What’s new on the shelf: Baby Shark in cereal form, tahini is the new peanut butter, and autumn’s favorite pumpkin spice has already landed

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

Summer is still bringing new cereal and snack launches, especially the sweet stuff. Pic: Getty Images/efetova
Summer is still bringing new cereal and snack launches, especially the sweet stuff. Pic: Getty Images/efetova

Related tags: New product launches, New product development, Innovation, Fiber, Cereal, Cereal boxes, Lotus bakeries, General mills, Kellogg's, Trix cereal

Indulgent snacking meets functional ingredients in this week’s roundup through high-fiber chocolate, on-the-go tahini and chocolate-covered French butter cookies. Plus, Lucky Charms skips the cereal.

Sweet, sweet fiber – Prodigy ups the ante with new chocolate snack bars

Prodigy Snacks

Prodigy Snacks hit UK shelves this summer with a line of natural chocolate and biscuits wrapped in compostable paper – not plastic.

With the tagline ‘eat no evil,’ Prodify started with two bars: Chunky Chocolate and Chunky Orange Chocolate with Baobab. The company says they contain less than half the sugar than competing brands while providing 30% of daily recommended fiber (7.8g per bar, plus under 7g of unrefined sugar).

Made with a base of cacao butter and cacao nibs, the bars are free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar. They are sweetened with coconut sugar and coconut cream, while inulin (a polysaccharide extracted from chicory) and lucuma (a Peruvian superfood packed with calcium, iron and zinc) provide a functional boost.

Founder Sameer Vaswani has spent more than 15 years in the biscuit and confectionery sector, where she discovered a ‘burning gap’ for indulgent treats that fulfill nutritional needs but skip the artificial stuff – especially sweeteners and colors.

I have seen firsthand the perils of heavy industrial food processing, the use of synthetic ingredients, the toxicity of refined sugars and the negative environmental impact of plastic packaging​,” she said.

She became incensed by what she said was 600k tons of chocolate wrapped in plastic, and thus dedicated herself to developing a plastic-free, clean-ingredient alternative. Prodigy has also committed to donating 5% of its profits to advocacy groups, including The Blue Marine Foundation and Friends of the Earth.

This month, the company will add two more flavors: Peanut & Caramel and Coconut Chocolate.

Three bars cost an RRP of £5 ($6.00), a six-pack costs £9.95 ($11.98) and a 24-pack goes for £39 ($46.95).

100-calorie cookies – Cheryl’s makes gifting easy

Cheryl's Cookies

Available through 1-800-FLOWERS.com, Cheryl’s Cookies has boarded the bite-sized train with a new 100-calorie cookie pack.

The brand is known for its frosted cutout cookies, topped with a colorful buttercream – pink, blue, orange, yellow and green – now in mini form. An assortment can be purchased in packs of 30, 60 or 100 for an RRP of $39.99 to $99.99.

Flavored versions of the cutout cookies include Devil’s Food Chocolate, Lemon Burst, Mint Chocolate, Salty Caramel, Frosted Chocolate Chip, and Vanilla. Each flavor can be found in the same pack sizes as the assortment for an RRP of $29.99 to $74.99.

The company said the small size and flavor varieties make these mini cookies a great ‘just because’ gift.

Do do do do do – cult kids’ cartoon becomes a cereal

Kellogg's Baby Shark Cereal

Another pop culture sensation has hit the cereal boxes – this time courtesy of Baby Shark, a cartoon creature known for its earworm of a song. Pinkfong, a children’s education company in South Korea, created a music video for it that has been viewed more than 3 billion times on YouTube since June 2016.

Nickelodeon, a US cartoon and kids’ channel, will soon transform the concept into a full-fledged animated series on Nickelodeon.

The cereal itself features berry-flavored rings colored pink, blue and yellow, plus chewy marshmallows. Packages of two 13oz boxes (RRP $5.98) are set to hit Sam’s Club shelves exclusively on August 17. They will land in Walmart in late September.

Pumpkin Spice and everything nice – Krusteaz gets seasonal

Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice

The 87-year-old company expanded its gluten-free portfolio earlier this year and now broadens its seasonal lineup.

According to Google Trends, the number of searches for ‘pumpkin spice’ has risen steadily over the past decade, reaching its highest point in 2016. Annually, the flavor spikes at its expected seasonal peak in September and October.

Krusteaz has jumped on the trend, adding five pumpkin-flavored mixes – one each for pancakes, muffins, quick breads, pie bars and cookies.

The cookies require only two additional ingredients (one egg and one stick of butter); the box also contains a quick glaze base, to which consumers add water. The bar mix features a gingerbread crust and chewy pumpkin center with a slightly crisped top.

These limited-edition mixes range from 15oz-16oz boxes for an RRP of $2.59-$3.29.

Mais oui – Le Cookie now in brightly colored bags

Michel & Augustin Le Cookie Bag

Michel & Augustin has been producing its French butter cookies for more than a decade but is only now pushing into the North American market.

Its newest addition marries its classic shortbread cookie with chocolate ganache and other complementary flavors.

Dark chocolate joins sea salt, milk chocolate blends with melty caramel, and a chocolate meets toasted hazelnuts.

Each Le Cookie Bag – brightly colored in orange, green and bright pink – contains 15 individually wrapped squares (RRP $9.99).

“The fluorescent colors are designed to be attention grabbing, especially in the sea of whites and blues that dominate the category,” ​said CEO Evan Holod. “The format gives you the freedom to pop them, share them (or not), keep them for ‘hangry’ moments at the office or stick them in a lunchbox.”

They are versatile, easy-to-eat treats that resemble a petit chocolate tarte, he told BakeryandSnacks.

Tahini time – Mighty Sesame makes sesame paste as easy as peanut butter

Mighty Sesame Squeezable Tahini

Parent company Absolutely Gluten-Free has rebranded its tahini bars under the Mighty Sesame name. Its three flavors – Cocoa Nibs, Pistachio, Vanilla – are available as six-packs for an RRP of $10.97.

Though the packaging has changed, the product remains the same: a vegan and kosher snack bar free from gluten and dairy, providing 2g of protein and 50mg of potassium per serving.

The bars are similar to halva, the Middle Eastern sesame dessert made from emulsified sesame seeds (sesame paste) and sugar.

Mighty Sesame has also added a convenient way to consume tahini. The 10.9oz squeeze tubes run for an RRP of $8.79 each, while a two-pack costs $13.42 at major retailers including Walmart, Meijer and HEB.

Magically Delicious – Lucky Charms bows to marshmallow fiends

Lucky Charms Marshmallows

The General Mills brand has satiated consumers’ affinity for its colorful marshmallows by occasionally offering limited runs of marshmallow-only boxes as a promotional stunt. But this time, Lucky Charms has skipped the cereal entirely.

Made by Jet-Puffed, owned by Kraft-Heinz, the new Lucky Charms marshmallows are softer and fluffier than the dehydrated cereal-box version. They are also larger, though they still feature the recognizable shapes of stars, hearts, moons and shamrocks.

Seven-ounce bags (RRP $1.50) hit shelves in August at select US retailers, set to expand nationwide in September.

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