Lynn Dornblaser
Lynn is the Director of Innovation & Insight at Mintel. Lynn applies her unique perspective on the market and new product development to tailored client research.

As the year draws to an end, we have identified some of the most innovative food and drink products launched in 2019 that stood out for being unique and capturing the spirit of the times. 2019 has been an exciting year for food and drink, and we look forward to being further inspired and blown away in 2020!

Hoptea (US)

A sparkling tea brewed with hops, illustrating beverage blurring and continued innovation in tea. This range has been designed to appeal to tea drinkers as well as beer lovers. The drinks contain just three ingredients: carbonated water, tea and hops, and it’s described as “brewed like craft beer”. HopTea is available in six flavours and uses not only different tea varieties, but also a variety of hops, including simcoe hops, mosaic hops and citra hops.

 

Aidells Whole Blends Sausages (US)

Refrigerated sausages that are a blend of plant protein and animal protein. These are positioned to consumers cutting back on meat, not to vegetarians. As flexitarian diets become increasingly mainstream, adding plant-based ingredients (especially proteins) to meat and dairy products can satisfy consumer interest in plant-forward diets and drive category growth.

 

Nesquik All Natural (Europe)

In March 2019, Nestlé announced the launch of a new Nesquik All Natural powder featuring a simplified, natural ingredients list and retailing in an all-paper pouch. The new pouch is the reason why this product features in this list: it’s made of a coated paper from sustainable sources that is recyclable. With growing consumer concern over plastic pollution, exacerbated by a lack of recycling options for flexible plastic, paper is finding itself increasingly in the spotlight.

 

 

Crunchy Biscuits with Nutella Filling (France)

When we think about food in 2019, it doesn’t all have to be about hybrids and plant-based alternatives; it can also be about taste, indulgence, pleasure, and a successful brand extension. When Nutella came to the sweet biscuits market in France in 2019, it created a hit selling over €1 million a week, making it one of the most successful new food product launchs of the year.

 

Lazy Vegan Provençale Veggies & Chunky Pulled Peaz (UK)

We’ve seen pea protein emerge as an animal protein alternative in the last few years, but it usually functioned as an ingredient in the background – part of what makes up the formulation, but not easily distinguishable by consumers. This convenient vegan ready meal casts peas in a completely new way: as a base ingredient with a texture similar to pulled pork or chicken. The ‘pulled peaz’ consist of pea protein, pea fibre, potato starch and seasonings. It’s also extremely convenient – all consumers have to do is heat and eat for a quick meal with tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms and more.

Funkin Nitro Passionfruit Martini (UK)

Funkin Nitro claims to be the first nitro ready-to-drink (RTD) alcohol product. The range is infused with nitrogen and comes in Espresso Martini, Passion fruit Martini, Amaretto Sour and Pink Gin Fizz variants. Introducing nitrogen to the RTD cocktail category is a smart move, as innovation is generally quite limited and flavours are very sweet. Nitro creates a naturally creamy mouthfeel which means brands can use less sugar/sweeteners and still taste great.

We Care Crushed Broccoli (Thailand)

Made only with two ingredients – real broccoli and rice bran oil – this product is said to be crispy and delicious. It’s ready-to-eat and can be used in baking or sprinkled on food such as rice, boiled rice, congee, soup, and other dishes including pizza and spaghetti, adding a crunchy texture. The vegetarian product is free from MSG, preservatives, colourants and flavours, and it’s a good source of fibre. As today’s consumers can’t seem to get enough of plant-based foods, this represents an innovative, unique and convenient way of increasing vegetables intake.

Pratinha Magic Booze Pratipa Alcohol Drink (Brazil)

A unique product, this is an instant beer – a concentrated handcrafted beer which is ready within seconds when adding sparkling water. The original drink is produced the usual way, but then it goes through a process of freezing at very low temperatures and pressure reduction, which sublimates the liquids. After this process, the drink gets a new addition of malts and hops of aromatic profiles and adjusted alcohol content.

Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago are Directors of Innovation & Insight at Mintel. They apply their unique perspective on the market and new product development to tailored client research.