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.
Dos Equis expands lineup, targets low-alcohol consumers
The brand known for its signature Lime & Salt lager is debuting new products in its ready-to-drink lineup.
Dos Equis Lime & Salt Zero contains less than 0.5% ABV. Dos Equis Michelada is a beer that takes inspiration from the classic Mexican cocktail with flavors of tomato, lime, spice and salt with a 4.1% ABV. And Dos Equis Mango Margarita, an RTD cocktail, blends blanco tequila from Jalisco, Mexico with mango juice, with a 10% ABV.
The brand said the summer season provided the opportunity to craft new beverages.
“As we continue to grow the Dos Equis portfolio, we are taking a look at what our customers are choosing to drink and creating products inspired by those choices,” said Ligia Patrocinio, senior brand director for Dos Equis and Heineken USA.
After a period of declining beer sales, and in response to the rise of cocktails and hard seltzer in the beverage category, Dos Equis accelerated innovation within its portfolio, launching products like its RTD margarita and Ranch Water Hard Seltzer, inspired by the Texas cocktail. These new launches further expand the company’s reach into new categories.
The low-alcohol beer follows continued interest in no- and low-alcohol options as some consumers choose to imbibe less. The category hit $11 billion in sales in 2022, and IWSR analysts anticipate growth to continue in the coming years as moderation increases.
In a Morning Consult report released this month tracking the rise of alcohol moderation as a trend on social media, nearly half of drinkers said they made an effort to drink less often recently, including 65% of Gen Z respondents. Improving physical health and avoiding “hangxiety” — the stress that accompanies a bad hangover — were listed as primary reasons consumers drink alcohol less.
— Chris Casey
Flipz flips for new State Fair-themed pretzels
Flipz is giving the pretzel a twist.
The brand is celebrating state fair snacks by bringing them into pretzels with two flavors popular at concession stands: Flipz State Fair Churros and Flipz State Fair Strawberry Shortcake.
“We are all about bringing fun and flavor to our fans wherever they are,” Simge Weinling-Dogrular, head of marketing at pladis Americas, said in a statement. “The state fair is such an exciting staple moment of the summer season, and we were inspired by that energy.”
The amusement park-inspired treats are available through September at select retailers, including Albertsons, CVS and Kroger.
Pladis Americas is no stranger to sweet treats, with a portfolio that includes DeMet’s Turtles. It also distributes Godiva chocolates exclusively for consumer-packaged goods channels around the world. It’s now bringing that sweet insight to a brand better known for its salty offerings.
Once associated with bars, airlines or parties, the pretzel is seeing its profile rise in the $106 billion crowded snacking category in the United States thanks to new bolder flavors and shapes.
The North America pretzel market size is expected to reach $2.1 billion in 2028 from $1.7 billion last year, a compound annual growth rate of 3.9%, according to data from imarc.
Hershey, which owns the Dot’s brand, has played a big part in the rejuvenation of the category with its bold flavors such as Southwest and Honey Mustard. The snacking giant also introduced its own pretzel that combines sweet and salty with a cinnamon and sugar variety. And Utz Brands announced last fall it’s bringing its Zapp’s potato chip brand into the fast-growing pretzel category.
— Christopher Doering
Folk Revival steals a breakfast tip from the squirrels
New instant hot breakfast cereal brand Folk Revival has an ingredient that some could call a masterstr-oak in upcycling: acorns.
Folk Revival’s microwaveable hot cereal cups are low carb, vegan, keto friendly and contain 20 grams of protein in a serving. They come in four varieties: Original, Maple Walnut, Chai Almond and Blueberry Almond. Their ingredients lists include hemp protein flour, hemp hearts, pumpkin and flax seeds and acorn flour.
Founder and CEO David Cantor, a natural and organic CPG brand veteran who previously led marketing, innovation and R&D for Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, said even though it’s unusual to find a CPG brand that uses acorns as an ingredient, the distinctive nuts that fall from oak trees aren’t a completely foreign thing for people to eat.
“Acorns have been consumed by people for millennia and are consumed around the world today,” he said in a release. “They have profound environmental and health benefits and are a largely untapped resource right under our feet. We are excited to introduce acorns to a wider audience in North America, share their benefits, and tell their story.”
Part of Folk Revival’s brand appeal is its “wildcrafted” ingredients — as untouched as possible by the farming chemicals and techniques that are common in today’s commodity ingredients. The company’s blog says their acorns are “harvested “wild-ish,” from bushes and trees that are managed by farmers in their wild state,” and literally the same as the acorns that would be collected by anyone from a forest floor.
While acorns have been a staple food for some Native American tribes, they aren’t commonly found in today’s CPG options. Some people have started researching how to bring the distinctive nuts that fall from oak trees to the food system, but it hasn’t yet become a big business.
However, acorns are plentiful and nutritious. According to the Massachusetts Audubon Society, a huge oak tree can drop up to 10,000 acorns in a single season. Acorns are high in protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and niacin.
— Megan Poinski