Skip to main content
[Source Photo: Kraft]

It’s part of a marketing trend that uses unexpected partnerships to gain your attention—and it’s working.

There are some product combinations that just go together naturally. Peanut butter and jelly. Ketchup and fries. Mustard and hot dogs. Milk and Oreos. Kraft Mac and Cheese and ice cream.

Okay, not that last one. Macaroni and cheese-flavored ice cream makes about as much sense as Steak and onions ice cream. Or pizza-flavored ice cream. Two things people love, but not together. At least that’s what you might think.

This week Kraft launched a collaboration with Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, a cult brand known for making quality ice cream and vegan ice cream with just a few ingredients. Timed to drop on July 14—National Macaroni and Cheese Day—the limited edition collaboration is described in Kraft’s press release as a “cool, creamy scoop of ice cream that brings that comforting, nostalgic feeling from a warm bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.”

Which of course sounds like the most counterintuitive brand move in the history of brand moves. But these mashups actually make a lot of sense, both from a culinary and a marketing perspective. Queso ice cream is incredibly popular in the Philippines, and cheese tea was described in 2018 as “the new bubble tea.” Mashups can be a way to introduce new flavor combinations to Western customers.

They’re also a way to lure new consumers. “These are ‘drops’ in a world where you can only do so much with a chicken sandwich or mac & cheese,” says Forrester retail analyst Sucharita Kodali. “They are intended to be limited-edition releases that have PR value and sell out quickly.” In this way, they bear a striking resemblance to the sneaker industry, a  $79 billion business often characterized by limited edition shoe drops that drive fan enthusiasm and, consequently, oodles of sales.

Novelty brand product extensions aren’t a new trend, but they have been gaining popularity. In 2012, Taco Bell launched the co-branded Doritos Locos Taco; the teaming of two logically complementary brands became the most successful product launch in the chain’s history, selling 100 million Doritos Locos Taco in 10 weeks. Similarly, in 2019, Cheetos branched out to include both a KFC chicken sandwich and Regal Cinemas movie popcorn, resulting in sales growth for both Cheetos’ parent PepsiCo and KFC. KFC’s then-chief marketing officer Andrea Zahumensky said these kinds of partnerships are vital to create excitement among a younger audience and drive sales growth. They used that same logic when someone pitched KFC Crocs. Meanwhile, witness the Sriracha-fication of just about every product category known to humankind.

As the frequency of these mashups increases, so too will the shock factor. Last October, Heinz and UK-based Innocent Drinks collaborated on a baked beans-based breakfast smoothie. Beanz Machine!

Fast-forward to last week, and you have Airheads candy jumping …um, headfirst into the Chicken Sandwich Wars with a fried chicken sandwich featuring a bun made of the chewy taffy candy.

Kodali says the sheer amount of media coverage and social media engagement around these collaborations means the trend won’t end any time soon. “Of course there will be more like this — you’re asking questions about it — that itself is a testament to the success,” she says. “These are collaborations like in music—Eminem and Rihanna, Lady Gaga and whoever. People always love them. What’s not to like?”

Ask me that again when someone makes a chicken sandwich ice cream.

Source: Kraft Mac n’ Cheese Ice Cream is a marketing trend that isn’t going aw

Recent flavour trends

Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 27, 2021

7-Eleven Adds 3 New Fruity Slurpee Flavors For Summer 2021 | Chew Boom

7-Eleven Adds 3 New Fruity Slurpee Flavors For Summer 2021 7-Eleven looks to help you beat the heat this summer with the launch of three new limited-time fruity Slurpee flavors: Blueberry Lemonade…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 27, 2021

Michigan’s Coppercraft Distillery releases 4 new flavors of canned cocktails | MLive

Black Cherry Whiskey is one of four new flavors of canned cocktails released by Coppercraft Distillery this month.Coppercraft Distillery Coppercraft Distillery has expanded its offerings of canned cocktails. The Holland-based…
Ethnic, International & fusionFlavour trends
July 27, 2021

Noodle love: Adapting global flavours | Hindustan Times

Be it Japanese ramen served in spicy broth or Korean ramyun, these international delicacies have found a place in hearts of foodies here The content that we consume for entertainment…
BakeryFlavour trends
July 27, 2021

Cookie dough and pink gin cake among sweet product launches | British Baker

Source: CSM Ingredients Finsbury Food Group, Pleesecakes, Doughlicious and CSM Ingredients have unveiled an array of NPD to tempt shoppers, food-to-go retailers and producers of sweet baked goods this summer.…
Flavour trends
July 27, 2021

Little Moons Is Selling ‘Fish And Chips’ Mochi | Tyla

Little Moons is giving their popular mochi balls a traditional British summertime twist with a brand new fish and chips flavour - and people don't know what to make of it. The new…
Flavour trendsSnack
July 27, 2021

Lay’s potato chips are now available in the most craveable flavor mash-up | Foodsided

New Lay's potato chip flavors, photo provided by Lays What can make Lay’s potato chips even tastier? Bringing snack flavor mash-ups to the bowl, of course. When you cannot decide…
ConfectioneryFlavour trends
July 23, 2021

