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.
Reese’s new chip off the old block
Reese’s has built its success on the chocolate and peanut butter mix packed into each circular cup, but now the iconic confection is turning to another popular salty snack for innovation.
The Hershey-owned brand is introducing its Reese’s Big Cup loaded with crispy potato chip bits that combine the consumer’s love of salty snacks with the salty/sweet trend infiltrating confections. The Reese’s Big Cup with Potato Chips will be available in a standard size for $1.49 and king size for $2.09.
“We see an opportunity for us to continue that evolution with the stuffed” Reese’s, said Jon Davis, sales vice president at Hershey. “It’s a fun platform that we’ll continue to innovate with.”
Peanut butter is consumed by around 297 million Americans, according to Statista. In 2019, peanut butter dollar sales in the U.S. totaled about $2.3 billion.
Reese’s is one of the most popular confectionery brands in the U.S., with sales topping $2.5 billion. Reese’s retail sales this year are up 12.8% through June 16, according to IRI.
While the mix of chocolate and peanut butter is by far the favorite, Hershey has been innovating the brand to keep it fresh and move it into more points of the day when it could be eaten by consumers.
For the first time in its more than 90-year history, Reese’s recently removed the chocolate coating and released a new version of the peanut butter cups entirely made from the protein-rich spread.
Last December, it launched Reese’s Snack Cakes, a soft-baked chocolate cake with peanut butter creme and covered in milk chocolate targeted at convenience stores shoppers as a pairing with their morning coffee. Hershey’s also has created an organic version of its peanut butter cup as part of a broader push to increase its portfolio of better-for-you confections.
— Christopher Doering
Kraft Heinz makes breakfast to go with Just Crack an Egg Omelet Rounds
As consumers return to the office after months of working from home, Kraft Heinz is offering up a way to take the breakfast omelet to go as part of a post-pandemic routine.
Just Crack an Egg Omelet Rounds cook up in about a minute in the microwave, and feature cage-free eggs and egg whites mixed in four flavor combinations: All American with uncured bacon and sharp cheddar cheese; Three meat with uncured bacon and ham, pork sausage and cheddar; Classic with uncured ham, red and green peppers, onion and cheddar; and Broccoli Cheddar. All are said to contain no artificial flavors, dyes or preservatives, and have 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving.
The refrigerated omelet rounds are available at grocery stores nationwide in single-serving packs of two for a suggested retail price of $3.49.
The new product offers a ready-made extension to the Just Crack an Egg line, which launched in 2018 with Scrambles, pre-portioned combinations of vegetables and Kraft Heinz’s Oscar Mayer meat, Kraft cheese and Ore-Ida potatoes. The consumer adds an egg to the cup and zaps it in the microwave for about two minutes for a quick breakfast.
The Just Crack an Egg Omelet Rounds speed up that prep time, and remove the complication of adding your own egg. The Kraft Heinz product also joins a line of egg-based breakfast options that have debuted over the past few months. They include Bob Evans Farms’ Omelet Rolls and Egg Bites, Vital Farms’ microwavable Egg Bites and a plant-based option with Eat Just’s sous vide egg bites. The products are designed to offer a quick, high-protein, portable choice for at home or on the go. With about two-thirds of current remote workers comfortable with returning to the office, according to a recent Morning Consult survey, that flexibility of eating occasions will be key to these products’ success.
— Samantha Oller
Kashi gets sweet on raisins
While cereals are getting sweeter and sweeter, adding more and more sugar, the newest offering from Kellogg’s Kashi brand is moving in the opposite direction.
Kashi is launching its first no sugar added cereal, Simply Raisin whole wheat biscuits. These spoon-sized filled shredded wheat pieces have California raisins on the inside, and a slight cinnamon flavor in the wheat on the outside. The cereal contains 7 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per serving, and is made with Certified Transitional wheat — meaning the farms that grow it are in the midst of the three-year process to become certified organic.
And while there is no added sugar or other sweetening ingredients, the cereal does have a sweetener: raisins.
It’s ironic that a raisin cereal is one of the first without sugar. While raisins are naturally sweet, raisin cereals tend to be loaded with added sugars. Kellogg’s Raisin Bran has a total of 17 grams of sugar per serving — 9 grams of that in added sugars, while Post’s Raisin Bran has 20 grams of sugar in a serving, with nine of those added. Looking at those cereals when dry, sugar bits can be seen in the wrinkles of the raisins.
Raisins are extremely sweet, with about 21 grams of naturally occurring sugar in a quarter cup-sized serving. The California Raisin Marketing Board has been working to promote the use of raisins as a sweetener, producing a white paper last month touting the nutritional and functional benefits of using raisin paste to replace refined sugar in cookies. The white paper concludes that a 100% swap can be made and still produce appealing cookies.
While Kashi’s offering of a no-added-sugar breakfast cereal is one of just a few on the shelves, it looks like a new spin on a popular 1980s cereal style of fruit-filled shredded wheat biscuits. This new Kashi cereal could be the beginning of more fruit-filled wheat offerings, but with less sugar than their counterparts 40 years ago.
— Megan Poinski