What’s new on the shelf: Pickle packs, Cheez-Its paired with wine, and Calbee's double cheeseburger chips

By Kristine Sherred and Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Recent launches include improved packaging from a growing pickle brand and Flamin' Hot popcorn from Kellogg's Smartfood brand. Pic: Getty Images/Fascinadora
Recent launches include improved packaging from a growing pickle brand and Flamin' Hot popcorn from Kellogg's Smartfood brand. Pic: Getty Images/Fascinadora

Related tags New product launches Packaging Cheez-it Meat snacks Popcorn Calbee Nippon Premium Bakery Froot Loops Frito-lay Bare Snacks

Small brands and major players launch new flavors for summer snacking, with a focus on intense crunch and big flavor. We take a look at the launches hitting at the height of the season.

Pickle trendsetter

Grillo's Fresh Packs

Boston-based Grillo has unveiled rectangular, stackable packaging intended to keep its pickles fresh for two weeks.

Grillo’s traditionally used the standard round jar, but earlier this year, the company told us consumers found the lid difficult to snap back into place. The ‘Fresh Packs’ aim to resolve that issue.

They take up less space in refrigerators and feature an easy-open tab and softer plastic. They also allow the pickles to ‘always be fully submerged in brine.’

"Our new Fresh Packs prove that Grillo's is continuing to push the pickle industry and evolve within the space,” ​said founder and CEO Travis Grillo, who noted the company’s desire to be ‘trendsetters.’

The 12oz and 16oz sizes are smaller than the standard 20oz jar and run for an RRP of $4.99 to $5.99 (compared to $6 or $7 for the jars). Consumers can find them in popular varieties, including Hot Dill Spears, Dill Chips and the new Sandwich Makers (long slices), at major US retailers like Walmart, Price Chopper and Sprouts.

“We're excited to unveil a product at a lower price point that competes directly with major competitors in the market for both shelf stable and refrigerated pickles,” ​added Grillo. “This is an opportunity to show consumers what a real pickle tastes like. We're proud that consumers no longer have to sacrifice quality for affordability."

Perfect pairing

Cheez-It and House Wine

Kellogg’s Cheeze-It has teamed up with Precept Wine, a Seattle-based wine producer best known for its affordable House Wine, on a combo pack prepped for a picnic.

The limited-edition product offers the Original Cheez-It flavor with House Wine’s Original Red Blend for an RRP of $25, available exclusively at OriginalHouseWine.com.

"We are thrilled to partner with House Wine to combine their expertise and America's favorite 100% real cheese snack into one portable box,"​ said Jeff Delonis, senior marketing director for Kellogg's US Snacks division, adding that “many of our fans were already exploring pairing different wines with Cheez-It.”

The combo boxes serve up other suggested pairings, such as White Cheddar Cheez-Its and rosé wine or Extra Toasty with Sauvignon Blanc, developed by Precept’s winemaker Hal Landvoigt.

"We make wines for people to enjoy anytime and anyplace – just like Cheez-It,"​ he said "I create wines that run the spectrum of flavor – from crisp and bright to savory and spicy. From there, I looked for combinations that complement the real cheese found in each flavor of Cheez-It to make the perfect pairing."

Going bold

Wenzel's Farm Jalapeno Cheddar Meat Snack

Wisconsin-based meat snack maker, Wenzel's Farm, has added another flavor to its lineup. 

Jalapeno Cheddar brings the line’s total flavor number to 11: others include Honey Ham, Teriyaki, Pepperjack, Taco and Bacon. Wenzel’s snack sticks are naturally smoked, and are free from MSG, artifical colors and gluten.

“Our consumers desire bold new flavors and, with the popularity of our snack sticks growing, we want to continue to give them more choices,”​ said Mark Vieth, Wenzel's president.

The company also produces a line of sausages, including Thuringers, Kielbasa and classic summer sausage, plus bratwursts and hot dogs.

Simple snacking

Bare Snacks Medleys

Focused on simple snacking, Bare Snacks has added new flavors to its line of coconut chips, which brings other fruit into the mix.

