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.
Whozeewhatzit? It’s a new candy bar with a crowd-sourced name
Candy innovation often focuses on ingredients, formats or packaging, but the newest addition to Hershey’s Whatchamacallit brand adds naming conventions, too.
Whozeewhatzit — a layer of peanut butter creme with rice crisps, covered in chocolate — is the Whatchamacallit brand’s first new bar in a decade. Hershey chose the name from more than 43,000 entries in a consumer contest it launched last year. The winner got not only the glory of having her name idea on a consumer packaged good, but also $5,000 and a year’s supply of the new bars.
“The new Whozeewhatzit bar has all the wacky, crazy, chew-tastic perks that Whatchamacallit fans love, plus a few more,” Jenna Hamm, brand manager for Whatchamacallit, said in a press release. “There were lots of great submissions but none that captured the bar’s irresistible characteristics while still paying homage to the beloved Whatchamacallit brand quite like the name Whozeewhatzit.”
The bars will be available in 1.5-ounce standard or 3-ounce king sizes at retailers nationwide this month.
Dipping into the fan base for a jolt of creativity has been a popular strategy by candy and snack companies in recent years. In December, Mondelez’s Oreo brand chose its gingerbread variety after asking its Twitter followers to vote for their favorite seasonal idea. Mars’ M&M’s brand has repeatedly polled consumers in its annual flavor vote to pick the next limited-time-only flavor. Past winners have included Crunchy Mint and Coffee Nut.
Hershey’s harnessing of consumers’ creativity in picking a brand name is a bigger commitment. Whozeewhatzit is positioned as a permanent addition to the candy company’s portfolio. However, Whozeewhatzit’s fans would do well to heed the cautionary tale of Thingamajig, another Hershey confection with a peanut butter, chocolate and crisp combination. The company introduced it in 2009 as a limited edition companion to Whatchamacallit. By 2012, it disappeared from store shelves.
— Samantha Oller
Yabba dabba dessert: Pebbles launches into ice cream
Even though it never happened in the beloved Bedrock-based cartoon, a new frozen treat is putting the Flintstones in the ice age.
Post Consumer Brands is bringing its Pebbles cereal to ice cream, with Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles varieties that sound like a Saturday morning breakfast bowl transformed into a cold dessert. The Fruity Pebbles flavor has candy-coated bits of the colorful cereal in a slightly fruity, cereal-milk ice cream with fruit-flavored swirls. The Cocoa Pebbles flavor is similar, featuring the chocolate variety of cereal in chocolate and cereal-milk flavored ice cream. Both ice creams are low-fat, less-calorie treats, according to Post. They have a third fewer calories and half the fat of regular ice cream.
If it feels like Pebbles cereal is popping up everywhere nowadays, that’s because it is. The sweet breakfast staple is turning 50 this year, and Post is using many product tie-ins to celebrate. There are Pebbles-flavored International Delight creamers, Pebbles protein powder from Dymatize, a Pebbles candy bar and a Birthday Cake Pebbles cereal coming to shelves sometime this year. And since it’s just February, the new products are likely to keep on coming.
Product tie-ins are actually the perfect way to celebrate a half century of Pebbles cereal, which was the very first cereal to be born out of a licensing agreement. The unique-at-the-time agreement between Post and the former Hanna-Barbera created a cereal named after Fred and Wilma Flintstone’s daughter that had a direct marketing tie-in with the “modern Stone-Age family.” When the cereal debuted in 1971, “The Flintstones” was in syndication and “The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show,” which showed the toddlers as prehistoric high school teenagers, debuted.
In the 50 years since, Pebbles has outlasted several cartoon character-themed cereals through its distinct taste and appearance and more classical spokes-characters. Television shows and movies based on “The Flintstones” were made through the 1990s, although today’s children may be more familiar with Pebbles as a cereal than a cartoon character. The cereal’s sales have remained strong, with Pebbles being a constant sales growth driver for Post.
And although the sweet cereal’s target audience may still be the cartoon-loving set, these new products make it clear that Post hasn’t forgotten its first fans. After all, how many kids would choose a light ice cream or use coffee creamer or protein powder?
— Megan Poinski
Forget hard seltzer. Mango is suddenly all the rage
As beer companies tinker with new flavor offerings to grab the consumer’s attention, could mango suddenly be the new trendy ingredient?
D.G. Yuengling & Son, America’s oldest brewery, is launching Yuengling Raging Eagle Mango Beer, a pilsner made with natural mango. The new offering, which will initially be available in tall 24-ounce cans, is the latest from the iconic brewer whose recent rollouts include a low-carb beer called Flight and a chocolate porter created with Hershey.
“We saw an opportunity to leverage our six generations of brewing expertise to create a refreshing mango beer that appeals to adventurous drinkers and adds a bold new brand to our portfolio of iconic beers,” Jen Yuengling, 6th generation brewer at Yuengling, said in a statement.
Raging Eagle is the latest product inspired by consumer feedback, Yuengling said, and beer drinkers can expect more “bigger and bolder innovation” from the brewery.
Angry Orchard, the nation’s leading hard cider maker, also this week said it is dabbling in mango with the launch of Angry Orchard Peach Mango and Angry Orchard Strawberry. Fruit ciders are the fastest growing style within the cider category, accounting for 86% of growth in 2020, according to the Boston Beer-owned brand.
The company said as drinkers gravitate to full-flavored options within adult beverages, with fruit flavors leading the shift, Angry Orchard will bring flavor news and variety to the cider space.
Mango is not new to the alcohol space but it suddenly seems to have picked up momentum. Golden Road introduced Mango Cart inspired by the iconic fruit cart vendors of Los Angeles before branching out into mango and melon. Molson Coors’ Blue Moon has Mango Wheat and Modelo turned it up a notch with its Chelada Mango y Chile.
— Christopher Doering