Innovations We Love: October

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  • by Courtney PeGan Stevens

We’ve been watching how COVID has shaped the way consumers celebrate over the last several months, and it has been so inspiring to see how brands and companies have stepped in to support their consumers’ efforts to create bright spots in an otherwise dark year. This month, Courtney PeGan Stevens, our Senior Vice President of Operations, shares her favorite holiday-themed innovations this season. 

INNOVATION: Spirit Halloween Partners with Instacart

Why We Love It: The rise of delivery this year has reached the Halloween holiday as Spirit Halloween partnered with Instacart to make Pandemic Halloween essentials, like costumes and spooky decor, available for delivery. Consumers are looking for creative ways to make the holiday fun AND safe, and this is a wonderful way for the Halloween-focused retailer to help consumers get into the holiday spirit even when they can’t shop in-store. 

INNOVATION: Blue Apron’s Thanksgiving Feast

Why We Love It:  Thanksgiving will inevitably look different this year for a lot of us, leaving many at home in the kitchen for the first time. Never fear; Blue Apron to the rescue! The ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service recently unveiled their first-ever Thanksgiving feast featuring chef-designed recipes created for an unforgettable, stress-free, and delicious Thanksgiving Day meal. Complete with a step-by-step guide on how to organize, prepare, and cook a Thanksgiving meal, Blue Apron will also offer wine pairings for purchase. In addition to taking the guesswork out of the meal, the company also plans to support its home cooks by sharing free tips on its social channels to help make the holiday as fun as possible. Now, consumers who find themselves with new responsibilities in the kitchen this Thanksgiving can focus on family, rest, and general merriment instead of hunting down recipes, shopping for ingredients, and hours of prep. 

INNOVATION: Gingerbread Eggo Pancakes

Why We Love It:  This year, I’ve observed the holidays creeping into the everyday as we need a little extra joy and optimism this year. This is why I love the idea of a festive, easy-to-make Eggo breakfast that can infuse any morning with some much needed cheer. It is a bonus that these waffles look far more edible than the rock-hard gingerbread houses I’ve constructed in the past, too. 

INNOVATION: Festive Coffee-Mate Creamers

Why We Love It:  While we’re thinking about festive mornings, dressing up my coffee has become a MUST, largely because Starbucks has conditioned me to expect sweet festive coffee treats with each season. Thankfully, Coffee-Mate announced a new seasonal flavor that I am clamoring to try: Cookies ‘n Cocoa. Working from home means that all my morning coffee treats come from my own kitchen, so seasonal creamers are already on my shopping list. Just because we still have a few weeks until we start seeing sparkly lights and big red bows doesn’t mean our taste buds aren’t ready to celebrate! 

What are some innovative ways you’ve seen brands and companies step in to help their consumers salvage and celebrate the holiday spirit?  Let’s keep the conversation going. Join us on LinkedIn or email me directly: