KANSAS CITY — Hybrids are hot in food and beverage innovation.

Post Holdings, Inc. is splicing cereal and ice cream with the debut of Pebbles Light Ice Cream in Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles varieties.

“Fans of Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles cereal who also savor the milk at the bottom of their bowls are going to love these new Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles light ice creams,” said Amy Brothers, Pebbles cereal brand manager at Post Consumer Brands, a business unit of Post Holdings, Inc. “As a brand that has inspired kids and kids-at-heart for 50 years, we thought it would be fun to churn fans' favorite flavors into a frozen treat that will take the Pebbles cereal eating experience to a new level.”

Coca-Cola with Coffee blends Coca-Cola soda with Brazilian coffee and comes in caramel, dark blend and vanilla varieties. The beverage was first piloted in Japan in 2018, and the United States is the 50th market to launch it.

New Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar is launching alongside its full-sugar counterpart. The drink is available in dark blend and vanilla flavors.

The idea for Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar came about after the Coca-Cola Co.’s R&D team conducted consumer research and identified the beverage as an innovation opportunity.

“While other categories including energy drinks have ventured into zero-sugar territory, RTD coffee hasn’t because many offerings are dairy-based,” said Brandan Strickland, brand director of the Coca-Cola Trademark at the Coca-Cola Co. “So we see this as a major whitespace opportunity.”

Both beverages contain 69 mg of caffeine per 12-oz can, which compares with 34 mg in a can of regular Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, and 136 mg of caffeine in a 12-oz cup of coffee.

“Coca-Cola with Coffee is a true hybrid innovation.” — Brandan Strickland, The Coca-Cola Co.

“We’re focusing our innovation efforts on doing what Coca-Cola has always stood for and does best — which is to deliver emotional and functional uplift — in bigger, bolder, more differentiated ways,” Mr. Strickland said. “Coca-Cola with Coffee is a true hybrid innovation that provides the perfect solution for that mid-afternoon pick-me-up we all want, especially in today’s work-from-home environment. We’re fulfilling this need state and occasion in a uniquely Coca-Cola way.”

Bel Group’s The Laughing Cow brand has paired plant-based ingredients with cheese in its new line of cheese spreads.

The Laughing Cow Blends combine spreadable cheese with beans, chickpeas or lentils. Packaged in pre-portioned wedges, the spreads contain 2 grams of protein per serving and are available in three flavors: chickpea and cheese with herb, lentil and cheese with curry, and red bean and cheese with paprika.

“We’re thrilled to kick-off the new year with new and exciting innovations,” said Zach Fatla, brand director for The Laughing Cow USA. “The launch of these products shows the evolution and adaptability of The Laughing Cow to consumer snacking trends — we’re bringing big flavor, real ingredients and portability forward as part of a strong line-up of products, including our current variety of original wedges.”

Shamrock Farms is offering a new twist on dairy drinks and plant-based beverages by combining the two into one.

Shamrock Farms Swirled is a chocolate milk that blends milk with cocoa, coconut cream and almonds. Available in chocolate coconut and chocolate almond coconut, the hybrid beverage contains nine essential nutrients and is free of artificial colors, sweeteners and growth hormones.

The chocolate coconut flavor contains 300 calories, 13 grams of protein, 31 grams of sugar and 12 grams of fat per 12-oz bottle, while the chocolate almond coconut variety contains 310 calories, 15 grams of protein, 32 grams of sugar and 13 grams of fat per bottle.

“With Shamrock Farms Swirled, we're putting a new twist on chocolate milk by blending sweet and creamy coconut, the richness of real almonds and fresh milk into one drink,” said Ann Ocaña, chief marketing officer for Shamrock Farms. “Swirled is a delicious, upscale take on the classic beverage and answers an unmet need of many adults who love chocolate milk but are looking for something more decadent yet still healthy. With an uncompromising flavor, it's perfect for those who are plant-curious or plant-based but crave the benefits and taste of real milk.”

View slideshow of new products.