Leftovers is our look at some of the product ideas popping up everywhere. Some are intriguing, some sound amazing, and some are the kind of ideas we would never dream of. We can’t write about everything that’s thrown at us, so here are some leftovers plucked from our inboxes.
Salt & Straw brings recycling to ice cream
The recycled food sector has been largely consisting of snack products such as crackers and plantain chipsbut now consumers can help solve the problem of food waste through a popular dessert.
Specialty ice cream maker Salt & Straw has launched its Upcycled Food series of ice creams, made with ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Flavors include day-old bread pudding and chocolate ganache, cocoa pulp and chocolate stracciatella ice cream, lemon curd and buttermilk, and vegan options, salted caramel and okara cupcakes and malted chocolate barley milk.
Each item is Certified Upcycled by the Upcycled Food Association, and Salt & Straw said it was able to repurpose 38,000 pounds of food waste to make the products. Each of the flavors was developed with a unique recycled food company. The Malted Chocolate & Barley flavor was made in collaboration with AB InBev’s EverGrain, which reuses spent grain from beer production.
Salt & Straw co-founder Tyler Malek told Food Dive that the Oregon-based company has been aiming to incorporate food waste into ice cream products since 2017. Through a partnership with the Upcycled Food Association, it has been in contact with companies across the country that are also certified to develop unique flavors from the recycled ingredients that were available. The flavors they chose reflect a variety of foods that were diverted, Malek said.
“I wanted to make sure that we had a relatively cohesive story that talked about the different aspects of the food chain,” Malek said. “We had to work with auditors and we had a full inspection to prove that these ingredients are replacing virgin ingredients.”
The flavors are available at all 32 Salt & Straw locations across the country and on their website. Malek said that before the summer, when millions of people will visit its stores, the new product line gives the company an opportunity to spread the recycling message.
The line of recycled desserts follows other company launches that aimed to push the boundaries of ice cream. Last summer, Salt & Straw debuted a selection of vegetable-based ice cream flavorsincluding carrot, spinach, green fennel, corn, and red chilies.
— chris casey
Color-changing marshmallows put the magic in Lucky Charms
The latest twist on General Mills’ Lucky Charms takes the cereal’s “magically delicious” advertising slogan to the next level.
Lucky charms cereals will hit the shelves this summer I have added some large white marshmallows. Once the marshmallows touch the milk, they change color and transform into pink or yellow dragon heads, green eggs, or pink and yellow flames.
According to General Mills, the new marshmallows pay homage to a dragon that saved the brand’s mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun, from hungry children trying to get a bowl of cereal.
“Using our brand’s first marshmallow reveal technology, we are bringing to life the magic associated with Lucky charms,” Mindy Murray, General Mills senior manager of marketing communications, said in a statement.
While kids may not be as keen on the made-for-commercial backstory, the Lucky Charms marshmallows are likely to still be a draw. The cereal was the first to include marshmallows. when it was released in 1964and the crunchy, sweet bits have become a favorite addition to many breakfast bowls over the years.
Lucky Charms is the latest cereal to use post-milk transformation to wow younger consumers. Kellogg recently released iced cereal, which gives off a cooling sensation after pouring the milk. And last year, for winter break, Kellogg did a Elf on the Cereal Shelf intended to evoke the mouthfeel to bite a snowball.
But marshmallows have always been the star of Lucky Charms cereal. The colorful crunchy bits have led the brand to products including Baked goods, hot chocolateoats and real full size marshmallows. A bit of real magic can help the brand’s lucky streak continue.
CPK is poured into restaurant-style salad dressing
While it is best known for its pizza, California Pizza Kitchen is entering the retail world of salad dressings with a new line of dressings.
the five dressings — Thai, Caesar, Ranch, Italian and BBQ Ranch — they are either inspired by the salads the pizza chain sells or would go well with the wings, pizza, and other foods it sells.
California Pizza Kitchen salad dressings are available at grocery stores nationwide, including Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway and Food Lion for a suggested price of $4.49. The dressings were created with Litehouse, a manufacturer of refrigerated salad dressings, dressings, sauces, cheese, and other packaged products.
“We both recognized that the non-perishable dressing category had gotten a bit boring and we were excited to inject some fun and ‘California creativity’ from CPK: flavors reinvented, restaurant-quality fresh taste, and confidence to make things differently,” Scott Hargrove, CPK Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, he said in a statement.
The salad dressing space was valued at $3.3 billion in 2022, according to data from IbisWorld. The sector fell 0.4% on average between 2017 and 2022.
California Pizza Kitchen, like many of its restaurant competitors, is no stranger to getting its products onto store shelves to increase the company’s presence in other channels. Global food giant Nestle acquired the rights to sell the restaurant’s frozen pizzas in 2010.
Recently, Conagra Brands partnered with Wendy’s to bring the restaurant chain’s popular chili to the table via a canned offering. Kraft Heinz is among the largest food companies leveraging restaurant space through a series of partnerships with Taco Bell, Benihana and TGI Fridays.
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