Cutting the Mustard

The announcement last week of a Grey Poupon wine is a reminder of how mustard brands have mastered the art of creating limited-edition foods and beverages featuring weird flavor combinations for use as promotional tools. Some of the relatively few but always conversation-worthy examples over the years include:

  • Kraft Heinz’ Grey Poupon “La Moutarde Vin” Napa Valley Viognier 2020, a mustard seed-infused white wine from The Wine Foundry. This just-launched special-edition product, priced at $30, sold out in a day. Viognier is the kind of wine used in Grey Poupon’s recipe.
  • French’s novelty products to mark National Mustard Day in August of each year. In 2021 it was limited-edition mustard hot dog buns with Piantedosi Baking Company, available at baseball stadiums and select hot dog carts across the country. In 2020 it was mustard, lemon, and lime-infused wheat ale with Oskar Blues Brewery, sold through craft beer marketplace CraftShack. And in 2019 it was mustard ice cream with Coolhaus, served with a pretzel cookie, available through the chain’s L.A. locations and ice cream trucks in the New York area. French’s is owned by McCormick & Co.
  • Colman’s pairing with the Snaffling Pig Co. for pork crackling. The two British brands teamed up in 2017 to create this snack, similar to pork rinds. Unlike the other examples, this was a long-term partnership rather than a limited edition, and the product has been sold in both bags and jars through retailers such as Tesco. The snacks are still on the market, including through Amazon, Snaffling Pig’s website, and other online shops. Colman’s is a Unilever brand.
  • Maille’s collaboration with London restaurant Coq d’Argent for mustard macarons. Maille, a brand with roots in Dijon, France, and now owned by Unilever, is known for its ever-evolving range of flavors. The macaron’s ganache filling had a base of white chocolate infused with lemon and a hint of mustard, and there were mustard seeds in the outer shell. The treats, launched back in 2016, were available to order at the restaurant or to take home through the Maille shop in Piccadilly, London (now closed).

Offbeat foods, mostly limited editions, have become a popular way for flavor-based IP owners to promote their respective brands—and for their partners to attract attention and repeat business with new varieties—especially in categories such as ice cream, popcorn, and alcoholic beverages. These collaborations tend to be buzzworthy, and they typically sell out fast. Mustard makers have certainly been a notable part of this trend, with their relative rarity balanced by the outsized publicity they receive when they occur.

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