Leftovers is our look at a few of the product ideas popping up everywhere. Some are intriguing, some sound amazing and some are the kinds of ideas we would never dream of. We can’t write about everything that we get pitched, so here are some leftovers pulled from our inboxes.
Hidden Valley Ranch doubles down in its popular flavor
Hidden Valley Ranch is partnering with a familiar friend to launch its newest product: an amped-up version of the dressing itself.
The Clorox-owned product is launching what it calls the “most exclusive, flavor-serious ranch” to date: Double Ranch. The limited-edition release features double the herbs, spices, flavor and even double the bottles with a fusion of two to form the letter X.
“Our HVRxHVR collab shows just how serious we are about our ranch flavor,” CC Ciafone, marketing director at Hidden Valley Ranch, said in a statement. “There’s nothing ranchier.”
Only 222 bottles of the Hidden Valley Ranch x Hidden Valley Ranch were made available to the public online and through Snapchat for $44. People who were able to get one also received a double ramekin for dipping and a reversible bucket hat for donning.
Hidden Valley Ranch, which was founded in 1954 by Steve Henson, is the nation’s original ranch dressing brand, according to Clorox. Statista estimated that in 2020, 9.2 million Americans used 3 or more bottles.
Henson’s brainchild is no stranger to promotions designed to drum up attention for the widely used dressing.
In September, it partnered with sauces and condiments brand This Little Goat on Ranch Chili Crunch. The product blends umami flavors with the zestiness of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning, the companies said.
— Christopher Doering
Sweet meets sour with My Mochi’s dilly launch
My/Mochi launched a pickle-inspired flavor last week, the latest company to hop on the dill bandwagon.
The new Classic Pickle flavor is the first mochi ice cream of its kind. It debuted in time for National Pickle Day on Nov. 14. The product features a sweetened dill pickle-flavored ice cream wrapped in a soft mochi dough, the company said.
My/Mochi is the latest company to capitalize on the pickle product craze. Nearly 70% of consumers reported they like or love pickles, according to data from Datassential. In 2022, Yelp predicted a rise in pickles as a top trend for 2023, with pickled food searches up on the site by 55% in 2022.
Food giant Kraft Heinz launched a pickle-flavored ketchup last week that combined the tangy taste of the cucumber-based product with its classic ketchup. Hidden Valley Ranch also recently introduced a ranch and pickle-flavored dressing.
Similar to pickles, Mochi ice cream has been rising in popularity. A popular Japanese dessert for centuries, the novelty item became one of the top-selling desserts in the U.S. in 2018. My/Mochi has taken advantage of the market. The company’s portable 110-calorie ice cream bites held in small balls of Japanese rice dough have expanded into stores nationwide.
— Elizabeth Flood
Low-alcohol wine seeks to spread joy ahead of the holidays
As New Year’s Eve approaches, consumers looking to moderate their drinking habits can still have a new drink to sip in lieu of champagne as they ring in 2024.
Beverage brand Ojoy Wine Company debuted its first “dealcoholized” offering, Sparkling Blanc, which contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume and 15 calories per glass. According to Ojoy, the wine’s taste is fruit-forward with apricot, black currant and citrus flavors. It is made from wine sourced from California, and the brand uses technology to remove alcohol from the beverage.
Ojoy launched this year to make low-alcohol options that deliver flavor and depth, aiming to win over consumers even if they don’t drink booze. Marc Wendt, the brand’s founder and CEO, said when he stopped drinking alcohol, he wanted a high-quality alternative that is just as good as regular wine.
“We launched the brand to offer an option to wine lovers that delivers on taste without the typical downsides ordinary wine can have — headaches, hangovers, and dehydration,” Wendt said in the press release.
One factor that may still leave consumers feeling queasy is the cost. An 8-pack of Sparkling Blanc 355 milliliter cans sells for $99 on Amazon. According to Ojoy, each can is roughly equivalent to half a bottle of wine, placing it in the premium category of low-alcohol beverages.
With the rise of events such as Dry January promoting moderation or abstinence from alcohol, a growing number of consumers are looking to drink less, including many in the Gen Z demographic.
Forty percent of consumers in the 16 to 24-year-old age group reported lowering their alcohol consumption in the past year, according to a Mintel study published in June. This is fueling growth in the low- and no-alcohol beverages category, which hit $11 billion in sales in 2022.
— Chris Casey