Product showcase 2020: Producers take an ethical stance with a healthier crisp snack, just five-ingredient sandwich bread and vegan crackers

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

What's in store for 2020? Pic: GettyImages/urfinguss/Artur
What's in store for 2020? Pic: GettyImages/urfinguss/Artur

Related tags plantain vegan Goldfish Campbell Snacks Cheerios Veganuary Fibre Bread Lab Collective Hershey Burton’s biscuits

Going crackers over veg, feeding an orphaned child, ramping up heart-health and connecting communities, the planet and traditions in a nourishing way are some of the potent messages product developers are preparing for the new year.

Feed an orphaned child


British snack brand Sunmo has launched a range of Plantain Crisps to tap into increasing consumer demands for healthier crisp alternatives.

According to Sunmo, plantain is a starchy and less sugary relative of the banana that is high in essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and B6. They are also naturally gluten-free.

The all-natural, hand-cooked range of crisps is available in four variants, including Naturally Sweet, Sea Salt, Smoked Chilli and Sweet Cinnamon.

“The Brits are a nation of crisp-lovers and our mission at Sunmo is to revolutionise snacking in the UK by providing consumers with delicious and nutritious alternatives that satisfy their ‘crunch urge’, and that are also purpose-driven,”​ said Victoria Omobuwajo, founder and CEO of Sunmo.

“Each pack of Sunmo sold provides a meal for an orphaned child in Nigeria.”

Sunmo’s Plantain Crisps are rolling out in Selfridges and Whole Foods Market in the UK at an RRP of  £1.89 per 45g pack.

Going crackers over veg


Campbell Soup’s Goldfish is the latest brand trying to capitalise on the growth of plant-based snacks with a line of veggie Goldfish crackers in two flavours: Sweet Carrot and Cheesy Tomato.

 “Since 2016, vegetables are really emerging within the fine dining space,”​ said Kaylee Gill, research chef for Campbell’s snack division.

“Flash forward to 2019, vegetables are everywhere … not just in the protein section but now in snacks as well.

“We really try to keep ahead of culinary trends and stay up to date with them.”

Designed to appeal to both young and old palates, the crackers are made with carrot and tomato powders sourced from real veggies, in addition to wheat, oil, salt and other ingredients found in Goldfish snacks.

According to Gill, the crackers “are not meant to replace veggies,”​ but offer a better-for-you snack option.

The range will be available from Kroger and Publix in the US in January, with a further rollout nationally in March, for an RRP of $2.49 per package.

Out with the ‘O’ and in with the heart


General Mills is replacing its Cheerios’ ‘O’ with heart-shaped pieces to highlight the importance of heart health. The hearts will replace the Os in Honey Nut Cheerios and the original yellow-box Cheerios – America’s #1 and #5 breakfast cereals.

It’s the first time the company has changed the shape of its Cheerios since it was launched under the name Cheerioats in 1941, however, with more than 100 million Americans suffering from some form of heart disease today, the brand believes the heart-healthy message to be a critical one.

As such, it is encouraging consumers to eat 3g of soluble fibre daily from whole grain oat foods, and incorporate simple and fun behaviours to live a happy, healthy lifestyle, like walking the dog or joining a group fitness class.

“We wanted to remind consumers that Honey Nut Cheerios is a great-tasting option that also enables them to take care of their heart,”​ said Kathy Dixon, senior brand experience manager, Cheerios.

“It is so fun to work on a brand that has such massive reach that we can actually make a meaningful difference in tackling such a big issue for so many people.”

The limited-edition shapes have already begun to appear on selected US store shelves in boxes of Cheerios, without a full roll-out across the US in January to lead into National Heart Health Month in February.

In time for Veganuary


Delice de France – formerly Aryzta Food Solutions – will be kicking off the new year with a range of on-trend vegan bakery treats designed to help convenience retailers meet the demand for healthier choices.

“The growing demand for free from bakery products means there’s never been a better time to review bakery offerings to tap into growing consumer trends,”​ said Jenny Bayliss, sales operations director at Delice de France.

