Leftovers: March Madness-inspired ice and fire — Coors popsicles and Hormel basketball court-smoked bacon

Hormel hardcourt smoked bacon

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.

Coors-icles offer a cool down during hot games

With the NCAA tournament underway this week, Molson Coors is giving sports fans a new way to keep their cool.

The brewing giant’s Coors Light brand is introducing Coors-icles — non-alcoholic beer-flavored popsicles fans can use to “stay chill” when things get heated this March. The Coors-icle is intended for consumers 21 and older. The limited-time offering is inspired by the flavor and refreshment of the popular beer.

“Every point, slam dunk, assist and block puts you on the edge of your seat, but a taste of a Coors Light Coors-icle will bring you back to a moment of chill,” Marcelo Pascoa, vice president of marketing for the Coors family of brands, said in a statement. “We’re making sure that fans watching the games at home or at bars nationwide can cool down with a Coors-icle.”

After a prolonged period of struggles for many once-popular brews, beers such as Coors Light have been on the upswing.

Gavin Hattersley, Molson Coors’ CEO, said during the company’s earnings call in February that revenue for its Coors Light and Miller Lite are both “well above” 2019 levels in the U.S. Business for both brands, the top executive noted, is “healthier than they’ve been in years.”

Molson Coors and its Coors Light brand are no stranger to March-themed gimmicks to drum-up attention and connect with consumers. Last year, the Chicago-based brewer sold beer-flavored lollipops that also lacked alcohol, but came with a frothy foam top, similar to the experience a consumer has when drinking a beer.

But, the brewer says, these Coors-icles are real — unlike the last time the company pitched them. On April 1, 2014, Coors Light’s Twitter account posted a picture of “Coorsicles: The World’s Most Refreshing Popsicle.” Although there were many enthusiastic and excited responses, the brand responded that it was an April Fool’s joke.

The company will sell a limited number of six-packs of Coors Light Coors-icles online through March 24. They also be available at more than 800 bars nationwide throughout March Madness.

The limited supply of non-alcoholic beer-flavored popsicles are not going to be a major source of revenue for Molson Coors. Rather, the offering promises to be a way to generate buzz online with consumers. Many of those individuals also will undoubtedly be picking up a beer or two, and in an industry inundated with choice, Molson Coors hopes the popsicles will make its beer top-of-mind in March and beyond.

Christopher Doering

Hormel hardcourt smoked bacon

Optional Caption

Courtesy of Hormel Foods

Hormel literally burns up the court for Black Label Bacon

For some food brands, March Madness is a time to debut a new product basketball fans can enjoy while watching their favorite schools knock each other out. Hormel is taking that idea a step further.

The meat giant announced Hardcourt Smoked Black Label Bacon, which is smoked with cherry maple wood that was used to make the floors of the 2023 March Madness college basketball tournament courts. Hormel said it collaborated with the company that designed the courts, Connor Sports, which trimmed the ends of the wood used to construct the flooring. Hormel then smoked the meat on the wood, low and slow, according to a press release.

“For the first time, college hoops superfans won’t just live and breathe the game this March, but they’ll have a chance to eat it, too,” Nick Schweitzer, senior brand manager for Black Label Bacon, said in a statement. “Even if your bracket is busted early, you can still get the taste of sweet victory with our limited-edition bacon.”

Consumers can enter to win the bacon through March 20 on the product’s website. Hormel’s regular Black Label Bacon is also hardwood smoked.

This isn’t the first time food brands have had the idea to implement the terrain used for a major sport in a new product. Ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl, Lay’s debuted a limited-edition line of chips grown in soil taken from NFL stadium fields across the country.

Hormel is known for using big sporting events for limited items, including for the last two Super Bowls. In 2022, it gave away a Chili Cheese Keg, and this year it debuted a beer flavored after its chili cheese dip.

Chris Casey

B&G Foods, girl scout

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Permission granted by B&G Foods

Girl Scout Thin Mint Seasoning makes cookie time last

For Girl Scout cookie fans, B&G Foods’ newest seasoning is giving consumers a way to enjoy the treats all year round.

The CPG maker is rolling out Girl Scout Thin Mints Seasoning Blend made up of dark cocoa, mint flavor and fine crumbles to emulate the flavor of the popular cookie. The seasoning, B&G said, can be added to a variety of different foods and beverages, including brownies, cupcakes, pancakes, oatmeal, ice cream, coffee and hot cocoa.

“The demand for our fun flavored seasoning blends continues to grow, proving that consumers crave the flavors of their favorite cookies and sweets, and are eager to explore them in new forms,” Julie Gould, senior director of brand marketing, spices and flavor solutions for B&G Foods, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see what fun recipes and uses consumers will create.”

B&G’s diverse portfolio includes several other well-known seasoning brands, including Durkee, Spice Islands and Mrs. Dash. But it’s recently tapped into the brand equity of treats made by other manufacturers for new offerings. 

In recent years, the New Jersey-based company has partnered with General Mills and Mars Wrigley to roll out Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Twix Shakers, respectively. 

The seasoning blends have been a hit for B&G as consumers continue to cook and bake at home even as COVID-19 has eased. In the case of Girl Scout Thin Mints, the blend gives shoppers a way to bring the flavor beyond the cookie, and long after Girl Scout cookie time is done.

— Christopher Doering

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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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