National Food Days, Food Insecurity, Pumpkin Everything: The Latest Food News Trends

A look at the food and beverage industry news from PR Newswire in July and August that you might have missed.


Food and Beverage News Trends, July-August 2023


By Joe Murphy | Published Sept. 6, 2023


This edition of the PR Newswire food and beverage blog has a little something for everyone. From free mullets to National Nude Day, we have you covered (pun intended).

Before we jump into the trends, here’s a quick recap of the last two months. PR Newswire issued more than 1,700 food and beverage releases in July and August. Among those, some of the most-viewed were:

As far as trends, there were four main categories we noticed: national days, food insecurity, novelty products/promotions, and the return of fall flavors.



National Days

According to the National Day Calendar, there are more than 1,500 national days. As the list of national days continues to grow, so does the desire of PR Newswire clients to leverage these days.

PR Newswire sent out nearly 40 national food and beverage day releases in July and August. Two of the more popular national food days in that span were National Ice Cream Day and National Avocado Day.

River Street Sweets, Cold Stone Creamery, and Tillamook County Creamery Association all sent releases celebrating National Ice Cream Day (July 16).

National Avocado Day (July 31) had its share of new products and promotions as well, including:

  • Avocados From Mexico and Sprinkles released a limited-edition cupcake.
  • The makers of WHOLLY® AVOCADO celebrated the day by giving 10 lucky fans a year's supply of WHOLLY® AVOCADO products.
  • Finally, Chipotle and Avocados from Peru partnered to give fans a chance to win tickets to a concert or music festival of their choice.

There was a plethora of other national food days celebrated via PR Newswire during July and August, including (but not limited to): National French Fry Day, National Whataburger Day, and National Fried Chicken Day.

Finally, as promised, there was National Nude Day (July 14). For those interested in hiking trails the way nature intended, granola brand Bear Naked created a special hiker's belt that covers you with a bag of strategically placed Bear Naked Granola.

Food Insecurity

September is Hunger Action Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of hunger in the United States. According to Feeding America, more than 34 million people, including 9 million children, experience food insecurity in the United States.

In July and August, several companies and organizations jumped into action to help address this crisis, both locally and nationally. In total, nearly 100 releases mentioning “food insecurity” were sent in the two-month span.

Here are a few local initiative highlights:

  • In Atlanta, Sara Lee and U.S. Hunger celebrated their partnership with a Table of Love event and the packaging of more than 10,000 meals that will be delivered to a food bank in the Atlanta area.
  • In Canton, Ohio, Sugardale® and the Pro Football Hall of Fame partnered on the first "Huddle Up for Hunger" food drive benefiting the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
  • In Cincinnati, Kellogg Company and Kroger teamed up to donate $35,000 to Greater Cincinnati's Freestore Foodbank.

Nationally, companies partnered with organizations such as Feeding America and No Kid Hungry to address food shortages.

Feeding America
  • GoGo squeeZ® and actress, mom, and hunger relief advocate Leighton Meester filled up lunchboxes at North Valley Caring Services Food Pantry in LA county and will be providing up to 250,000 meals to families through a donation to Feeding America.
  • In July, Condado Tacos launched its national partnership with Feeding America®. Condado Tacos has committed to raising a minimum of $100,000. 
  • Campbell's® Chunky® teamed up with NFL defensive stars to encourage fans to help sack food insecurity. For every Chunky Bowl sold during the regular NFL season, Chunky Sacks Hunger will donate one meal to Feeding America®.
No Kid Hungry
  • Ben's Original™ continued its "Be an After-School Hero" program benefitting No Kid Hungry®. From July 3 to November 12 this year, for every $1 spent on participating Ben's Original products, $1 will be donated to No Kid Hungry.
  • At the beginning of August, Wingstop Charities announced its national partnership with No Kid Hungry, where 100% of Round Up collections from and the Wingstop app in the months of August and September 2023 will be donated to No Kid Hungry.

