Developing new products is often times like jumping on the Struggle Bus. How do you break your mind from the status quo to innovate a new product? What hasn’t already been launched?! But take a step back and take in inspiration from other grocery aisles: a flavor mashup. Remember the chicken and waffle boom? Who says savory flavors can’t be in a cookie? WHO SAYS that yogurt can’t taste like a Bloody Mary? The sweet/savory combination is so successful in sauces! It’s all just a matter of how you push the boundaries…

Everyone knows the classic pairings: peanut butter and jelly, strawberries and cream, mint and chocolate. But I’ve been keeping my eye on products taking it one step further. You’ve probably seen these products and thought, “Oh, neat – they made a cookie taste like a beverage” or you’ve noticed your favorite childhood brands appear in ways you’ve never seen them before. It’s no secret consumers gravitate towards what they’re familiar with, but they are always asking “What’s new?” And a mashup can satisfy both the familiar and the new!

Going Beyond Co-branding

It’s more than adding Reese’s Pieces into a Hershey chocolate bar. When it feels like you’ve exhausted all options in a mature category, like candy or cookies, you have to look outside the category for inspiration.

This is how we end up with products like fruit punch and root beer float Oreos. Oreo is a great example of a brand not afraid to put out a flavor for shock value and to really push inspiration beyond traditional sweet flavors for cookie line extensions and limited time offers. How are you inspired by Oreo?

In the bakery and dessert space, a mashup comes from the idea of putting two desserts together (a brookie cheesecake, anyone?) or pairing a beverage with a dessert (like a pina colada cookie sandwich).

Looking for some inspiration? Dive in to the goodness analyzed by Grubhub as America’s favorite desserts… I’m curious about in the West, can one combine a churro with a blondie brownie in the yogurt space? Or the cookie space? Or the pita chip space? I’m interested…

Mashing Up More than Cocktails

Beverage mashups often come from either dessert profiles or from other beverage types. This creates products like chocolate stout beers, s’mores milkshakes, or green tea lattes.

On-the-rise ‘hybrid beverages’, are a fancy name for exactly what I’m talking about! Consumers are no longer satisfied with just tea, juice, or water. Products like Spindrift are a testament to this consumer demand, combining sparkling water with juice. I’ve also been seeing products like juice/tea hybrids, coconut water/juice hybrids, coffee/tea hybrids, and more.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, look for flavor mashup inspiration to jump from one aisle to the next!

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