“From Meat-Free Monday to the rise of Veganuary, plant-based diets have taken centre stage as consumers look to reduce or remove animal products from their diets. The growth of those interested in vegan or meat reduction diets looks set to continue, and with it there’s an increased expectation to see more vegan options widely available across all categories.”

Next year, Delice is adding a Vegan Fake & Ale Square Pie and a Vegan Saag Mangalore Square Pie to its food-to-go range, which includes the Vegan Apricot Croissant and Vegan Sausage Roll. The latter won a Great Taste award for its appearance, taste and aroma.

The rise and rise of ...

  • This January, an estimated 350,000 people will take part in Veganuary, up from 200,000 in 2019
  • Vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025
  • 92% of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans
  • The UK meat-free market is estimated to grow to £658m by 2021

Embracing traditions that define what we eat


Zingerman’s Bakehouse has partnered with the Bread Lab Collective to launch State St. Wheat, a five-ingredient sandwich bread made with locally grown wheat and no added preservatives.

The Bread Lab Collective is a group of artisan bakers who work in collaboration with the Bread Lab of Washington State University. The goal of the Bread Lab’s sandwich loaf programme is to use artisan techniques to develop nourishing bread with seven or fewer ingredients and at least 50% whole grain flour.

The goal of the Bread Lab’s sandwich loaf programme is to use artisan techniques to develop nourishing bread with seven or fewer ingredients and at least 50% whole grain flour.

To-date, more than a dozen US bakeries have joined the coalition to develop their own bread, including King Arthur Flour, Barrio Bread and Seven Stars Bakery, among others.

“We hope the launch of State St. Wheat inspires other artisan bakers to join us so Bread Lab Collective sandwich bread is available in every state,”​ said Amy Emberling, co-managing partner of Zingerman’s Bakehouse, an artisanal retail and wholesale bakery and baking school in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“By returning to artisan techniques, intentional ingredient choices and including freshly-milled whole grains, we’re able to connect to our communities, our land and our traditions in a meaningful, nourishing way.”

Zingerman’s said $0.10 of every loaf sold will benefit the Bread Lab’s efforts “in support of appreciating the cultures and traditions that define what we eat, and to continue its role in moving food systems forward in more meaningful and just directions.”

A kiss in the morning


You can now eat Hershey's Kisses for breakfast, at least in cereal form.

General Mills has partnered with chocolate maker Hershey Co to roll out a breakfast treat that has consumers jumping for joy.

Hershey's Kisses Cereal itself resembles the chocolate candy and is described by General Mills as having a ‘nice light crunch and smooth chocolate flavour,’ to be enjoyed on its own or to add a ‘sweet twist’ to breakfast.

The cereal is available for sale in selected US retailers – with plans to release it more widely in January – for an RRP of $3.99 for a midsize box and $4.99 for a family-size box.

Permissible snacking


Burton’s Biscuit Co. is set to accelerate demand for its ‘fewer than 100 calories’ offering by bringing its less-calorific biscuits together using a Under 100 Cal Club banner.

The creation of the portfolio is designed to help Burton’s fulfil its commitment to portion control and includes:

  • Jammie Dodgers Minis (£1/89 kcal per portion)
  • Jammie Dodgers Jam & Yogurt Snacks (£1.39/97 kcal per portion)
  • Maryland Minis Choc Chip (£1/99 kcal per portion)
  • Maryland Minis Double Choc Chip (£1/99 kcal per portion)
  • Maryland Oaty Cookie Bars (£1.39/94 kcal per portion)
  • Maryland Chocolate Cookie Bars (£1.39/97 kcal per portion)

“Demand for permissible snacking options continues to grow as shoppers recognise the role that reduced calorie products can play in a balanced diet, particularly at the start of the year when calorie control is high on the agenda,”​ said Kate Needham, marketing director of Burton’s.

“The Under 100 Cal Club will help shoppers to easily identify the calorie content of our products and to make an informed choice.”

The Under 100 Cal Club range will be available from convenience retailers around the UK in the new year.

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