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.
Mountain Dew asks: Why have just one flavor when you can have 50?
PepsiCo’s signature bright yellow-green soda has quietly released a new limited-edition blue drink called Liberty Brew, according to Delish. The blue beverage boasts on its packaging that it contains “50 flavors in one.”
This new drink follows Mountain Dew’s trend of releasing limited flavors to build excitement and quench summer thirst. In 2017, the company unveiled Dew-S-A, a purple drink that combined three different Mountain Dew varieties. Last summer, Mountain Dew brought back its light green lime-flavored Baja Blast, which had been a special offering two years before. And in 2015, the company revived its 2011 concoction, Mountain Dew Pitch Black.
Holidays and changing seasons are typically when companies launch limited edition products. Although winter tends to be most successful for brands, summer — starting after Memorial Day and with a midpoint of July 4 — could prove to be a good time for Liberty Brew, with its patriotic name and label, to hit shelves.
This latest flavor innovation could create new buzz around Mountain Dew. New flavors added to legacy sodas have been credited with boosting sales and sparking interest. Pepsi recently unveiled three new flavors of its flagship beverage: Pepsi Berry, Pepsi Lime and Pepsi Mango. The soda giant also introduced Nitro Pepsi, which contains a “velvety, cascading foam,” compared to flatter bubbles of carbonated soda.
Outside of new limited flavors, PepsiCo has invested in growing and innovating the Mountain Dew brand. In December, the company released Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel, a line of drinks designed for video gamers. And there is more to come. According to a transcript of an April earnings call, PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said the company has “some more work to do in Dew, and we will be investing more in Dew during the year.”
— Lillianna Byington
Ben & Jerry’s sour sorbet: Sure to make you scream?
Pucker up, consumers. Ben & Jerry’s is welcoming summer with a little bit of sour.
The Unilever-owned premium ice cream brand’s new sorbet flavor, Pucker Upper, is described as a tart — but refreshing — way to beat the heat. It’s a raspberry and tart lemonade swirl with dairy-coated sour sugar bits throughout.
This is the iconic Vermont creamery’s first flavor that isn’t sweet, but Flavor Guru Chris Rivard told Food Dive that it is familiar. The taste is reminiscent of a sour gummy candy and has been extremely popular with early tasters.
“Everyone who has tasted it has been shocked,” Rivard said. “It literally is just so different. … It is totally just an amazing experience that we felt … our fans would absolutely love and, you know, want to try.”
Rivard said that Ben & Jerry’s has often experimented with sour, salty and savory flavors in its flavor labs, but it has never actually produced one for consumers. Many of those flavors, he said, are good for just one spoonful.
“That’s why we always try and balance the sweet, something that is comfortable and that you’re familiar with, and then add in the crazy and unique,” he said. “That’s what makes our job hard is … really making sure that our fans are our loving the whole pint.”
Rivard and Ben & Jerry’s spokesperson Lindsay Bumps said that for this reason, Ben & Jerry’s tends to always add something familiar to new flavors. Consumers always want caramel, cookies and chocolate in their ice cream.
It’s a good strategy, considering other nontraditional ice cream flavors tend to flop. Connecticut-based Hot Scream has pints of frozen treats with a spicy kick, but they haven’t gone over well with consumers. Other flavors that have left consumers scratching their heads include pickled mango, foie gras and lobster.
Sour has been done before by big CPG ice cream brands. Nestle’s Dreyer’s launched a Sour Patch Kids flavor last year that was sold exclusively at Walmart. It featured tart lemon sorbet swirled in vanilla ice cream, with a couple of sour fruit swirls and chunks of the sweet and sour candy throughout.
While the sour sorbet may sound like it’s enough to make consumers scream, Rivard said he doesn’t know anybody who has tried the flavor and not liked it. At the very least, it’s likely better than Ben & Jerry’s Toothpaste & Orange Juice, an online hoax dreamed up in 2012 by someone with access to Photoshop.
— Megan Poinski
As summer officially nears, premium chocolate maker Godiva just wants to have fun.
The sweets maker is launching a collection of candies inspired by the bustling energy of the world’s most vibrant festivals. The luxury chocolate maker will rotate offerings throughout the year, highlighting the popular flavors of each season.
For its summer debut, Godiva will tap into trendy flavors and unique combinations with a celebratory twist.
They include elements of Surprise (white chocolate filled with Gianduja hazelnut paste and hazelnut pieces), Excitement (dark chocolate filled with mint mousse and crunchy mint candy bits), Fun (milk chocolate filled with milk chocolate mousse and popping candy), Dance (dark chocolate filled with rich dark chocolate ganache and salted caramel) and Passion (milk chocolate filled with white chocolate mango ganache, flavored with a hint of chili pepper).
While the new offering is being sold as a premium collection, it has premium price tag, too. An assorted Chocolate Festival Gold Collection Gift Box with nine pieces will cost $19.95, while an 18-piece box is $39.95.
The chocolates are available online, as well as at the Godiva Café in New York. The Godiva Café also will sell mango raspberry soft serve ice cream inspired by the Festival Collection. The concoctions are available through August.
The segment could use some excitement. Chocolate sales rose 0.7% to $14.2 billion in the year ended April 21, much slower than growth during the same period for gum of 2.4% and 2.1% for other confections, according to data from IRI. Consumers are still eager to indulge in chocolate-based sweets, and premium candies offered by Godiva, Ferrero, Lindt, Ghirardelli and others remain extremely popular.
Boxed samplers, made popular by Russell Stover’s brand Whitman’s, are a way that premium chocolate makers can highlight new product offerings. Forbes estimated the assorted boxed chocolate market represents about 20% of the $2.1 billion premium chocolate segment.
— Christopher Doering