Leftovers: Kidfresh makes wine to take the edge off mealtime whining; Old El Paso pockets tortilla mishaps

General Mills, old el paso
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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.

Wine moms rejoice: New Kidfresh varietals pair with the food left behind

Which wine pairs well with chicken nuggets?

Kidfresh recommends a fruit-forward white, specifically its Chardonnuggets wine. It’s part of a limited-time collection made to complement the company’s better-for-you frozen kids meals that contain hidden vegetables.

Of course, the brand doesn’t have kids in mind for its Kidfresh Reserve wines, but instead targets the 81% of parents who admit to eating food off their little ones’ plates, according to Kidfresh.

Chardonnuggets is said to pair nicely with Kidfresh’s White Meat Chicken Nuggets, as well as cleaning up spills and temper tantrums, according to the company.  A Red Wagon red blend, with a “nose of peppercorn,” is a custom accompaniment to its Wagon Wheels Mac & Cheese.

Kidfresh partnered with Ancestry Cellars to create the two-bottle set of wines, available through its website and shipped in a wooden crate.

“Kidfresh has been making mealtime convenient for parents for over 10 years and as parents, we know how difficult it can be to have a meal to yourself,” Kidfresh Founder Matt Cohen said in a statement. “Kidfresh Reserve helps turn those all-too-real moments when you’re sneaking a tasty nugget or two off your kid’s plate into a sophisticated, albeit casual, occasion – just for parents.”

While pairing alcohol with different foods has often focused on gourmet fare, other CPGs have seen an opportunity to bring out the complexities of their products with custom wines. In 2021, Mondelēz International partnered with Barefoot Wine to create a red blend that complements its Oreo Thins cookie. And in 2019, Kellogg and House Wine sold Wine + Cheez-It boxes pairing different varieties of the popular snacking crackers with wine.

Kidfresh’s frozen meals offer a bit of a cleaner slate for wine pairing. The line of products, which include chicken nuggets and strips, fish sticks, pasta, pizza and breakfast options, contain no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.  

— Samantha Oller

General Mills, old el paso

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Courtesy of General Mills

Old El Paso cleans up the tortilla

While gathering as a family to make tortillas can be fun, the dreaded mess can quickly sour the mood. 

To help, General Mills’ Old El Paso brand is introducing soft flour Tortilla Pockets with a sealed bottom — shaped like a pillowcase — that can be loaded up with beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa and other popular ingredients, cutting down on the inevitable cleanup that ensues.

Old El Paso said in a statement that meals aren’t just about food, but also celebrating and getting together with friends and family. The new tortilla pockets fit squarely into that philosophy. 

The pandemic encouraged people to spend more time cooking at home. More recently, shoppers looking to save a few bucks by not going out to a restaurant are doubling-down on making food themselves. As all this unfolds, a big part of attracting a consumer to a brand — and keeping them — is making products more convenient.

“Tortilla Pockets are a new way for families to come together during a busy week and spend more time having fun around the dinner table,” Emiko Brook, Old El Paso’s senior brand manager, said in a statement.

The new tortillas are available nationwide in eight packs or as part of a kit with taco seasoning and sauce.

For the 52 weeks ending March 21, 2021, General Mills was the fourth-largest tortillas and taco kit company in the U.S., selling approximately 150 million units, according to Statista.

— Christopher Doering

A hand holds a full glass beer stein that is sloshing over the edge, with yellow "Is Butter a Carb?" cans and an Auntie Anne's soft pretzel in the background.

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Courtesy of Evil Genius Beer Company

Evil Genius gets twisted up with Auntie Anne’s for Oktoberfest

It’s September, meaning that it’s time for consumers to say goodbye to the barbecues of August, make note of all of the pumpkin spice concoctions to enjoy in October, and concentrate on the pretzels and beer of Oktoberfest. And just in time for the celebration, Evil Genius Beer Company and Auntie Anne’s soft pretzels have teamed up to create a new product that combines the two — but is probably not the best option to help you get out of those sweatpants.

Auntie Anne’s signature butter-dipped soft pretzels are one of the key ingredients for Evil Genius’ new Oktoberfest beer, Is Butter a Carb? The beer, with a name inspired by a memorable “Mean Girls” quote, is brewed in the Oktoberfest style with imported German hops and malts, as well as Auntie Anne’s classic food court soft pretzels. A release about the beer says it has “a rich malt backbone balanced by delicate hop character,” and a toasty flavor profile rounded out with “pleasant salinity.”

“The only thing better than pretzels AND beer, is pretzels IN beer,” Evil Genius Co-Founder Trevor Hayward said in a release. “We really wanted to tie the brands together in a fun way that reminds you of biting into a warm pretzel with every sip.”

This year is the first time since 2019 that Oktoberfest will be celebrated in Munich, Germany. The celebration attracts millions to revel in traditional German culture in locations around the world. And brewers worldwide tend to get in on the fun with special beers. In 2020, Snyder’s of Hanover partnered with Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. to launch a pretzel keg — a 27-ounce canister of the Campbell Soup-owned pretzel rods and a keg of Captain Lawrence’s Marzen-style Oktoberfest beer, described as a malty lager with notes of toasted bread, honey and chocolate.

The Auntie Anne’s-brewed beer brings the theme of pretzels, beer and fall to the steins of consumers in the United Stares, as well as ignites the celebration for Plastics and autumn enthusiasts alike.

— Megan Poinski

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About the Author

Jervie David Montejar
A food lover who wants to try every delicious dishes around him and spread the news to everyone to try it as well. Finding the latest trends about food and restaurants around Cebu and the rest of the world :) "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." -Ernestine Ulmer
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