Merchant Innovation

Mayochup, Beet-B-Qs And Rosé Marshmallows — The Summer Of 2018 In Strange Eating

It’s been called many things: Fry Sauce, Go Sauce, Russian Dressing, Dutch Sauce, Golf Sauce. On occasion, it’s called nothing in particular.

It’s the time-honored tradition of mixing mayonnaise and ketchup into a single, delicious pink sauce that combines the creaminess of mayonnaise and the tart flavor universally located in each bottle of ketchup.

And which often finds its way onto one end of a French fry.

Why ruin two perfectly good condiments? Love it or loathe it, the combination has entered the mainstream. It’s even getting a new name, care of Heinz — the firm that first brought the world the 57 flavors that make up the ketchup’s majesty.

The product will be known as Mayochup.

If you’re thinking this is the strangest food news you’ve heard in a while, brace yourself. Not only is that not the strangest food on the summer fad list, it’s not even the strangest food made with ketchup.

Mayonnaise Mayhem

So, why Mayochup?

According to The Wall Street Journal, it’s all about the battle for condiment dominance, particularly the mayonnaise roost.

Hellmann’s, owned by Unilever, is currently the peerless king of mayo. Kraft (which owns Heinz) and Hellmann’s collectively own 80 percent of the mayo market, but Hellmann’s comes out on top, controlling just over 50 percent of the market. In an era when people are buying less mayonnaise, opting for healthier variations that use avocado oil, Hellmann’s managed to improve its market share.

Bring out the Hellmann’s, “bring out the best” apparently has a hold on people.

Kraft’s shares, on the other hand, have been slipping. Its flagship “mayonnaise-like product” Miracle Whip has seen its sales decline in the last two years. Miracle Whip, for legal reasons, cannot be called mayonnaise, because it does not use the correct balance of oil in the recipe.

Mayochup is one of many tweaks coming to condiments this summer. However, ketchup is considered by many to be the world’s most perfectly balanced food product — and thus nearly impossible to improve.

Seriously, Malcom Gladwell did an entire TED Talk on it.

But both Kraft (Heinz) and Unilever (Hellmann’s) have decided to try anyway, “updating” the sugar found in most ketchup by replacing it with honey.

“We saw this as an opportunity to elevate an American staple,” said Russel Lilly, marketing director of Hellmann’s. “It’s time for ketchup to evolve.”

Guess what?

Most people are good with unelevated ketchup.

“It tasted like weak barbecue sauce,” said Orlando, Florida-based food blogger James Emerson. “This just doesn’t seem right.”

Ketchup, it seems, isn’t something to be messed with. Mustard can stand innovation; messing with ketchup, on the other hand, almost never works out.

Will Mayochup be the exception? It bodes well that there are millions of people around the world who already eat this product and who might actually appreciate not having to spend 10 minutes mixing their condiments to a proper balance.

If we were betting the type, we would say that this has better odds of success than the other big ketchup innovation this summer:

Ketchup Ice Cream

Yes, you read that right. (Sadly that is not a joke.)

And it’s all singer Ed Sheeran’s fault.

Sheeran is apparently some sort of obsessive ketchup fan, with a tattoo of a bottle on his arm and an emergency supply on him at all times.

In honor of this fact, the Gelati Enniscrone & Ballina ice cream shop in Ireland created Heinz ketchup gelato.

The bright red ice cream even comes with a drizzle of ketchup on top.

Some say it tastes like a Bloody Mary.

We assume those people added their own vodka ahead of time and are not reliable narrators.

Speaking of desserts that have a high alcohol content…

Rosé Marshmallows

It’s happened to everyone, we assume: at a summer BBQ, wanting to have dessert but unwilling to have the flavor of light pink wine leave one’s palate for even a moment.

Life’s not easy when one has to decide between drinking wine and making s’mores around the campfire.

Luckily, the pioneers at XO Marshmallow have created a product so no one will ever have to make that choice again.

XO Marshmallow — as its name implies — makes high-end, artisanal marshmallows. Many varieties, are, in fact, alcohol- and cocktail-inspired: champagne marshmallows, cosmopolitan marshmallows, gin and ginger beer marshmallows, margarita marshmallows, mimosa marshmallows — it’s safe to say the team at XO thinks of everything.

However, the rosé marshmallow is especially Instagrammable. Not only is it hot pink, it’s also lightly dusted in edible gold glitter.

According to the product’s packaging, “these marshmallows are sure to be perfect for sipping, snacking and taking ‘toasting marshmallows’ to a new level.”

If reviews are to be believed, they even taste good.

“The marshmallows aren’t boozy exactly, but they do have a sort of fermented tartness. With each bite, we also tasted hints of strawberry and raspberry,” the reviewers at Refinery29 noted.

And, if one happens to eat too many marshmallows and ends up with a hangover?

Good news: They also make avocado toast marshmallows to nurse you through it.

Sadly, however, they aren’t vegan, which means you won’t be able to bring them to the Beet-B-Q.

What’s a Beet-B-Q?  

A Beet-B-Q is an informal name given to BBQs for vegans that Amazon is predicting will be the hottest summer food trend.

Instead of burgers, one grills beets.

Yum.

And even what isn’t vegan or vegetarian will likely be healthier, with a traditional summer BBQ including plant-based burgers and kimchi, according to The Daily Mirror.

“We’ll also see big changes in al fresco dining with the arrival of the ‘Beet-B-Q,’ as meat-free alternatives to traditional burgers and sausages enter the mainstream,” trend expert Steve Tooze said. “Our choice of condiments is expanding too, with kimchi soon to be found on every picnic table, and, as gardens are tended to by robotic mowers, there’ll be plenty of time to perfect these popular new vegan BBQ recipes.”

What those recipes won’t have?

Mayochup. Mayonnaise has eggs in it.

Actually, those vegan Beet-B-Qs may have something going for them after all.

Happy Memorial Day, and happy summer dining.

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