Savory Social Media Listening
Listening Dates: October 1st – December 31st
Imagine all the snacks
In an effort to provide more nutritious, kid-friendly, on-the-go snacks, PepsiCo has launched a new line called Imagine. The line currently consists of Cheese Stars and Yogurt Crisps, both of which are good sources of protein and calcium and do not contain any artificial colors or flavors. Imagine Cheese Stars are made with real cheese and come in parmesan and white cheddar flavors. Imagine Yogurt Crisps are made with real fruit and yogurt and are available in mixed berry and apple cinnamon flavors. What other products will they introduce to the line? Imagine the possibilities!
Chip flavors to savor
The chip industry continues to push the flavor envelope. Last year, Pringles offered an entire lineup of eight Thanksgiving-inspired flavors. The turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie flavors were obviously a big hit, because they were re-released this year for a limited time – a very limited time! The chips sold out in under an hour. Due to popular demand, Pringles auctioned off a pack on eBay for Giving Tuesday.
Also, Japanese snack company Koikeya has introduced a new line of “strong” potato chips which claim to pack more flavor in each chip. One new flavor, hot chili cheese, is said to mix the heat of a raw chili pepper and the funkiness of a mild blue cheese for a truly unique flavor experience.
Finally, Kettle Brand created a Tailgating Sampler Pack, which includes the following flavors: Buffalo Bleu, Spicy Queso, Backyard Barbeque, and Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary chips incorporate all the flavor of the classic cocktail without any of the alcohol. As a bonus, they are gluten-free and made without any artificial ingredients.
West Coast-based Foster Farms recently introduced their first venture into the refrigerated, single-serve snack space with new Bold Bites chicken snacks. These grab-and-go packs contain fully cooked, ready-to-eat chicken breast pieces, and come in several globally-inspired flavors – Cajun, Chile Verde, Korean BBQ, Caribbean Jerk, and Parmesan Garlic. Free of hormones, artificial colors and flavors, and nitrates, and boasting 15g of protein in each serving, Bold Bites are positioned as a quick and easy way to add bold flavor and protein to your diet, whether on-the-go or as an addition to salads, wraps, and tacos. With meat snacks being one of the fastest-growing snack food categories and consumers’ desire for unique flavors and healthy options in their snacks, this bold new offering should be a hit!
McDonald’s continues to introduce new flavor combinations to its Signature Crafted Recipes line of sandwiches, which are made-to-order on artisan rolls and available with chicken or beef. After the success of this summer’s Bacon Smokehouse sandwich, the fast food chain released the updated Mushroom & Swiss burger in December. This fresh take on last year’s version comes topped with seasoned mushrooms, creamy bistro aioli, Swiss cheese, and the same crispy onion strings diners enjoyed on the Bacon Smokehouse. While execution and presentation don’t always live up to expectations, the flavor of this new offering seems to have gotten rave reviews from customers.
C’est la Sous Vide
Consumers are getting more savvy in the kitchen and are learning to use the tools of the pros. Sous vide is a French term which means “under vacuum” and is a cooking technique that involves cooking vacuum-sealed foods in a heated water bath for extended times. The goal of sous vide is to cook food evenly from inside to outside and to retain moisture. As a result the food is tender and flavorful and sous vide cookers were at the top of many Christmas gift lists. Aside from cooking the perfect steak, sous vide cookers can also be used to create flavor infused oils and aromatic spirits.
Big news from The Little Potato Company
The Little Potato Company is embracing flavor and convenience with its Microwave Ready and Oven|Grill Ready Kits. Both kits include a seasoning pack and one pound of pre-washed creamer potatoes that do not require peeling. The Microwave Ready potatoes are packaged in a microwave-safe, BPA-free container, and current flavors include garlic parsley, savory herb and tomato basil. The Oven|Grill Ready potatoes are packaged in a roasting tray, and current flavors include garlic herb, onion and chive, and roasted red pepper and onion. According to the package, the Microwave Ready potatoes are ready in 5 minutes, and the Oven|Grill Ready potatoes are ready in 30 minutes. Now that is flavor in a flash!
Dehydrated, but Gaining Strength?
Dehydrated foods are expected to make gains in 2019 as food producers see the need to expand offerings with longer windows of viable consumption. Dehydration – which is defined by the USDA as food whose content is no more than 2.5% water – decreases the risk of contamination and spoilage, keeping foods viable for a longer period of time. Additionally, the desire to have more seasonal foods available year-round is helping drive the dehydration interest. Dehydrated meats, followed by dairy products, are expected to see the largest gains in market shares of dehydrated foods. General Mills and Kraft Foods, among others, are expected to be major players in the U.S. dehydrated food market.
Grainy Labeling Wholly Refined
Two major stakeholders are calling on the FDA to clarify product labeling for foods containing grains, because consumers currently are unclear as to the percentage or per serving values of whole grain versus refined grains. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) along with consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) feel that consumers are being deceived by the labeling of whole grain-containing products and want the FDA to require labeling addressing the breakout of whole and refined grains in a serving, as well as regulate the naming of whole grain-containing foods. The FDA set out guidelines initially in 2006, but never finalized them. CSPI and AND are now pushing for those labeling conventions to be codified.
Content generated by monitoring and mining online social media channels for unsolicited consumer-generated discussions of categories, brands, and flavors. It’s purpose – to keep Givaudan and its partner clients on the forefront of emerging marketplace trends.