September Wrap Up: The Month in New Products (Slideshow)
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- Another month has passed, and with it came another batch of products meant to entice customers off the fueling island and into your stores. September saw the beginning buzz of NACS Show rollouts, some unique foodservice applications and plenty of newcomers in the snack and beverage categories.
But first, more seasonal LTOs. Fall continues to be the most flavorful season, as reflected in the bounty of autumnal items hitting shelves. ’tude Juice is launching its limited edition Honeycrisp, a cold-pressed juice made with GMO-free Honeycrisp apples. The Hershey Co. is rolling out Twizzlers Caramel Apple Filled Twists, Hershey’s Candy Corn Snack Size Bars and Hershey’s Kisses Pumpkin Spice Flavor Candies. Dean Foods’ TruMoo is available in an Orange Scream variety that features an orange hue and orange cream flavor. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light Lime Apple-Ahhh-Rita combines the crisp taste of an apple margarita with a twist of Bud Light Lime. And marking the first of the winter rollouts, Samuel Adams announced its Merry Maker stout beer featuring notes of cocoa, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ginger.
September saw a number of diverse beverages hit the cold vault, which continues to break into various niche subsegments. Agua enerviva, which combines the attributes of a sports drink, enhanced water and energy drink, revealed new packaging this month. It’s worth noting that the company is led by former Vitaminwater execs. Hype Energy is positioning itself as a lifestyle energy drink geared to female consumers and enlisting fashion model Candice Swanepoel and reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian as spokespeople. Honest Tea is refreshing its glass-bottle tea line to include Fair Trade certified sugar, new label graphics and a new variety: Radiant Raspberry.
In the snacks set, Kellogg Co. announced a number of new items in anticipation of The NACS Show, including Pringles Tortillas Zesty Salsa, Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty, Cheez-It Crunch’d and Grooves, Bear Naked Layered Granola Bars and Pringles with Dip—an on-the-go, single-serve snack that combines original Pringles chips with Creamy Ranch, Jalapeno Cheddar or Honey Dijon dip. Old Wisconsin has a new meat snack on the market: Honey Turkey Snack Bites features honey and brown sugar and the company’s signature hardwood-smoked flavor. ConAgra Foods is adding to the better-for-you movement with new Delight Bites, a puffed, multigrain snack in six flavors including Aged White Cheddar and Sweet & Tangy BBQ. Along with these snack leaders, a number of newcomers entered the playing field this month, including Brownie Brittle (think of the dense, crispy edges in a pan of brownies), Jolly Llama (an ice-cream novelty that combines the demand for dairy-free treats with the popularity of coconut), SexyPop (a bagged popcorn with high-protein and energy-boosting varieties), and Pasta Chips (inspired by Italian cuisine).
Along with a bounty of seasonal offers, confectioners have kicked off fall with a number of new items. Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans from Jelly Belly has added two new flavors to the line-up: Juicy Pear and Green Apple. Hitting stores this month was Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews, which provides a mint-like blast of freshness in a quickly dissolving chew. New from Mars Chocolate North America is Dove Whole Fruit Dipped in Dark Chocolate, which combines real fruit (cranberries, blueberries and cherries) and Dove dark chocolate. And in an expansion of its licensing agreement with Marvel Comics, CandyRific is rolling out two new novelty items: Avengers’ Hulk and Iron Man Sound and Action Heroes.
On the foodservice front, manufacturers are helping operators expand their menus with some creative offerings. Johnsonville Splits are evenly butterflied 80% through the link for optimal product performance: Operators can spread open the split sausage link and sear it to develop a flavorful caramelization, or leave the product intact to stuff with toppings. Golden Ladle now offers chicken pot pie filling in convenient 9-pound boil-in-bag packaging. Day’N Night Bites has launched a Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza available for sale as whole pies or slices. And Chester’s is offering a new lineup of ready-made side options including slow-simmered baked beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, green beans and mac and cheese.
In the tobacco category, Kretek International has rolled out a new series of Voodoo acrylic displays and prepacked merchandisers for its wide range of vaping products. Swedish Match’s White Owl and Game expanded their limited edition FoilFresh cigarillo franchise to include Black Cherry. And while not yet on the market, Vapor Group announced it would be revealing prototypes of four new vaporizers for dry herb, wax and oil applications at The NACS Show.