This is a recurring series of posts based on new products we find in the marketplace that are fun, different and FLAVORFUL!
Happy New Year, everyone! 2020 is coming out with a bang… or rather, insanely gray and gross weather. To kick the ‘winter blues’, let’s head into the store to check out all that is fun and new product-wise! Early February is actually one of the best times to head to the supermarket, because all your favorite food and beverage companies are launching new products. Lucky for you, I’ve gotten a head start, and filled my cart with some cool finds to whet your appetite.
Spoiler alert – you’re gonna see a LOT related to my 2020 trend prediction of Plant Based 2.0!
Based on my initial perusings, I’m noticing there is a seriously retro vibe going on. What’s old is really new. And companies are taking old favorites and creating new products with a twist.
Rice Pudding – But Not
Rice pudding is one of the oldest, most retro desserts around. I liken it to the pineapple and cottage cheese combo that was oh so popular when I was a little kiddo in the 80s. That said, Sun Tropics has gone and taken rice pudding and made it portable, using young coconut pulp and coconut milk. Yes, folks, it’s now gluten free and dairy free. Eat up!
I’m taking you guys WAAAY back for this one. Cracklins are thought to have originated in Mexico over 200 years ago after pork was introduced to the area from Spaniards. In essence, it’s quite modern and sustainable, because chicharrones (pork rind in Spanish) are a by-product / waste stream of eating pork. They moved North and became known as ‘cracklins’ in the deep South of the US.
Pork rinds made their way back into cool-ness in the late 80’s…even the NY Times wrote an article on them. However, Beanfields decided that vegans needed to enjoy this delicious and crunchy snack. They’ve come out with vegan cracklins made with navy beans among all things. You guys have got to try these – they are delish!
Warning though: they deliver a serious kick for those spice-averse peeps!
Breakfast Cereal for the Keto Crowd
Breakfast cereal is struggling; it’s no secret. This sluggish category has struggled to remain hip and on trend with the rest of the supermarket. Catalina Snacks and their new products are trying to buck this trend by introducing Keto cereal called Catalina Crunch. They are going after a profile similar to one of our fave cereals – from way back when – that has cinnamon and little French toast pieces. I gotta say, you really are devoted to Keto if you’re willing to pay almost $10 for a small bag of cereal. But some folks need to have their CTC (as we in the industry call this beloved cereal).
I looked at this and a few minutes later laughed. Remember the packets of instant noodles from the late 80’s – or your college days? Or even ramen packets (that have since become popular for mash-ups)? This is a fanci-fied and newer version. This version has bone broth, collagen, and MCT oil, touting over 20 grams of protein.
My colleague Allison and I were so-so on this. Maybe I would have liked this more if it was positioned as a snack (or something at an airport if one was really trying to eat healthy).
In a bind, I’d purchase it again.
Simply Gum has come out with a new flavor and ‘benefit’ for its gum – cleansing! The cleansing combo is made up of grapefruit and cayenne pepper. I love the idea that a gum could be cleansing, particularly as gum traditionally has not changed much over the years while consumers’ food and beverage habits have changed.
That said, this gum was NOT appetizing or enjoyable, in my opinion and the opinion of my colleagues. The gum pieces looked like rabbit food pellets, and the cayenne pepper burst was not ideal. Most everyone spit this out. In conclusion, points for originality in idea and also packaging, but not on the taste factor. In this case, what’s new is not necessary good.
What’s new in the beverage space?
I had seen Watermelon Water in the past (remember? What’s OLD is NEW) and as a chef, I had used in summer soups way long ago, but the sheer expansion of this item on shelves has been interesting to watch.
The version I picked up was watermelon plus blood orange. Not only was it a beautiful color, but it was delish! I recommend trying one of these items, as there are now about 7+ varieties in natural foods stores.
One of the oldest breakfast traditions around, oatmeal, has a new look and feel with GFB. It also has a sustainable and super convenient package. The old instant oatmeal packs really need to try this new product and take some tips from the super food ingredients (hemp seeds, flax, etc.) and also the natural sweetened dried fruit inside. Low in sugar, high in protein, and gluten free has me wanting to purchase this again, particularly if I’m on the road or at an airport with few healthy choices. I love this old item, dressed up in new packaging with a new flavor and feel. GFB for me!
Interested in some more new products on shelves? Check out some new versions of favorite brands.
Enjoy the grocery shopping!