National Confectioners Association says 92% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday with chocolate and candy this year.
Sour Hearts isn’t the first Valentine’s Day candy to target this audience. Two years ago, Ferrera’s Brach’s brand launched Wisecracks: End the Conversation Hearts, which had less-than-loving statements on the candy. These launches open the door to commiserate — or celebrate — with people who may be feeling rather dark-hearted this Valentine’s Day.
— Megan Poinski
Häagen-Dazs’ ‘extraordinary’ cones
Ice cream maker Häagen-Dazs announced the Butter Cookie Cone, a frozen ice cream treat that contains several of its top selling ice cream flavors. It is available in Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee and Vanilla in packs of four. The line will be fully launched nationwide by April, according to parent company Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream.
The brand touts the cone as extraordinary, delivering a more elaborate experience than a tub of Häagen-Dazs. The outer cone is made from a thick cookie the company says is like a traditional butter cookie “but with more personality, style and attitude.”
The inside of the cone is lined with chocolate, and the ice cream is drizzled with sauces, including raspberry, chocolate fudge, espresso and caramel. Then, the ice cream is sprinkled with toppings like chocolate swirls, roasted almonds and cookie pieces, depending on the flavor.
“Frozen snacks have experienced explosive growth over the years and as category leaders, we recognized an opportunity for the Butter Cookie Cone to deliver on next level indulgence consumers desire and only Häagen-Dazs® can deliver,” Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream’s chief marketing officer Mlizabell Marquez said in a statement.
Häagen-Dazs said the Butter Cookie Cone furthers the sustainability of its parent company, as the cocoa used to create it is Rainforest Alliance certified. The company said that allows the farmers it sources from to adapt to climate change.
With the new product line, Häagen-Dazs joins freezer aisle offerings like Nestlé’s Drumstick and Unilever’s Klondike Cones in delivering a more convenient at-home experience of an ice cream cone. Other recent entrants to this product space include Oreo’s cones, sold by Dreyer’s in collaboration with Mondelēz International, and Reese’s cones created by Hershey and Unilever.
— Chris Casey
Nutella brings European favorites across the Atlantic
This month, American fans of the creamy, unctuous chocolate hazelnut spread will be able to enjoy what Italians and French have been snacking on since 2019.
Nutella B-Ready is described in the release as a “deliciously light, crispy wafer shell filled with creamy Nutella® and sprinkled with puffed wheat crisps.” Nutella Biscuits are made with “a golden baked crunchy biscuit, specially crafted to hold a creamy heart filled with the unique taste of Nutella.”
The two new treats will be available at retailers nationwide and online starting this month.
The appearance on store shelves of the ready-to-eat items add more portable options for the brand. It’s the brand’s first new items in the U.S. market since the introduction of Nutella & Go in 2012.
“In honor of World Nutella Day (Feb. 5), a holiday that was created by a fan for our fans, we are excited to double our U.S. portfolio and give our loyal fans two new ways to enjoy their favorite hazelnut spread,” said Noah Szporn, Senior Vice President of Spreads at Ferrero North America, in a press release announcing the launch.
Parent company Ferrero has been moving to capture more market share in the U.S., largely through acquisitions. The company bought U.S. confectioner Ferrara in 2017, spent $2.8 billion in 2018 for Nestlé’s U.S. candy business, and acquired Kellogg’s cookies and fruit snacks business for $1.3 billion in 2019. The company’s purchase of ice cream giant Wells Enterprises is pending, and expected to complete early this year.
The U.S. has been an increasingly important market for Ferrero, which has been aggressively building its business here. In 2021, the company named former Ferrara CEO Todd Siwak to head its North American operations, focused on improving Ferrero’s position in the market. In the last 18 months, the company has twice announced large expansions to its manufacturing plant in Bloomington, Illinois. It’s also started working on a Chicago innovation center, expected to open this spring. And last fall, Ferrero Rocher chocolate bars hit U.S. shelves.
— Rose Palazzolo