Leftovers is our look at some of the product ideas popping up everywhere. Some are intriguing, some sound amazing, and some are the kind of ideas we would never dream of. We can’t write about everything suggested to us, so here are some leftovers from our inboxes.
Ice cream inspired by Benjamin Moore finds its way into Ace Hardware
For National Ice Cream Day, brands have launched flavors ranging from Kraft macaroni and cheese to pizza-inspired balls. But unlikely ice cream supplier Ace Hardware has a new take on the frozen treat this year on Memorial Day: pints inspired by Benjamin Moore paint cans.
The world’s largest retailer-owned hardware co-operative jumped into National Ice Cream Day on July 17 with a DIY (and ice cream)-inspired initiative. As people say they will come to home improvement projects “one day”, Ace Hardware declares July 16th “one day”.
People who fill out an online questionnaire about their home improvement plans will be entered into a drawing to win a free pint of color-inspired ice cream. On July 17th there will be a questionnaire on an Instagram story to give people in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles a chance to win a color-inspired ice cream treat. An ice cream truck by Ace Hardware serving up color-inspired treats will appear in a surprising location on July 17th.
And yes, the ice cream is really inspired by the color. Made by a private label maker for Ace Hardware, the four flavors of ice cream have pint containers that look like paint cans and flavors that match Benjamin Moore’s hues — French White, Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry-n-Cream, and Cocoa Brown .
It’s not uncommon for colors to be inspired by and named after food. Enamel colors have a variety of evocative names that companies say are meant to evoke emotion, feeling, and desire in people who might choose them. Natalie Ebel, co-founder of direct-to-consumer paint company Backdrop, told the Associated Press in 2020 that choosing the right paint color names is critical.
“Each name was chosen to evoke an emotional connection; We were inspired by real people, places, things and moods,” she said.
But how often are these impressively named hues made into foods? It’s probably a fairly rare occurrence considering painting and snacking don’t generally go together. Then again, how often do people go to a hardware store to look for ice cream? Ace Hardware essentially answered that question: it’s the kind of thing that happens “someday”.
— Megan Poinsky
Fyxx Health is taking a bite snack place with vitamin biscuits
Fyxx Health aims to turn the $43 billion snack category on its head by introducing the first of its kind: a low-sugar, low-carb vitamin cookie.
The treat contains many of the vitamins and minerals that many people are deficient in today, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and zinc, the company says. The new cookie complements other Fyxx items with diverse purposes, including heart-healthy cookies, immune-boosting beverage products, energy-boosting coffee powder and carrot-based candies.
“We believe in putting the good stuff in the fun stuff. We remove the guilt and add the goodness,” Sung Park, founder and CEO of Fyxx Health, said in a statement. “Even the healthiest and well-meaning among us deserve a treat, and what’s better than a nutritious cookie masquerading as a naughty cookie?”
Fyxx was founded by Park in 2019 after emergency open-heart surgery forced him to come to terms with his own diet and lifestyle. The mission, according to the company, is to make healthy eating easier and more accessible through fun and familiar foods.
As consumers try to balance their urge to snack with an ever-growing desire for healthier eating habits, cookies like the vitamin-laden cookies could be primed to capture a bigger share of the burgeoning market.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global market for healthy snacks is expected to reach $152.5 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.6%. The food industry has benefited from growing consumer interest in nutritious snacks that are high in vitamins and proteins and low in calories, the company noted.
But despite the opportunity, Fyxx faces other industry newcomers and heavyweights launching their own better snacks.
For example, in 2019 Mondelēz International invested in Uplift Food, a startup developing prebiotic foods with a line of Gut Happy Cookies. Nightfood recently announced the launch of cookies with less sugar, fat and calories, as well as 200% more protein and 500% more fiber than other cookie brands, according to the company. And Hostess, best known for Twinkies and Donettes, bought Voortman, a maker of premium-branded waffles and sugar-free and specialty cookies, in 2020.
— Christoph Doering
Flow follows the functionality trend
Go with the flow or step into a new category? That is the question.
Flow Beverage, which sells alkaline water in 100% recyclable Tetra Pak cartons, is launching Flow Vitamin-Infused Water in three flavors: cherry, citrus and elderberry. The company launched the product in Fred Meyer’s grocery stores and said it will be available direct to consumers on its website.
The Canada-based company said in its press release that the “better for you” aspects of its functional water set it apart from other beverages in this category. Flow specifically pointed out the drinks, which contain 120% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and are a powerful source of zinc. It also has no sugar, calories or preservatives and is made from certified organic ingredients.
Sales of Flow’s products skyrocketed in 2021 and its water is now available in more than 35,600 stores across North America. Flow’s founder and current CEO, Nicholas Reichenbach, said in a press release that the company’s entry into functional beverages is a natural progression for the brand.
“The functional water market is growing rapidly as a consumer[s] looking for healthier alternatives,” said Reichenbach. We believe Flow has developed an innovative product that perfectly fits consumer needs and complements our existing portfolio of sustainable and functional beverages.”
The functional water category has grown significantly in recent years and is projected to be worth $5.8 billion by 2025, according to Technavio. There are several start-up brands in the industry, including Karma, which launched a line of CBD-infused functional waters distributed by Constellation Brands last fall. Flow’s new beverage line will also compete with beverages like Coca-Cola’s Vitamin Water and Anheuser-Busch’s ShineWater, but could gain an advantage among sustainability-minded consumers.
— Chris Casey