Leftovers: Grey Poupon gets a wine mashup; Old El Paso rolls out Takis-flavored taco shells

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. 

 

Grey Poupon raises a mustard-filled glass to the rushed consumer

While white wine has always been one of the key ingredients in Dijon mustard, a new wine from Grey Poupon maker Kraft Heinz relies on mustard for its taste.

La Moutarde Vin — literally “the mustard wine” — is a 2020 viognier from Napa Valley that draws some of its flavor from Dijon mustard. In fact, there are some mustard seeds in the bottle. In a press release, Kraft Heinz said the wine is full bodied, with “bright hints of spice and pronounced citrus and floral characteristics, balanced by vibrant acidity.”

While a mustard-infused wine, especially one with crunchy bits in it, sounds strange, Kraft Heinz says it pairs especially well with dishes featuring its Dijon mustard brand, like Dijon and maple-glazed salmon or a charcuterie board.

But Kraft Heinz doesn’t seem to be as interested in wine pairing as it is in making the lunch hour more enjoyable.

“We’ve watched as leisurely lunches have been replaced by food delivery apps and deskside speed snacking,” Danielle Coopersmith, brand manager for Kraft Heinz sandwich enhancers, said in a written statement. “Here at Grey Poupon, we want lunch to feel worthy of savoring again.”

While Grey Poupon may have a taste that can be savored, the brand built its reputation on commercials that featured it being enjoyed on the run. The iconic 1980s commercials that made Grey Poupon a household name featured a well-to-do person eating in the backseat of a fancy car driven by a chauffeur. Another chauffeured vehicle pulled up in the next lane, and the passenger would ask, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” The answer was always, “But of course.” The jar passed between car windows, and the drivers went their separate ways.

Times now are different, with many people still working at home because of the pandemic. Researchers have found many remote employees are working longer hours and taking fewer breaks. Grey Poupon wine, which was available in a package deal online with a jar of the mustard, may be a way to try to encourage some more relaxation. The wine and mustard packages quickly sold out, meaning the answer to whether consumers truly want this kind of a beverage is obviously “but of course.”

— Megan Poinski

Courtesy of General Mills

 

Takis Fuego adds its spicy heat to Old El Paso taco shells

Takis Fuego rolled tortilla chips set U.S. consumer demand for super spicy snacks on fire when the Mexican brand debuted in North America in 2006. Now owner Barcel USA is lending Takis Fuego’s signature hot chili pepper and lime seasoning to Old El Paso’s Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells. 

The new shells, a collaboration between Barcel, Old El Paso and Walmart, are available exclusively at the discount chain’s stores nationwide and on its website through early 2022. 

“The Old El Paso Takis Fuego Hot Chili Pepper and Lime-Flavored Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells are not only inspired by the intensity of our iconic rolled tortilla chip beyond the snack bag, they allow our consumers to build their own Takis Fuego creation in taco form with the convenience of the Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells,” said Sandra Peregrina, Barcel USA’s marketing director for salty snacks, in a statement. 

General Mills’ Old El Paso first introduced its Stand ‘N Stuff line of taco shells in 2004. The shells’ flat bottom is designed to keep taco fillings from spilling out on the plate. The brand has experimented with flavors for the shells with mixed success. It first introduced a baked flavor salsa and nacho variety in 2006, but quietly discontinued them due to lack of consumer interest, Bloomberg reported. In 2014, Old El Paso tried again with its flavor-sprayed Bold Nacho Cheese variety, inspired by the massive success of Frito-Lay’s Doritos Loco taco shells at Taco Bell. It has since also launched a Bold Spicy Cheddar flavor.

Takis Fuego could prove to be complementary to the existing varieties, lending a different slice of spicy flavor that has proven especially popular with millennial and Gen Z consumers. For Barcel, the Old El Paso collaboration continues the expansion of its Takis brand into new product areas. In May, it launched four new forms of the spicy tortilla snack, with plans to add popcorn and chips to its lineup.   

— Samantha Oller   

Permission granted by Conagra Brands

 

Bigs seasons its sunflower seeds with some Pizza! Pizza! 

Bigs Sunflower Seeds is partnering with Little Caesars to bring its ExtraMostBestest Pepperoni Pizza to in-shell sunflower seeds. 

The Conagra snack offering is no stranger to partnering with popular brands such as Taco Bell and its own Vlasic pickles line as a way to add a new flavor to Bigs. The latest product with the Pizza! Pizza! maker reportedly emulates the meaty, cheesy, saucy deliciousness found in a slice of the company’s pies.

“We’ve really made a mark on the category with big, bold licensed flavors,” said Spencer Fivelson, vice president and general manager of Conagra’s snacks division. “We could easily innovate in some cases without a partner but we evaluate what’s the equity that’s going to bring the most excitement to that offering and broaden the aperture as much as possible.”

Fivelson said there is “a gap in the marketplace for a really great tasting pizza-flavored salty snack.” By partnering with nationally known Little Caesars, Conagra is able to gain instant recognition and create additional buzz, while bringing a new flavor variety to the category, he said.

For brands like Bigs, the best-selling flavored sunflower seed according to Conagra, the addition of a new flavor helps keep a brand fresh while drawing attention to its other offerings. 

Twinkie, for example, has moved beyond its creme-filled vanilla cake with varieties including pumpkin spice, cotton candy and chocolate cake with peanut butter. Mondelēz’s Oreo is famous for rolling out new and interesting flavors in recent years ranging from Jelly Donut, Watermelon and Birthday Cake. While General Mills features more than 20 different varieties of Cheerios available on its website, including the original, chocolate strawberry, toasted coconut and maple.

— Christopher Doering

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