Companies Try Funky Flavors | God's World News

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Companies Try Funky Flavors
News Shorts
Posted: May 20, 2024
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    Ben Van Leeuwen scoops Kraft Mac & Cheese-flavored ice cream in New York. (AP/Frank Franklin II)
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    Surprising flavor combinations—including Sour Patch Kids Oreos—are showing up more often in grocery stores. (AP/Dee-Ann Durbin)
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Ice cream that tastes like ranch dressing. Strawberry pancake potato chips. Marshmallow Peeps-flavored Pepsi. Dr Pepper-flavored Peeps. Surprising flavor combinations show up often in grocery stores. Food companies say these aren’t just stunts to grab attention on social media. They say they are also responding to what people say they want.

“We’re in a really exciting time of flavor development where consumers are not just one thing. You’re not just a sour lover or a sweet lover. You want a little of this and a little of that,” says Kristen Braun. She works for food and beverage company Mondelez International.

That company plans to release Sour Patch Kids Oreos this year. The vanilla cream-filled cookies are speckled with colorful bits of sour candy. Ms. Braun says it takes the company one or two years to develop such products. They are offered for sale for about nine weeks. She’s already thinking ahead to future flavors that blur the lines between sweet, salty, and spicy.

Unusual flavor pairings aren’t new. Hubba Bubba released a bubble gum-flavored soda in the late 1980s. But these days, it’s even easier for companies to experiment. And some experts say that young people are eager to try new flavors.

Toying with flavors can boost brands in several ways. Sometimes the funky products bring new customers to a brand. They might also nudge buyers to pick up the original flavor.

“Sour Patch Oreos sound interesting. But nobody wants to risk buying Oreos that don’t taste good, so people buy both,” food marketing expert Russell Zwanka says.

Kraft Heinz approached Van Leeuwen Ice Cream a few years ago. The company wanted to make macaroni and cheese-flavored ice cream. Ben Van Leeuwen, the company’s co-founder, was doubtful at first. But he found that Kraft’s cheesy powder blended well with the ice cream.

Still, “shock flavors” typically don’t end up on the permanent menu.

“I think you would taste our mac and cheese and you’d say, ‘Oh, that’s good,’” Mr. Van Leeuwen says. “But do you want to take a pint of that mac and cheese from your freezer when you’re watching [a TV show] and eat the entire thing? Probably not.”

Read more about the sense of taste here.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! — Psalm 34:8