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.
A stackable (and meaty) feast
If the ostentatious over-the-top poultry extravaganza known as turducken is not going to be gracing your Thanksgiving table, Pringles has got you covered.
For the uninitiated, turducken is a turkey stuffed with a duck, which is stuffed with a chicken. It was apparently invented by Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1970s. It’s difficult to make, and is usually the type of thing that is talked about — but not usually attempted — for Thanksgiving dinner.
Kellogg, which invented the snackable Thanksgiving dinner category with special edition Pringles crisps flavored like some of the fixings from the traditional November feast, makes turducken easy this year. This year’s Friendsgiving Feast Turducken Kit features turkey, duck and chicken crisps that can be stacked and eaten together.
“We pride ourselves on offering consumers insanely accurate flavors with endless stacking possibilities,” Gareth Maguire, senior director of marketing for Pringles, said in a press release. “For our third year, we created the perfect kit for those who are infatuated with the Thanksgiving meat masterpiece that is the almighty Turducken, as well as anyone looking to enjoy a new take on a Friendsgiving feast.”
While the trio of chips form the extra special centerpiece, the holiday Pringles also have the rest of Thanksgiving dinner covered. The kit has crisps flavored like cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Tasters have said that the turducken stack of chips has a meaty, almost barbecue-like flavor — but no comment as to whether it tastes like the real thing.
Pringles has been a brand that has brightened Kellogg’s earnings in recent years. In the most recent quarter, the snack helped the company arrive at net sales growth in the company’s North America division. Sales are increasing worldwide, according to a transcript of the call from the company’s latest earnings report last week.
The crisp brand is well known for crazy flavor combinations, with snacking website taquitos.net ranking 140 different Pringles flavors, ranging from Soft Shell Crab to Blueberry & Hazelnut. Continuing with the annual limited-time offer of Thanksgiving feast-flavored crisps and finding a new way to be over the top and fun brings more positive attention to the brand — and truly gives Kellogg something to be thankful for.
— Megan Poinski
Wanta Fanta? Now you can eat your orange soda too
Snack Pack is turning Fanta’s signature orange, grape and pineapple soda into gelatin.
Conagra Brands is teaming up with Coca-Cola to launch new Snack Pack Fanta Gels in its first branded partnership. Each gel was developed with a taste profile that replicates Fanta soft drinks, Conagra said in a release.
The brightly colored snack cups will likely attract consumer attention given the popularity of both brands. Snack Pack is the leader in shelf-stable puddings and gelatin, while Fanta is the top fruit-flavored soft drink brand, according to Nielsen and IRI data cited by Conagra.
“Bringing them to a new category in Snack Pack Gels, made all the sense in the world,” Tutul Rahman, Fanta brand director at Coca-Cola, said in the release. “We worked with the team to make sure that our iconic flavors came through and we have no doubt that Fanta Snack Pack Gels will definitely be a thing.”
Fanta’s soda flavors are an interesting choice for Snack Pack’s first branded partnership, given that the product is typically targeted at children. It’s unclear whether parents will want to buy soda flavored snacks for their kids, especially given that many of them have purchased less sugary drinks in recent years — something that has moved food and beverage trends toward better-for-you innovations.
Recently, Snack Pack has been turning to innovation to drive interest in the brand. Earlier this year, the brand launched two fantasy-themed pudding flavors: Unicorn Magic and Dragon Treasure.
Innovation has also helped soda companies boost earnings despite the category’s struggles with health concerns, Seeing Fanta on shelves in gelatin form could encourage consumers to buy the classic soda version too.
— Lillianna Byington
O Christmas tea, O Christmas tea, please get me through the holidays
With consumers gearing up for holiday travel, the flu, bickering relatives or a trip to the mall, could the cure to seasonal misery be found in tea?
Lipton is introducing REALI-TEAS, a limited-edition version of its Wellness line to help consumers cope with the reality of “those holiday moments that aren’t so merry or bright.”
The eight flavors come with clever names such as “Dealing with Relatives,” which vows to help tea drinkers “enjoy a soothing escape from Aunt Linda’s comments and Cousin Michael’s politics with this caffeine-free herbal supplement containing cinnamon, chamomile and lavender.”
Ho Ho Holiday Travel, a green tea variety, promises to help travelers dealing with misfortunes like cancelled flights. And if a “cold is spreading through your office faster than a reply-all” email, consumers should turn to ‘Tis the Sneeze’n, which will help “support your body’s natural defenses against sniffles and avoid a nose like Rudolph” with a green tea loaded with turmeric, echinacea and ginger.
“The holiday season is a time for friends and family to connect and come together, but your health and wellbeing often take a back seat to all the festivities,” Laraine Miller, senior director of U.S. tea at Unilever, said in a statement. “Tea has long been associated with several health benefits, so the REALI-TEAS collection is Lipton’s way of helping people handle the holidays while embracing wellness, no matter what the season throws their way.”
Food and beverage companies have been introducing holiday-themed products for years.
This year alone, Campbell Soup’s Pepperidge Farm brand is introducing new cinnamon and brown sugar shortbread Toy Soldier cookies inspired by the Rockettes’ iconic “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.” And Coca-Cola announced in August it will sell Coca-Cola Cinnamon and Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry on a limited-edition basis this holiday.
Recently, Hormel Foods’ Spam brand even got into the holiday fun with its limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Spam — an offering that came two years after the company pitched the idea only to confess later the idea was a hoax.
The holiday-themed Spam, tea, soda and cookies are logical extensions of already established brands. Consumers may be more inclined to purchase them if they are limited-time offerings or come in flavors unique to the brand. As large CPG companies look to capture an ever-growing share of holiday spending, food and beverage markers will continue to roll out new products in the hope that consumers will unwrap more of their packages — even if the festive item doesn’t have a bow on top.