PB&J 2.0

PB&J (Peanut Butter & Jelly) is an iconic, American classic. The first written peanut butter and jelly sandwich recipe was published by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. Today manufacturers are getting creative and launching new PB&J applications for kids and adults alike to enjoy.  It’s PB&J 2.0.

Hormel Foods’ dropped Skippy P.B. Fruit Bites, a line of bite-sized real dried fruit snacks covered in peanut butter. Described as “portable and poppable,” they are offered in two variants: Strawberry-flavored Dried Cranberry and Dried Grape. In the frozen aisle, Hormel Foods’ introduced Skippy P.B. & Jelly Minis, bite-size buns filled with Skippy Peanut Butter and Grape or Strawberry Jelly in White Bakery Bread or Whole Grain Bakery Bread.

Smucker’s has upped the peanut butter ante with a variety of new Jif launches. Jif Power Ups Chewy Granola Bars feature peanut butter and granola in five flavors: Creamy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Flavored, Salted Caramel FlavoredStrawberry, and Banana. Jif Power Ups Creamy Clusters highlight a peanut butter center rolled in toasted oats in three flavors: Creamy Peanut ButterApple Cinnamon, and Strawberry. Jif Poppers are a new Peanut Butter Coated Popcorn snack in three varieties: Peanut Butter Coated Popcorn and Dried StrawberriesPeanut Butter Coated Popcorn and Pretzels, and Peanut Butter Coated Popcorn and Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

Bobo’s just launched Stuff’d Oat Bites, which are snack-size whole grain oat bars filled with organic fruit jam in Apple Pie and Peanut Butter and Jelly flavors. The products are gluten-free, vegan and non-G.M.O. Halo, the cult-followed ice cream maker, even joined the cause and launched Peanut Butter and Jelly ice cream made with peanut butter ice cream, a strawberry swirl and cannoli bites. Theo Chocolate introduced PB&J Chocolate Clusters, which are organic, Fair Trade, non-GMO, and free of soy and gluten while Kraft Heinz has partnered with The Hershey Company to offer a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup whipped topping.

The humble PB&J sandwich is so well-liked that it has trickled its way into hair color and has inspired the “Peanut Jelly Hair” treatment, a golden brown and purple balayage.

For those that enjoy celebrating food holidays, you’re in luck because April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Go ahead, mark your calendars!

Edible Straws – Creative Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging is a continuing subject of interest. The latest trend is the banning of plastic straws.  In response, consumer goods manufacturers have gotten creative and are launching sustainable, edible flavored straws.

PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) season is upon us and Starbucks announced the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws while Kellogg’s brought back its original Froot Loops Cereal Straws, which were discontinued in 2009.  These edible straws were only available at the Kellogg’s NYC Café for the week of August 6, 2018.

For those looking for an alcoholic cocktail, Ruffino Wines and Sweet Saba Candy Couture released a limited-edition line of Prosecco-infused candy straws. These hand-painted paper straws are offered in three flavors with edible candy charms garnished with edible gold: Peach (peach emoji charm), Elderflower (flower charm) and “Bubbles and Celebration” (gold bars charm). Diageo recently launched a range of edible flavored straws to complement its premixed canned RTD cocktails in the UK. The Gordon’s Pink Gin and Schweppes Tonic and Pimm’s and Lemonade feature strawberry flavored straws while Gordon’s & Tonic comes with lemon and lime flavored straws. A chocolate straw accompanies Baileys Iced LattePernod Ricard announced a collaboration with Loliware, the edible plastics company, which will produce the “straw of the future” made from hypercompostable and marinedegradable materials.

So go ahead, drink responsibly and get a hold of an edible straw!  Cheers!  Watch for additional edible straws and creative sustainable packaging.