The Medley Pineapple Chips and Coconut Chips complements the brand’s existing line of ‘baked, never fried’ snacks. They are made without added oil and serve up a good source of fiber. A 1.8oz serving clocks in at 250 calories with 10g of fat (RRP $4.29).

The Medley Apple Chips and Strawberry Chips bring two summer favorites to the fore. They are made without added sugar and contain zero grams of fat. A 1.6oz serving provides 170 calories (RRP $4.29).

Bare also makes bags of just apple chips, banana chips and coconut chips, as well as a veggie variety. Its products never contain artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. 

That's hot

Smartfood Flamin Hot Popcorn

Frito-Lay has spiced up its Smartfood popcorn line with the launch of Flamin’ Hot White Cheddar.

The popcorn still offers its signature air-popped ‘light and airy crunch,’ but this time with ‘Flamin’ Hot heat.’ A 7oz bag, which provides 15g of whole grains per serving, runs for an RRP of $3.39.

Though the product does not contain artificial flavors, it does contain artificial colors.

Smartfood, which started in 1985, offers several traditional butter and kettle corn flavors as well as more out-there options, such as a Caramel & Cheddar Mix, Parmesan Garlic and Chipotle Aged Cheddar.

Real tasty

Ginni's Spicy Beer Nuts

UK snack brand Ginni’s - established in 1980 - has unveiled yet another savory treat – this time capitalizing on the beer trend.

Spicy Beer Nuts (RRP $1.25) combine peanuts and cashews with toasted corn and rice crackers, all tossed in a ‘special spicy seasoning.’ The company says the ‘kick of flavor pairs perfectly with beer.’

Ginni’s lineup includes traditional Roasted & Salted Beer Nuts - containing just peanuts - as well as a slew of other nuts in a variety of seasonings: Chili Lemon & Coriander Cashews, Piri Piri Spicy Cashews, Honey Coconut Peanuts and Dry Roasted almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts. The company also makes Peanut Sesame Bites, Chili Rice Crackers and chicharrones.

Breakfast treat


It’s perfectly allowed to indulge every once in a while, which is exactly what Kellogg’s is offering with its limited-edition Froot Loops Birthday Cake breakfast cereal that ‘combines a strawberry flavor with the bright colors and sprinkles of a frosted birthday cake.’

Only selected retailers around the US are stocking the new offering – including Walmart and Target – at a RRP of $3.64 and $3.79, respectively for a family size 19.4-oz box.

Fluffy bread


Manila-based Nippon Premium Bakery has also added a boost of indulgence to its growing list of Fuwa Fuwa (literally meaning ‘fluffy’ in Japanese) branded bakery goods.

The company has rolled out Milk and Caramel mini loaves that are thicker slices of its signature soft and fluffy premium bread.

The launch comes just weeks after Nippon Premium Bakery inaugurated its baking facility in Santo Tomas, Batangas. The two-hectare factory features state-of-the-art baking and materials transport equipment that can produce over 3,600 loaves, 32,000 sandwich rolls and 17,000 buns in an eight-hour run.

Fuwa Fuwa’s portfolio includes Select loaves of soft sliced white bread available in 6-slice and 12-slice bags; Fuwa Fuwa rolls, long buns with chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry icing in the middle; and Fuwa Fuwa buns with custard cream filling, available in retailers across the Philippines.

Whopper chips


Snack giant Calbee has again collaborated with fast food chain Lotteria for its newest limited edition flavor.

Lotteria purportedly makes one of the best offerings on the Japanese fast food landscape: the Zeppin Cheeseburger. However, Calbee has gone one better with not just a cheeseburger, but a double cheeseburger hit.

According to the company, it ‘raised the juiciness of the beef flavor and the sharpness of the cheese’ for its Double Zeppin Cheeseburger potato chips.

The pack even features the letter ‘W’, which is often used to mean ‘double’ in Japan.

Available in convenience stores across the country. The pack also features a coupon for ¥150 JPY ($1.39) off a real Double Zeppin Cheeseburger combo at Lotteria.

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