Sweet Goods & Dairy Social Media Listening
Listening Dates: October 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019
Birthday Cake Bonanza
While traditional birthday cakes come in all shapes and sizes, usually in flavors and forms that match the preferences of the honoree, brands as of late have sought to capitalize on the potential of a “universal” birthday cake flavor that evokes a certain kind of sweetness which falls somewhere in the middle of the vanilla/chocolate spectrum.
Wendy’s, in honor of its own 50th birthday, has released a new birthday cake Frosty – the first new variety since the vanilla Frosty debuted in 2006. The flavor is reported to build on the success of the vanilla Frosty by adding “a touch of something special” – something akin to the yellow cake and sprinkles combination that most accurately represents what people think of when they think of birthday cake. They also debuted a similar Birthday Cake Sundae, which adds pieces of cookie and sprinkles into the mix.
Kit Kat also plans to release its own variety of birthday cake candy bars. The limited-edition flavor comes in a white wrapper that matches the color of the candy bar contained within. Consumers can expect to find “crisp wafers in birthday cake flavored white creme with sprinkles,” and aims to deliver the experience of, as one reviewer put it, “eating spoonfuls of cake frosting right out of the jar.” These crunchy bars are set to debut sometime in 2020, so be ready to “break yourself off a piece.”
UK-based Skinny Food Co, a relatively new player in the flavor market, has added a birthday cake flavor to its growing lineup of zero calorie syrups. As of right now, this flavor, as well as Skinny Food Co’s other syrups, are only available in England, so you’ll have to get it shipped across the pond for the time being.
Wild Anticipation Builds for Vegan Cheese
Early in 2019, California based fermented foods company, wildbrine, debuted a line of plant-based cheeses in select locations and the fervor has only grown in response. The cheese is fermented from a cashew-base and undergoes a lactic acid culturing process that produces a similar taste and texture to dairy-based cheese. Currently, there are three flavors of brie alternatives available: Shiitake Shakeup, Beet Blush, and Neo Classic. So whether you are looking for the savory, earthy palate of shiitake mushrooms, the elusive sweetness of beets, or the classic creamy, mild, and buttery flavors of a traditional brie, wildbrine has you covered. These plant-based cheeses are in very limited release, so if you happen upon them while out shopping, don’t hesitate to give them a try!
Sippin’ on Gin and Yogurt
Though this unique flavor profile might seem bizarre to many, 2019 saw a ton of movement in the non-alcoholic beverage space. Big brands and local watering holes began offering full-flavored mocktails and sparkling water and kombucha expanded into flavor categories more often seen on the drink menu. And now Müller has taken this trend to new places with their latest drink-inspired yogurt flavor: Gin and Tonic. This new offering releases in Ireland just before the end of the year in both a classic Gin & Tonic version and a Pink Gin & Elderflower flavor. This healthy take on alcohol is another example of how brands are trying to give consumers a way to be a part of a moment or feeling without breaking their New Year’s resolutions.
Dessert, It’s What’s for Breakfast!
Growing buzz around new cereal flavor, Toasted Coconut, from Cheerios indicates the growing trend towards semi-sweet indulgences that took winter 2019 by storm. General Mills made a sugary splash with new Hershey Kisses cereal – touted among consumers for it’s mixing potential and unsurprising popularity with kids, this cereal has gotten a ton of attention online. YouTuber Tami Dunn said, “It tastes like cocoa but it’s not bitter or anything like that…you could definitely eat that by itself.”
The next cereal on General Mills’ sugar-filled line-up is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros – though many reviews say it’s basically just original Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the shape of a churro, we have to wonder if more large brands will follow suit – incorporating other international staples (like the churro) into their mainstream products. Jumping on the wave of dessert-meets-cereal collabs, Post Consumer brands partnered with Hostess to create Twinkies cereal. “Knowing that taste remains the No. 1 purchase driver of cereal, we conducted multiple consumer tests, and the new Twinkies Cereal delivered,” Josh Jans of Post Consumer Brands said of the cereal. And though the cereal does not include the signature cream filling, it does have the flavor down, says Jans.
We could not end this article without also mentioning Target’s store brand (Market Pantry) and their new ice-cream flavor, Cereal Bowl, described as cinnamon toast ice cream with cinnamon sugar shortbread pieces and a frosting swirl. Stay tuned as visions of sugar plum (cereals) dance through our heads.
Pour Some Sugar Cookie on Milk!
Market Pantry was quick to embrace your sweet tooth this holiday season, releasing Sugar Cookie and Chocolate Mint milk flavors to their stores in early November. While we all know non-dairy milk products have been pushing traditional dairy milk to the side for the past few decades, we also know that the holidays are a time to unwind, escape, and embrace your inner child. This is why we see big brands unveiling wildly sweet flavors just in time for people to put on some stretchy pants and wait for Santa. We think the man in red wouldn’t mind a sip of this particular flavor – pairing well with cookies (of course) but also cereal, brownies, or even apple pie. We hope you embraced every confectionery opportunity that found you over these past three months (we sure did). Now back to our kale smoothies until next holiday season!
A Monster New Development in Oat Milk
As health- and environmentally-conscious consumers continue to look for options to reduce their dairy intake, interest in dairy alternatives grows. A newer player in this area, oat milk is on the rise, showing up in coffee shops, ice creams, and now in an unlikely (but very well-received) combo with an energy drink! The new Java Monster Farmer’s Oats combines Monster’s signature energy blend with coffee and 100% dairy-free oatmilk with the flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla (basically an oatmeal cookie) to produce a creamy, delicious, energizing alternative to your morning latte for those looking to cut back on calories and dairy.