As 2020 draws to a close tomorrow, FoodBev Media takes a look back at some of the product releases that went viral this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic heavily impacted consumer choice this year, with healthy-eating options and convenient solutions at the forefront of demand in 2020. Below, are ten food and beverage product launch website features that did particularly well and were popular on FoodBev’s social media channels.
PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew limited-edition hot sauce
In November, PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew brand partnered with American professional basketball player Joel Embiid to create the brand’s first ever hot sauce.
The signature hot sauce was created in collaboration with iBurn, a Houston-based hot sauce shop, and features the distinct citrus flavour of Mountain Dew.
The sauce is flavoured with is habanero, which was chosen by fans via a Twitter and Facebook poll beating peri-peri, fatalii, and datil with 40% of the votes.
I’m always looking for that extra kick of spice when I put hot sauce on my food, and no one knows how to bring the heat better than my friends at Mountain Dew,” said NBA superstar and Mountain Dew partner athlete Joel Embiid.
Ginsters vegan empanada with Gold&Green Foods’ meat alternative
Earlier this year saw the launch of UK pastry brand Ginsters vegan empanada containing Pulled Oats, a plant-based meat alternative from Helsinki-based Gold&Green Foods.
The product features piquanté pepper and ancho chillies in a smoky Mexican-style sauce combined with marinated Pulled Oats, made from a high-protein mix of oats, pea and faba bean. The filling is wrapped in light pastry and finished with a smoked paprika topping.
“This exciting range extension will continue to broaden appeal within the pre-family market, demonstrating that savoury pastry is a category of innovation which we continue to lead,” said Ginsters managing director, Kieran Hemsworth.
Gemma Collins and Zymurgorium gin liqueur
UK media personality, Gemma Collins, is mostly known for appearing on The Only Way is Essex, but this year saw her partner with Manchester-based distillery Zymurgorium to launch a kiwi and lime gin liqueur.
Commenting on the launch, Collins said: “I’m so excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with Zymurgorium to create my first-ever gin liqueur.
“It has a magic formula (just like me), and features the most beautiful, iridescent, show-stopping sparkle. And with exotic blends of juniper, kiwi and lime, the taste is just incredible.”
Notably, Gemma retweeted FoodBev Media’s social media post about the gin, allowing many of her 1.2million followers to see it.
Magnum ice cream bars with ruby chocolate
The beginning of 2020 saw the launch of Unilever’s new Magnum ice cream bars featuring ruby chocolate, in a move to offer “the ultimate luxury ice cream experience”.
Magnum Ruby Minis contain sweet cream ice cream that Unilever said allows the ruby chocolate coating to shine best.
“As the chocolatiers of ice cream, we’re uniquely positioned to launch the first ice cream featuring this new chocolate variant, ruby,” said Leslie Miller, director of marketing, ice cream North America, Unilever.
Nestlé’s plant-based tuna alternative
Back in summer, Nestlé made its first move into the growing market for plant-based seafood alternatives with the launch of a vegan tuna in Switzerland.
Sensational Vuna, was launched under the Garden Gourmet brand and is made from a blend of six plant-based ingredients.
With a pea-protein base, the plant-based tuna alternative contains essential amino acids and is free from artificial colourings or preservatives.
Described as having a “flaky texture and rich flavour” like its seafood counterpart, Nestlé says its Vuna can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches and pizzas.
SodaStream at-home Bubly Drops
In October, SodaStream announced it partnered with the Bubly sparkling water brand to release a new range of products called Bubly Drops, marking its first partnership since it was acquired by PepsiCo.
Bubly Drops for SodaStream will allow consumers to ‘create Bubly drinks at home’ and will be available for SodaStream devices in six flavour varieties: grapefruit, blackberry, lime, strawberry, mango and cherry.
Eyal Shohat, CEO of SodaStream, said: “Bubly drops are the perfect extension to our flavour offerings, tapping into one of the most rapidly growing segments of the sparkling beverage market: unsweetened flavoured sparkling water.”
G Fuel MoonPie flavour
Energy drinks company G Fuel teamed up with Chattanooga Bakery Inc this year in order to launch a new MoonPie flavour energy formula beverage.
Aimed at gamers, the new offering claims to deliver increased energy, extreme focus and improved reaction time.
“After many rigorous top-secret experiments in the MoonPie Recipe Lab, we’re over-the-moon about creating the perfect combination of G Fuel, marshmallow, graham and chocolate,” commented G Fuel founder and CEO, Cliff Morgan.
Elmhurst 1925 new single-serve oat milk flavours
Back towards the beginning of 2020, plant-based milk producer Elmhurst 1925 expanded its portfolio of single-serve oat milk with the launch of three new flavours: chocolate, vanilla and blueberry.
Elmhurst 1925 debuted its single-serve version of its Milked Oats oat milk product in July 2019, which were designed to be convenient and portable, for both on-the-go and at-home use.
“We created our new Single Serve Milked Oats with both kids and convenience in mind, and focused on flavours that are familiar and well-loved,” said Peter Truby, chief marketing officer of Elmhurst 1925.
With the aim of creating a new snacking experience, PepsiCo’s convenient foods division Frito-Lay North America has launched Cheetos Popcorn in January.
The launch marks the first time that popcorn has been infused with ‘cheetle’, a term trademarked by Frito-Lay to describe the orange cheese dust.
PepsiCo combined the “iconic Cheetos seasoning with one of America’s snacking favourites, swapping the butter and salt for the cheesy and spicy flavours fans know and love”.
The ready-to-eat bags are available in two flavours: cheddar and flamin’ hot.
Violife dairy-free grated mature cheddar
April 2020 saw the launch of Upfield-owned dairy-free cheese brand Violife’s Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Grated.
The new release followed on from the launch of the primary cheddar product in block form in January 2020 and aims to provide a more convenient option.
Packaged in a resealable pouch, the Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour has been grated for quick and simple everyday use in vegan recipes and meal options.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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