Leftovers: Mars Wrigley goes further into freezer aisle; Talenti scoops into bars

Boxes of four varieties of Talenti's Mini Bars in gelato and sorbetto varieties
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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.

Mars Wrigley goes further into the freezer aisle

Mars Wrigley’s extensive portfolio of ice cream products — which includes Dove ice cream bars, M&M’s sandwiches, Snickers Ice Cream Bar, Twix Ice Cream Bar and Kind Frozen bars — just got bigger.

The confectionery giant announced three new additions to its lineup: Dove Mini Sticks with Dark Chocolate & Almonds, Twix Cookie Dough ice cream and M&M’s Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

The M&M’s offering is two candy-filled chocolate cookies stuffed with ice cream containing baked chocolate cookies. For the Twix ice cream tubs, the company said it took inspiration from Twix Cookie Dough, the candy bar released last year.

The new products are starting to roll out this month, and will be fully available nationwide starting in March, Mars Wrigley said.

The company told Food Dive in August that it aims to triple the size of its ice cream business to $1.1 billion in global sales by 2024. Mars Ice Cream’s general manager Shaf Lalani said the company prioritizes having products for different kinds of consumers: Dove for premium ice cream fans, Kind for dairy-free consumers and more mainstream options like M&M’s and Twix.

Ice cream does not show signs of cooling down. The global market for the dessert staple is projected to be worth $105 billion annually by 2029, according to Fortune Business Insights.

Snack and confectionery brands have gained prominence in grocery store freezers in recent years as the ice cream space has become more lucrative. Last year, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream collaborated with Mondelēz International to debut a line of Oreo ice cream products including bars, cones and sandwiches. Earlier this month, Hershey and Unilever announced a collaboration to release seven new frozen treat products under the Reese’s brand.

Despite ongoing inflation and a troubling economy, it’s likely consumers will still be willing to purchase treats like ice cream throughout 2023. In Mondelēz’s most recent consumer snacking survey, 80% of respondents said it’s important to have moments of indulgence these days.

— Chris Casey

Boxes of four varieties of Talenti's Mini Bars in gelato and sorbetto varieties

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Courtesy of Unilever

Talenti scoops into frozen bars

The brand that brought gelato to freezers across the United States has a new product that makes its signature frozen treats more portable. Because anything is popsicle.

New Talenti Mini Gelato and Sorbetto Bars translate four beloved combinations from the clear plastic pint jars to lickable versions on a stick. Each bar has between 45 and 80 calories, depending on the variety.

Mini Gelato Bar flavors include Dark Chocolate — dark chocolate gelato with dark chocolate cookie sauce swirled in — and Vanilla Caramel — which swirls in Talenti’s dulce de leche blend. The non-dairy Mini Sorbetto Bars include Alphonso Mango — inspired by the Talenti pint of the same name — and Roman Raspberry — featuring the same signature dark magenta color of the Talenti flavor.

Talenti, a brand born out of an Argentine-style gelato scoop shop in Texas that opened in 2003, transitioned to a CPG offering in 2008. The brand was acquired by Unilever in 2014. Since the acquisition, Unilever has added more varieties of gelato to the brand, as well as dairy-free, layered, egg-free and paired flavor options.

Unilever hasn’t said much specific about the Talenti brand at recent investor events, but it is part of the company’s 8 billion euro ($8.65 billion) ice cream business, according to statistics from the company’s Investor Day last month. It’s the brand that many in the U.S. associate with gelato in general, and it was the eighth best selling ice cream brand in the country last year, ringing up $203.09 million, according to Statista.

Talenti is the latest brand of frozen treat to get a portability upgrade. In recent years, Unilever’s Klondike brand has added packaged ice cream cones to its lineup, better-for-you ice cream brand Halo Top added a version on a stick, while oat-based dairy inventor Oatly launched its chocolate-covered frozen dessert bars.

The healthier profile of gelato and sorbetto, paired with the small size of these bars, could make Talenti’s latest offering a new go-to frozen treat for indulgence seekers this year. At the very least, they could turn up the heat on competitors.

— Megan Poinski

cereal pop fruity pebbles popcorn

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Courtesy of SNAX-Sational Brands Group

Yabba Dabba Pop!

Consumers have been responding to all kinds of flavored popcorn with such enthusiasm, it seems natural a favorite breakfast cereal would team up with an innovative snack producer to make a new treat.

Snax-sational Brands added a Fruity Pebbles-flavored option to its flavored popcorn offerings. Cereal Pop popcorn made with Fruity Pebbles officially launched at Sam’s Club nationwide in a 20-ounce Club Size bag on Jan. 19 (National Popcorn Day).

A full roll out is slated for February.

“We have worked so hard to perfect this new popcorn variety which features the signature cereal flavors’ authentic pieces and taste profile, on our signature popcorn,” Jerry Bello, CEO of SNAX-Sational Brands Group, said in a press release. “The taste is absolutely delicious, exploding with POST Brands’ much loved FRUITY PEBBLES ® cereal.” 

With its debut, the Fruity Pebbles-enhanced snack joins other mash-up popcorn snacks from Snax-sational Brands, including Oreo-augmented Cookie Pop and Candy Pop in varieties featuring flavors of Mars’ Twix and Ferrero’s Butterfinger. Snax-sational already has a variety of Cereal Pop made with Cocoa Pebbles.

In a press release, the company said its better-for-you snack line is made 100% in the U.S. with non-GMO corn. The company added the brand is popular with “media and celebrities, from Cardi B. to Lance Bass to Robert De Niro to Joey King to Mario Lopez to Kevin Hart to Lucy Hale.”

New products in the popcorn space often use unique flavors as a way to stand out. Americans are embracing popcorn as a favorite snack, and research from Mintel shows consumers are hungry for flavor innovation. The global popcorn market size had a value of $3.03 billion in 2020, according to Million Insights. The firm expects it to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4% from 2021 to 2028.

— Rose Palazzolo

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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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