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 SabaCandy 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 Latte. Pernod 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.
I’ve heard that red wine and dark chocolate have health attributes because of the ingredient resveratrol found in both. Now it appears that beer is being touted as healthy, particularly for a post-workout recovery beverage. Some research studies suggest that beer can help the body rehydrate. For example, Lean Machine Ale from Canada is a low-alcohol, protein-packed “fitness” beer in four variants – Lager, Lemon Ale, Honey Ale, and Pepper Ale. Across the pond, Dune Surfer claims to be a post-exercise recovery beer made with antioxidants from Goji, Acai and Yuzu fruits.
Although not a beer, Ficks All-Natural Cocktail Fortifiers are formulated with a proprietary blend of vitamins, electrolytes and antioxidants “designed to help promote liver health and reduce some of the negative effects of alcohol consumption such as preventing hangovers.” They are offered in Lemon, Lime, and Ginger flavors. And for those that aren’t interested in the health benefits of beer or alcohol, there’s always Chaser Strips. They are like Listerine strips that can be used after a shot to “alleviate the harsh after taste.”
Seems like print ads are getting splashy. The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has replaced the National Milk Mustache Got Milk? ad campaign with the Milk Life campaign. The new ads focus on the “8 grams of high-quality protein found in each 8 ounce glass of milk” and use images of propelling milk splashes that fuel consumers through activities such as playing sports. Similarly, Chicago-based Fairlife LLC introduced a sexy ad campaign of women dressed in milk splashes in pin-up poses to promote the company’s new Purely Nutritious Milk, which contains 50% more natural protein and calcium than ordinary milk. To connote hydration, Schick’s Hydro Silk Sensitive Care ads feature water splashes on the legs of active young women doing activities such as kickboxing and skateboarding.
Noticed other recent ads that are using splashes? Please share.
You’ve got to love NYC because it’s truly a melting pot. According to the latest 2012 Census figures, the Hispanic population in the US grew to 53 million and is expected to more than double to 128.8 million by 2060.
With this is mind, if you’d like to visit Mexico, Spain, Brazil, or Chile and you don’t have a passport or a plane ticket, you can visit 5 specialty shops* without leaving NYC.
Las Palomas Mexican Grocery Store & Deli is a tiny grocery that features a variety of Mexican goods such as espazote, dried chilies, spices and fresh-made tamales on weekends.
219 West 100th Street (Amsterdam & Broadway)
New York, NY 10025
Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery is a bodega stocked with authentic Mexican ingredients and a Mexican restaurant, which serves tacos along side a wide selection of imported beer.
215 Avenue A (13th & 14th Street)
New York, NY 10009
Despaña SoHo is part market and part tapas café with an endless array of Spanish specialty items including Iberico and Serrano ham and 50+ specialty cheeses.
408 Broome Street (Centre & Lafayette)
New York, NY 10013
Buzios Boutique sells an eclectic range of Brazilian products from groceries and drinks to souvenirs and beauty products.
20 West 46th Street (Fifth & Sixth Avenue) New York, NY 10036
Puro Chile features a variety of Chilean products including handicrafts, jewelry and gourmet products with a sister wine store next door.
221 Centre Street (near Grand)
New York, NY 10013
So what are you waiting for? Go on, take a trip to Latin America by way of NYC. Know of any other Hispanic specialty shops? Please share.
*Trendincite LLC has no affiliation with any of these shops.
Trend Alert – seems like beer is the newest flavor to trickle into candy. Jelly Belly debuted a non alcoholic Draft Beer Jelly Bean while ChocOBeer in Europe introduced a line of nine chocolates filled with different Belgium beers. They are cleverly packaged in small shaped beer bottles.
The beer and chocolate combination is not new and has been emerging as craft brewers experiment with a variety of ingredients. February is a popular month to launch these seasonal, limited edition chocolate flavors. This year Woodchuck Hard Cider launched the Cellar Series Chocolate and it is crafted with McIntosh and Northern Spy apples and crushed cocao beans. Foothills Brewing is offering it’s Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout that is infused with cocao and is described as having a “big chocolate aroma with notes of espresso, blackstrap molasses, dark sweet toffee and dark fruit.” For those who are not beer drinkers, there’s ChocolatRouge, which features three chocolate flavors blended with red wine – Milk Chocolate, Dark Red, and Sweet Red.
Watch as beer spills into other unexpected categories.
Thanksgiving is around the corner with Christmas on its heels and soon it will be a new year. Here is a list I compiled of some interesting predictions for what food & beverages we’ll be eating in 2014…
As a board member of Women in Flavor & Fragrance Commerce (WFFC), I recently organized our sixth annual sensory trend excursion with my colleague Jeanine Pedersen of Takasago. We chose Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In my industry career, this by far was the most challenging tour to design. The biggest obstacle was finding local retailers to participate. For more details, read my recent Fuhgeddaboudit! post.
However, the five retailers that did participate are gems! Without a doubt, add them to your must do list when visiting Williamsburg.
For our first stop, 29 attendees gathered outside Fabiane’s Cafe & Pastry. Fabiane greeted us as we delighted in an iced coffee or tea and homemade Yucca cake, a gluten free pastry made with Yucca, coconut milk, milk, sugar, eggs, and coconut flakes. Fabiane addressed each guest and discussed her Brazilian background with her French culinary training and gave a little background about her cafe. Additionally she surprised us with a bag of granola as a parting gift, which took her 10 years to perfect the recipe.
