Every once in a while you’ll see a fairly well established food brand try to pump new life in to a product line by coming up with some ‘innovative’ new flavor or flavor combination. I’ve noticed a few new examples of this lately and thought I would share.
First up are the new offerings from Combos - Cheeseburger Cracker and Bacon, Egg & Cheese Cracker. Now, these flavors aren’t a HUGE stretch considering that they are still a savory combination, but they are far from the cheese and cracker variations we are used to. I think the more disturbing issue with these is the insanely accurate (artificial) recreations of their target flavors. I couldn’t bring myself to try the Bacon, Egg & Cheese version, but the Cheeseburger variety was eerily on target from a flavor standpoint. That’s just not right.
Lastly, we have the new Chocolate Skittles. That’s right, you heard me…Chocolate Skittles. Now, I’m not sure where this fits in with the whole “Taste the Rainbow” ad campaign Skittles has been running for years, but a rainbow of brown is not a very appetizing prospect.
When designing most products you generally try to address a customer need. If that need is fulfilled you are basically successful with your basic design process. Some industries require manufacturers to anticipate customer needs or even to create a need or desire that you never knew was there…such as a new flavor or other disruptive technology or feature. Creating that next big thing is easier said than done, as these products illustrate.