Skittles is celebrating its flight into space with limited Zero-G candy packs | Space

Mars, Incorporated has announced Zero-G Skittles, a new limited edition variety of the chewy fruit-flavored candies, in celebration of its recent flight with Jeff Bezos into space. (Image credit: Mars, Incorporated)…
DairyFlavour trends
July 23, 2021

Ice Cream from Gimmick to Rapture | The New Yorker

At Caffè Panna, Hallie Meyer uses cream, or panna, imported from Piemonte, Italy, in rotating ice-cream flavors such as Cookies ’n Panna (an Oreo-infused base with Oreo brittle) and Somebody…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 23, 2021

Didsbury gin pink gin launch | Good Housekeeping

DIDSBURY GIN With the summer weather set to stay, there's nothing quite like unwinding with a G&T in the garden. We're always looking out for new gins to try, especially flavoured…
DairyEthnic, International & fusionFlavour trends
July 23, 2021

Ice cream is becoming hugely popular in China, as shops experiment | PRI

Various ice cream flavors — with Shanghai scallion noodle featured in the middle — which are a part of China's booming ice cream industry. Rebecca Kanthor/The World Ice cream is…
ChocolateConfectioneryFlavour trends
July 22, 2021

Mars Wrigley UK reveals Maltesers Orange Buttons | Convenience Store

Source: Mars Wrigley UK The orange flavour trend has taken the chocolate category by storm and now Mars Wrigley UK is getting in on the action with Maltesers Orange Buttons. The…
CanadaDairyFlavour trends
July 22, 2021

Turkish delight and blood orange among flavours on offer at new ice cream parlour  | East Anglian Daily Times

Ugur Vata owner of the Galley in Woodbridge has just opened a new ice cream parlour on Market Hill - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND One new Woodbridge business has been making the…
CanadaDairyFlavour trends
July 22, 2021

30 Years Restaurant Experience Brings the City’s Newest Ice Cream Spot | View The Vibe

When you think of ice cream what comes to mind? Is it going out with your friends on a hot summer day? Or does it take you back to your…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 22, 2021

Viveau unveils new flavour and new packaging | SaltWire

Viveau, the Nova Scotia producer of drinks made from mineral water and local fruit, is introducing new packaging and a new flavour. Nova Scotia beverage company Viveau is now packaging…
DairyFlavour trends
July 22, 2021

Slideshow: Ice cream innovators introduce unconventional flavors | Food Business News

Source: Adobe Stock, Milk Bar, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Van Leeuwen, Post Holdings, Inc. KANSAS CITY — Emerging and established brands are bringing new flavors to the ice cream category,…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 22, 2021

Coffee Mate Bringing Back Pumpkin Spice Creamer, Launching 2 New Flavors Next Month | Comicbook

As much as we may hate to admit it, the days are slowly getting shorter and that means fall will be here before we know it and with it, all…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 22, 2021

The Taste of Summer, Now in Canned Form | The New York Times

From left: Tip Top Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Negroni; Zuzu Passion Fruit; Something & Nothing Yuzu Seltzer; Haus Bitter Clove; and Kin Spritz Rising Flow.Credit...Photo by David Chow. Styled by…
BeerBeverage trendsCanadaFlavour trends
July 21, 2021

Field House Brewing Releasing Two New Flavours of Beer Spritz | Canadian Beer News

ABBOTSFORD, BC – Field House Brewing has announced release details for two new flavours in its Beer Spritz series of “fun and refreshing” fruit beers. Beer Spritz Peach + Passionfruit (5% abv) and Beer Spritz Blackberry +…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 21, 2021

‘Creamy lemonade’ trend is taking over TikTok: Try the recipe | Yahoo

It’s lemonade season, but this year, people are making it creamy. TikTok’s latest drink trend is putting a small textural twist on the classic citrus beverage, and it has attracted more than 15.9…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 21, 2021

Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey debuts in UK | FoodBev Media

UK spirit distributor Hi-Spirits has rolled out a peanut butter flavoured whiskey liqueur to the market: Sheep Dog Peanut Butter. Previously available in the US, the beverage has been launched…
ChocolateFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Share a BUBBLY break with KitKat Aero Chunky | Convenience & Impulse Retailing

The team at KitKat has brought together two Australian favourites to launch the latest in its multi-sensory filled range, the KitKat Aero Chunky. KitKat Aero Chunky features three layers of…
Beverage trendsCoffee and TeaEthnic, International & fusionFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Pandan Latte Recipe: Why the Southeast Asian Flavor Is Popular in Coffee | Thrillist

PHOTO COURTESY OF MADAME VO; DESIGN BY GRACE HAN FOR THRILLIST Pandan is one of my favorite flavors of all time. It was the flavor of birthday cake my mom…
DairyFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Yoplait Introduces New Skittles Yogurt in Two New Flavors | Kiss951