Unique Partnerships and Promotions/Novelty Products

It’s a crowded market out there. The goal is to stay relevant with an ever-changing audience. So how do you do that? For the last couple of months, the trend seems to be to do something unexpected or unusual. Whether it was an unexpected partnership or promotion, or a unique product, several companies did something to stand out in July and August.

One partnership, in particular, struck a chord with consumers, as it was the most viewed release for July and August by a wide margin.

  • Pop-Tarts® and Crocs - Limited-edition Pop-Tarts Croc-Tarts come with one pair of custom Crocs Classic Clogs featuring Pop-Tarts-inspired Jibbitz™ charms and a box of Unfrosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts featuring Crocs-shaped candy Jibbitz™ charms. (This was the most viewed release in July and August!)
  • CHEETOS and MAC’ramé - Featuring sneakers and a waist bag, this collection combines the bold, distinct flavor of CHEETOS Mac 'N Cheese and fashion designer Coral Castillo's captivating take on macramé to help elevate your wardrobe.
  • Mustard and SKITTLES - In honor of National Mustard Day (Aug. 5), French's® and SKITTLES® teamed up to release this summer's tangiest yellow candy: the first-ever mouthwatering French's Mustard flavored SKITTLES.
  • Body Scrubs and Smoothies - In mid-August, Dove and Juice Press announced the launch of Dove x Juice Press smoothies, inspired by the indulgent ingredients and creamy, nourishing feel of Dove Exfoliating Body Scrubs.              
  • Free mullets - In celebration of the ever-popular USA Mullet Championships, Fritos®, the "Down for Everything™" corn chip from Frito-Lay®, fueled fans' passion for the iconic hairstyle by offering 1,000 free mullet cuts in August.
  • Free subs - Would you change your name to 'Subway' to get free Subway subs for life? Nearly 10,000 sandwich lovers said 'yes' in just 96 hours.
  • Coors Light Scarf - Soccer has been a big draw this summer. To stay relevant with soccer fanatics, Coors Light created the Chill Fanxiety Scarf — the ultimate soccer scarf with cooling technology, a built-in neck massager, and two beer pockets.
  • Twisted Tea Back Wax - To help drinkers or hairy-backed friends rock a shirt-free summer with confidence, Twisted Tea launched the world's first-ever hard iced tea-inspired hair removal system: Twisted Tea Back Wax.

Fall Flavors

In the last blog, we discussed all things summer. While fall doesn’t officially start until Sept. 23, most companies long ago said goodbye to summer menus and made the transition to their fall lineups.

PR Newswire issued roughly 200 fall-related food and beverage releases in July and August, double the amount from May and June.

For most companies, fall = pumpkin-flavored something(s). That includes the following August pumpkin releases:

Pumpkin vs. Apple

While pumpkin gets a lot of the headlines/fame, Angry Orchard believes apple deserves some strong consideration as America’s favorite fall flavor. According to a recent survey, they’re not alone. More than half of Americans (57%) surveyed agreed they're over the fall pumpkin flavor craze, with 68% claiming they prefer apple over pumpkin flavors during fall.

In light of this, Angry Orchard launched a new, exclusively-apple variety pack this fall: the Fireside Mix Pack.

Too Early or Just in Time?

On Aug. 21, Genesee announced two seasonal beers, Oktoberfest and Cran Orange Kellerbier, were returning to stores the following week. They coupled the announcement with a request for honest consumer feedback on whether August was too early for fall beers, using the hashtag #gennyfallrant.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t expect to talk about National Nude Day, mullets, and back wax in a food blog, but here we are. Whether it’s having some fun celebrating a national day, coming up with an unexpected product or partnership, giving us the latest pumpkin (or apple) treat, or addressing a very real concern such as food insecurity, food and beverage companies did not take a summer break. They’ve been busy, and I would expect that to ramp up even more as we head through September and October.


About the Author

Joe Murphy headshotJoe Murphy is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. He serves as Cision’s Food and Beverage Industry Ambassador and curates the @PRNFood Twitter handle. In his free time, he enjoys watching Cleveland sports and spending time with his wife and two kids.