Opinion: Oddball Products from NACS

It can get pretty weird at the NACS Show
nacs most interesting man in the world

I almost got run over by The Most Interesting Man in the World.

And by run over, I mean I ran over to grab a quick snap of the Dos Equis cover boy to share with my friends at home in Chicago. It’s true: I put myself in harm’s way. But that is literally something you just don’t see every day, people.

I also got my photo taken with Flo Rida. It’s no big deal.

These are just things that happen at NACS.

Of course, I had a few chance encounters with some pretty cool products, too. Just like my photo with Flo, they too could have left my friends at home scratching their heads, thinking: “Huh. Will you look at that …”

Before last week, I had no idea Pickle-Ice existed. When I saw it, it was a revelation—I didn’t even know it COULD exist. But there it was.

These are just things that happen at NACS.  

And did you know that you can cook a personal pizza on a roller grill? Well, you can. I saw it.

Again, these are just things that happen.

Until next year, The Most Interesting Man in the World. Catch you later, Flo. At least we still have these amazingly wacky and innovative new products to remind us of our special time together. Check them out below.

the cappy

While on a brief break to rest my feet, I met the inventor of this neat new general-merchandise product, The Cappy. He decided to fund his invention via the ABC show “Shark Tank,” as you do. But the episode never aired. So he came to NACS! His new product allows users to reclose their canned beverages. It could hang easily and take up little space near your beverage coolers or beer cave. www.thecappy.com

teeny mates

I thought I’d come home to my 7-year-old son a hero with these samples in tow. And it turns out he was thrilled, but he’d already received a pack at a birthday party the weekend I was in Las Vegas. Apparently these little guys are a hit with the elementary-kid crowd. www.teenymates.com

roller grill pizza

Pure genius, I tell you. Giorgio Foods figured out how to cook single-serve pizzas on a roller grill. Notches in the crust prevent them from rolling off. Your customers will marvel at the pizza technology and be thrilled with your expanded roller-grill offering. www.giorgiofoods.com

van holten pickles

Pickle-Ice—it does exist. Pickle-Ice contains real Van Holten’s pickle brine with added electrolytes in a 2-ounce freeze pop. I think you’d find a lot of customers curious enough to give this unusual new product a try. Pickle-Ice comes packed in a 48-count counter display case. www.vanholtenpickles.com

leer 24 ice

This new ice chest/merchandiser from Leer is like the iPhone of the ice world. It looks like a time machine. Integrated payment features and weights allow customers to purchase ice 24 hours a day, regardless of whether the store is open or not. www.leerinc.com

icee freestyle

This touch-screen machine from FBD and used by ICEE allows users to mix and match their ICEE flavors, much in the manner of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. I had to try this one out several times to get the right combination, and I decided my favorite is the pomegranate straight up. www.icee.com, www.fbdfrozen.com

flo-rida and abbey lewis

This is Flo Rida getting his picture taken with me. He took a break from promoting his Celsius Flo Fusion energy drink to snap this photo. You can’t see their fabulousness here, but he was wearing the most amazing gold lamé shoes. www.celsius.com

van holten pickles

Pickle-Ice—it does exist. Pickle-Ice contains real Van Holten’s pickle brine with added electrolytes in a 2-ounce freeze pop. I think you’d find a lot of customers curious enough to give this unusual new product a try. Pickle-Ice comes packed in a 48-count counter display case. www.vanholtenpickles.com

leer 24 ice

This new ice chest/merchandiser from Leer is like the iPhone of the ice world. It looks like a time machine. Integrated payment features and weights allow customers to purchase ice 24 hours a day, regardless of whether the store is open or not. www.leerinc.com

icee freestyle

This touch-screen machine from FBD and used by ICEE allows users to mix and match their ICEE flavors, much in the manner of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. I had to try this one out several times to get the right combination, and I decided my favorite is the pomegranate straight up. www.icee.com, www.fbdfrozen.com