Yoplait and Skittles A new sweet treat is coming your way. Yoplait has unveiled Skittles yogurt. It comes in two flavors: one with just good old original Skittles; the other with Wild…
Ethnic, International & fusionFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

City flavours | Macau Business

The third generation of a time-honoured local brand of concentrated flavoured syrups tries to breathe new life into the family business and bring distinctive tastes from Macau to across the…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

An Icy Twist for a Sizzling Summer – Popular Frozen Party Cocktail, Cooloo®, Introduces Limited-Release Seasonal Variety Pack

Cooloo®(https://www.Cooloo™.com/) unveiled a new variety pack containing four limited-time flavors to help sweeten the summer party season. In addition to its original drinks, the newest Cooloo® pops represent a refreshing…
BakeryFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Krispy Kreme’s Has New Carnival Donuts | Delish

Last summer, tons of carnivals and state fairs were cancelled due to safety concerns related to the pandemic. Now, as carnivals are back in business for the summer, the flavors…
BakeryFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Whole Foods announces newest ice cream flavor | Food Business News

Photo: Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Market asked consumers to help develop its newest ice cream flavor. Consumers chose from four new flavors: Frosted Animal Cookies, Midnight Double Feature Trail…
Flavour trendsSnack
July 20, 2021

Cheez-It Snap’d Adds New Smoked Bacon & Cheddar, And New Parmesan Ranch Flavors | Chew Boom

Cheez-It Snap’d Adds New Smoked Bacon & Cheddar, And New Parmesan Ranch Flavors Snack brand Cheez-It expands its lineup of Snap’d crispy baked crackers with the introdiction of two new flavors: Cheez-It Snap’d Smoked Bacon…
DairyFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Go-Gurt wants us to solve the mystery of these new flavors | Guilty Eats

We love Yoplait yogurts. And we love Go-Gurt! But when we get a chance to try mystery flavors, we are all over that, because we love a good mystery. That’s…
CanadaDairyFlavourFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Sweet samples from the summer ice cream scene on CBC | CBC Archives

Ice cream cones from the London Ice Cream Co. that are still "real" ice cream with all dairy products and no oil products, at their retail location in London, Ontario,…
Flavour trendsSnack
July 20, 2021

Taste test: Find out what we thought about this new ‘flavor wrapped’ popcorn | AJC

Products from Opopop Popcorn. Trying to beat the heat by Netflixing inside? You’ll need some snacks to keep you company while you watch. Enter new popcorn line Opopop, which debuted…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 20, 2021

Introducing VOSA: The Ultimate Alternative to Malt-Based Hard Seltzer | Markets Insider

VOSA Spirits, LLC was created to change consumers' drinking habits. Brought to life by a team of people with a diverse set of skills and expertise who sought to raise…
BakeryFlavour trends
July 19, 2021

Toll House New Flavors 2021: Which New Cookies are Coming This Fall? | Thrillist

COURTESY OF NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Up your cookie game just in time for cozy season. Summer is nowhere near over, but the geniuses at Nestle Toll House are looking ahead.…
Flavour trends
July 19, 2021

Why marketers love mashups, from mac ‘n’ cheese ice cream to baked bean smoothies | Fast Company

It’s part of a marketing trend that uses unexpected partnerships to gain your attention—and it’s working. There are some product combinations that just go together naturally. Peanut butter and jelly.…
DairyFlavour trends
July 19, 2021

Papa Diddi’s offers new silvanas ice cream flavor | Rappler

Papa Diddi's Instagram The smooth, creamy ice cream is made with Dumaguete's famous meringue cookie and is exclusive to Papa Diddi's Pint Club subscribers only Local artisanal ice cream brand…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 19, 2021

Fans of hard seltzer are finding lots to love in new flavors flowing from Maine’s craft breweries | Portland Press Herald

Ian Goering, head of production at Apres in Portland, draws a glass of hard seltzer from a tap. Hard seltzers are here, there and everywhere in Maine lately. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer…
ChocolateFlavour trends
July 19, 2021

KitKat Chunky launches limited edition Salted Caramel Popcorn variety | Surrey Live

The 42g limited edition bars (RRP 70p) will be available in a wide range of major UK retailers from August 2. KitKat has announced the latest special edition variety to…
DairyFlavour trends
July 14, 2021

Lobster Roll Ice Cream, Anyone? These NJ Creameries Go All Out With Flavors | Tap Into

The 202FUN! at WooHoo Ice Cream in Beach Haven: Fruity Pebbles ice cream with doughnuts, birthday cake cookie dough and rainbow sprinkles.WooHoo Ice Cream NEW JERSEY — Ice cream is…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
July 14, 2021

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is rebranded with new taste, design | NY Daily News

Coke Zero has a new look. (Coca Cola) Coke Zero announced the launch of a new recipe and new packaging for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar on Tuesday. The company said the revamped…
DairyFlavourFlavour trendsInteresting
July 14, 2021

These Are the Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors in Each State | Travel + Leisure

Vanilla may be the most popular ice cream flavor in America, but those looking to branch out are filling their carts with rocky road, green tea, coffee, and birthday cake,…