We mosied on over to Juice Press, a growing chain of cold-pressed juice bars; this location was brand spanking new, it opened in May. Liz shared the company’s history and explained the cold-pressed process. Then we sampled the Watermelon Super Cleanser, Mother Earth, Dr. Green, and Almond Butter Cup Smoothie, all which only contain “organic calories.” The Watermelon was the group’s darling and my personal favorite. It tasted just like you placed a straw in a fresh watermelon. The Almond Butter Cup Smoothie was tasty with a creamy, nutty banana flavor and hint of cinnamon, but some couldn’t get past the gritty texture. The two green drinks were more of an acquired taste, a bit bitter and astringent, but nonetheless fresh, flavorful and healthful.
Moving to the fragrance side, our third destination was Woodley & Bunny. If you like niche, hard to find beauty products, look no further. Devon, Zeek, and Summer graciously hosted us as we explored, smelled and tried a variety of fragrances, skin care, bath and body care, and hair care products as well as candles. An aside, I often read and write about indie brands, but because of limited distribution I don’t always get to experience them. I’ve never seen so many products that I’ve read about or written about in one place. It was like a curated, indie beauty emporium.
By now our group had worked up an appetite, so we headed to Allswell restaurant. Based on the farm to table concept, the menu changes daily and is dependent on what’s in season and locally available. If you’re looking for a quaint, comfortable and warm restaurant with fresh food you’ve come to the right place. We started with a Ginless Wonder mocktail crafted with fresh squeezed lime, honey syrup, ginger syrup, club soda, cucumber, fresh strawberries and Oro Blanco. I learned that Oro Blanco (white gold) is a type of grapefruit. Let’s see if this becomes a trend. For a starter, we feasted on homemade olive bread with house-made Ricotta cheese and a crisp, hearty beet salad. For lunch I had their signature crispy chicken sandwich. Others enjoyed their proprietary burger made with Vermont Quality Meat or their homemade sourdough flatbread with Ricotta, kale, and fried egg. As if we weren’t full enough, we concluded our meal with a strawberry rhubarb slab pie with fresh whipped cream. Delicious!
The perfect finish to our sensory excursion was a final stop at Mast Brothers Chocolate. The overwhelming, raw smell of chocolate wafts through your nostrils as you approach and enter the artisan shop. Meghan explained that the shop only uses two ingredients – cocoa and cane sugar; hence the wide array of dark chocolates. We sampled the limited edition Vanilla Smoke and Maple Cream bars as well as other flavors such as Olive & Sinclair Sea Salt, Stumptown Coffee and Chile Pepper. I’m a sweet, cheap chocolate fan (Oh Henry candy bars are my favorite) and my palette is not sophisticated enough to get past the bitterness of the dark chocolate to taste and appreciate the subtle sweetness nor the smoke of the vanilla and maple flavors. My personal favorite was the sea salt. That combination worked for me because the salt alleviated some of the bitter flavor. Regardless of my preferences, for chocolate fans, this shop is a no-brainer.
Our WFFC guests experienced a truly unique sensory trend excursion in North Williamsburg where their senses were engaged and tickled as they left full and satiated.
A very big thank you to all of the retailers who participated! I look forward to returning; I know I’ll be back and I’m pretty sure others will too.
I am organizing a sensory trend excursion in Williamsburg for a large group of people and I recently called a few independent coffee roasters with retail shops and bakeries to arrange a store visit. I wanted to purchase an iced drink and a pastry for 25 people and have the owner speak about the history of the shop and what makes it unique. One would think this is a great business opportunity; a shop owner could introduce interesting products to potential new customers.
To my surprise, apparently I was wrong. Not 1 but 7, independent retailers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn turned me down. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that they walked away from guaranteed business.Their reasons were:
“We can’t accommodate you since we cater to our local customers and it would be disruptive to our shop.”
“We can’t accommodate you; it just doesn’t work. Our local customers get upset if we reserve tables.”
“We can’t accommodate you. It will interfere with our business flow and we are not staffed for that many customers, but you can come in and order independently.”
“We are too small and we can’t fit you.”
“We always keep the focus on our loyal clients and maintaining their shopping experience and don’t want to detract them.”
“We work very hard to accommodate and please our neighbors and it is not in our capacity to be able to please the market.”
I thought for sure in this economy and competitive business environment, finding an independent retail store to accommodate us would be an easy task. I’m not sure what the store owners’ long term business growth strategies are, but from a business perspective, I think these store owners are shortsighted for multiple reasons:
I am guaranteeing the shop business for 25 people without the business owner having to chase business or market their company; I came to them.
The shop has a captive audience of 25 people for twenty to thirty minutes. The business owner has the opportunity to talk about their business and show their products.
Their business is being exposed to people who have no idea their business exists.
Business 101 – we all know word of mouth travels, good and bad.
Although it may inconvenience the store’s local customers and be a little more disruptive than normal for thirty minutes, it’s a short finite period of time during a week day. In the big picture it’s thirty minutes out of a full day and will not negatively impact their business.
Additionally, one would think that local customers would be happy and supportive to see the store is doing well and attracting business.
If locals pass the shop and see a large group of people, their curiosity might be piqued and they might want to stop by to see what’s going on. Bonus, more customers.
I understand these indie shops aren’t designed to fit a large group of people at one time, but work with me. I suggested taking shifts and having half the group go in and the other half wait outside and then switch.
I believe these stores have missed an opportunity and are thinking small. Think small and be small. Although I am intrigued by their store concepts and executions, I’m disappointed in their customer service. I’m not inclined to rush back to support their local businesses nor recommend them. I think I’ll fuhgeddaboudit!