The food product ‘hall of fame and shame’

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk Food Flavor

The market research organization The Hartman Group has released a list of products dubbed the 'hall of fame and shame' which could offer food and beverage manufacturers insight into new flavor combinations.

The list, which offers a review of some new product trends, is featured in a Hartman report called “Contemporary Food Trends: Emergent Themes in Products, Retailers and Restaurants”.

It said that the featured products were not chosen due to their success or failure in the marketplace per se. Instead, it was because they “each encapsulate certain critical elements of product trends in the current cultural zeitgeist”​.

The products included in the ‘hall of fame’ were Dry Soda, Vermont Butter and Cheese and M&M’s Premiums.

Those listed under the ‘hall of shame’ included Metromint chocolatemint water, Budweiser Chelada and the Tanka Bar.

Hall of fame

The report described Dry Soda, from the DRY Soda Co, as a “truly original, sophisticated take on traditional carbonated soft drinks”​.

It praised the drink’s combination of “adventurous”​ culinary flavors, such as lavender, its attractive bottles and the “less-sweet”​ flavor profile.

It described Vermont Butter and Cheese, from the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, as an “uber-premium, artisanal dairy with a decidedly European focus”.

The report said: “Vermont Butter and Cheese is now emerging as one of the premier regional dairy brands. The cultured butter - forged from hand-churned cream - is a stunning quality achievement.”

And Mars North America’s M&M’s Premiums are described as an “upscale line extension on an iconic candy”​ available in five flavors: Triple chocolate, Chocolate almond, Mint, Mocha, Raspberry almond.

The report said: “This is a nice example of how to successfully extend an existing brand into premium territory without throwing out the baby along the way.

“The unique color coatings and packaging attributes are critical components to the product’s appeal.”

Hall of shame

Meanwhile the report highlighted what it claims to be ‘mistakes’ made with products such as Metromint chocolatemint water, from the Soma Beverage Company, which is water flavored with the essence of chocolate and mint.

The report said: “If you’re a chocolate fan, don’t expect decadence here - there is no chocolate.

“And if you’re looking for refreshment and rehydration, chocolate’s the last place you’d turn.”

It described Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser Chelada as a concoction forged from clam juice, tomato juice, lime, salt and Budweiser beer.

The motivation seemed to be to target the Latino market segment but the report said it demonstrated a tendency to “just throw a million ideas at the wall and see what sticks”​.

And the Tanka Bar, from Native American Natural Foods, is described as a high-protein energy bar developed by Native Americans which combines prairie-fed buffalo with cranberries and herbs.

The report said: “This represents the bar craze taken to illogical extremes”.

Hartman compiled its observations and data, along with Tinderbox Analysts, from a variety of methodological approaches - such as in-store shopping ethnographies and in-home pantry audits - throughout 2008.

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