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.
A Dozen Cousins brings sunny seasonings to main courses
After success with side dishes, A Dozen Cousins is moving its traditional Creole, Caribbean and Latin American cuisine to the center of the plate.
A Dozen Cousins’ new Entree Seasoning Sauces are clean-label flavoring sauces that the company says give a kick of flavor to meats or other main dishes cooked at home. The sauces come in three varieties: Jamaican Jerk Seasoning — with hot peppers, onions and spices; Peruvian Pollo A La Brasa — with garlic, lime, onions and spices; and Mexican Pollo Asado — with cumin, garlic, orange juice and spices.
The company also introduced a line of rice seasoning sauces that it says turn plain dry rice into a flavorful side. These also come in three varieties: Mexican Red Rice — with tomatoes, roasted garlic, onions, jalapeno peppers and avocado oil; Caribbean Coconut Rice — with coconut milk, onion, garlic and spices; and Arroz Con Gandules — with sofrito, pigeon peas and spices.
Founder and CEO Ibraheem Basir started A Dozen Cousins to make clean-label, easy-to-cook versions of the Creole, Caribbean and Latin American favorites his family made as he was growing up, and to give minorities who may feel left out of the natural food space products that speak to them. The brand started out with ready-to-eat beans prepared as they would be in traditional Latin American or Caribbean cuisine.
“As I have gotten older, I don’t have nearly as much time to cook some of my favorite dishes from scratch,” Basir said in a statement about the sauces. “With this in mind, we created our new seasoning sauces to make it easy for everyone to enjoy flavorful home-cooked meals, even if they are tight on time.”
Though it isn’t mentioned on the announcement or A Dozen Cousins’ website, the launch lines up with the beginning of Black History Month. Basir, who is Black, has used previous February launches to celebrate the heritage of the people from whom this cuisine comes. In 2020, the company had limited offerings of three varieties of heirloom rice for Black History Month. Each one had a distinct cultural flavor and story behind it, and each was cultivated by the African diaspora in the Western Hemisphere hundreds of years ago. The rice quickly sold out.
But Black History Month aside, right now is a good time to highlight these kinds of flavors. Trend watchers at the Food Institute say that Caribbean flavors are more popular this year as consumers seek new flavors and food reminiscent of good travel experiences. And as winter storms and frigid temperatures pound much of the United States, consumers’ desire to travel with their taste buds to somewhere warm and pleasant is bound to be at an all-time high.
— Megan Poinski
Arnold Palmer drives into packaged nuts
After making a name for himself on the links, famed golfer Arnold Palmer became synonymous with the half lemonade, half tea drink of the same name. Now, his snacking company is aiming to do the same with packaged nuts.
This month, Arnold Palmer Snacks will begin shipping a nut blend in four flavors. They include Protein Nut Blend, Healthy Heart Blend, and two varieties of Grille Room Mix — Sweet and Salty and Santa Fe Spiced. All four snacking mixes will be available in 2-ounce single-serve packages, as well as larger-sized, stand-up packages.
“We are beginning with the savory and healthy snacking products that can be enjoyed both on and off the golf course,” Edward Kelly, Jr., president of Arnold Palmer Snacks, said in an email. “Our intent is to move into other food product categories over time.”
The nuts will be sold to golf clubs courses and resorts as well as grocery, club and other retail channels.
While Arnold Palmer Snacks was established to bring his name into the food space, the golfer has already appeared in other offerings. AriZona Beverages, the company behind the official Arnold Palmer drink, also has fruit snacks in the marketplace.
The drink’s roots go back nearly 60 years. According to the Arnold Palmer drink’s website, after a long day of designing a course in California during the 1960s, the famed golfer was ordering lunch and asked the waitress for a mixture of lemonade and iced tea. A woman sitting nearby did the same, telling the waitress, “I’ll have that Arnold Palmer drink.”
Nuts are growing in popularity as snack-loving consumers look for a healthier option. Nuts fit the bill, with most varieties loaded with protein, fiber, vitamin E, as well as being rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.
Since 2015, the amount of tree nuts consumed per capita has increased from about 4 pounds per person to nearly 6 pounds per person in 2020, according to data provided by Statista.
It’s a big reason why Hormel Foods, the company behind brands such as Spam and Jennie–O turkeys, last year purchased the Planters snack nut portfolio for $3.35 billion from Kraft Heinz, the largest deal in its history.
— Christopher Doering
Artichokes star in Cutting Vedge plant-based meats
As plant-based meat has evolved, brands have experimented with an array of grains, legumes and vegetables to construct a satisfying meat alternative with nutritional benefits. Artichoke is a nutritionally powerful but often-overlooked vegetable, but a new line of plant-based foods is giving it a starring role.
World Finer Foods is turning to the artichoke as the lead ingredient in its new Cutting Vedge line of plant-based burgers, meatballs, crumbles and sliced sausage. Other ingredients include bean protein, spinach, quinoa and chickpeas. Each of the products can be found in the freezer aisle.
Cutting Vedge touts artichoke as a superfood, noting its high levels of antioxidants and nutrients. On top of its health halo, the brand said the artichoke is a good ingredient to make foods thanks to its ability to carry flavors and its hearty texture. The products’ artichokes are sourced from Reese Specialty Foods, whose canned vegetables World Finer Foods also markets.
Other nutritional benefits of the artichoke include its high fiber and mineral content, with some studies indicating that the vegetable can help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels and support liver health.
The Cutting Vedge line is also non-GMO, vegan and does not feature soy or gluten, according to the brand. The products contain anywhere from 7 to 16 grams of protein.
Despite being overlooked in plant-based products, the market for artichokes is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 3.6% through 2028, according to The Insight Partners. But for now, the gap in the plant-based space for offerings featuring artichokes could allow Cutting Vedge to stand out from the pack.
— Chris Casey