Product showcase 2020: Peanut butter dipped vine-dried grapes, cheetle-infused Cheetos Popcorn and getting regionally inspired down under

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

We scoure the shelves to find out what's new. Pic: GettyImages/Kwangmoozaa
We scoure the shelves to find out what's new. Pic: GettyImages/Kwangmoozaa

Related tags: sugar-free, Paleo, keto, Gluten-free, Lay's, Cheetos, Girl Scouts, Arnott's biscuits holdings, Pepperidge farm, Operation Smile

We feature a raft of new snacking experiences, ranging from a novel treat that is reminiscent of the iconic American PB&J sandwich to Dorito’s foray into the fast-growing hot & spicy category; cookies bearing inspirational messages from the Girl Scouts of America and Arnott’s Crafted Collection range that features premium ingredients like Murray River salt and manuka honey.

On the vine

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California grape producer Life’s Grape has added Peanut Butter Dipped Vine-Dried Grapes to its lineup of handcrafted snacks.

The novel bite-sized treat is reminiscent of the iconic American peanut butter & jelly sandwich but contains way fewer calories. Made from Life Grape’s signature Selma Pete vine-dried grapes, the 0.8oz snack pack contains 110 calories, while the 10oz resealable pouch contains 140 calories. The snacks are also kosher, gluten-free, sulphur-free and low in sodium.

“People always tell us how much they love our Dark Chocolate Vine-Dried Grapes, so we were very excited when we came up with this innovation to add to our lineup of vine-dried grape snacks,”​ said Courtney Gillespie, president and COO of Life’s Grape.

“We know that this twist on the classic PB & J Sandwich will soon become a new favourite for both adults and kids.”

Life’s Grapes Peanut Butter Dipped Vine-Dried Grapes are available online and on Amazon for an RRP of $9.99 for the resealable packs and $14.99 for a box of 12 0.8oz snack packs.

Life’s Grape grows and processes its grapes in the Central Valley region of California using techniques that respect and renew the earth. Its Selma Pete grapes are dried on the vine and picked before ever touching the ground.

Zero sugar

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Jerky producer Chef’s Cut has launched Zero Sugar Meat Sticks, made with a chef-crafted blend of 100% beef and pork and other high-quality ingredients and without the high sugar content that most protein snacks have.

This protein-packed (8g per stick), portable snack is keto and paleo-friendly, certified gluten-free, and contains no nitrites/nitrates.

The Zero Sugar Meat Sticks are available at at select US retailers, including Safeway, Fred Meyer, Ralph’s and QFC, as well as online, for an RRP of $1.99 per stick.

Sweet deal

General Mills

General Mills has collaborated with Hershey to release a line of candy inspired breakfast cereals, including Hershey’s Kisses, Jolly Rancher fruit-flavoured cereal and Reese’s Puffs Big Puffs.

The two giants have previously collaborated on the original Reese’s Puffs, as well as Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Fillows Cereal, and Cocoa Puffs made with Hershey’s chocolate.

The new cereals are rolling out across the US – Hershey’s Kisses cereal is available in stores from January, and Jolly Rancher and Big Puffs from March.

Canada’s favourite snack for breakfast

Timbits

Staying on the subject of partnerships, Tim Hortons has partnered with Post Foods Canada to create a Timbits cereal that comes in two flavours: Birthday Cake and Chocolate Glazed.

According to Post, these are ‘two iconic Timbits flavours.’ Post Foods Canada makes familiar cereals like Shreddies and Sugar Crisp.

 “We’re excited to be launching one of Canada’s favourite snacks in cereal form so Canadians can enjoy two of our delicious Timbits flavours in a whole new way,”​ Samuel Heath, Tim Hortons’ head of retail.

The cereals are expected to hit major supermarket shelves in Canada early this year.

Sizzlin' hot ... and cool

Doritos

PepsiCo is expanding its Doritos chips portfolio with a new Flamin’ Hot Limon flavour and a revamped Cool Ranch variant.

Flamin’ Hot Limon is Doritos’ latest foray into the hot and spicy food category, which, according to the snack giant, is one of the fastest-growing segments in the food industry.

PepsiCo added Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limon has the same heat of Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho, which was launched last year, but with a tangy twist. Cool Ranch has ‘even more Cool Ranch flavour’.

“Doritos is known for making bold, innovative moves — whether it’s new movie partnerships, e-sports tournaments, an ad without logos, and of course new flavours,”​ said Leslie Vesper, senior director of marketing, Frito-Lay North America.

“The release of Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limon and the revamped Doritos Cool Ranch are two entirely new ways for fans to enjoy our beloved legacy flavours.”

Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limon and Doritos Cool Ranch are available across the US in 9.75oz bags for an RRP of $4.29 and 2.75oz bags for an RRP of $1.89.

Badge of honour

Cheetle

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America has launched Cheetos Popcorn to ‘create a new snacking experience that pairs the classic taste of popcorn with an added boost of cheesy, spicy and flavourful fun from Cheetos’.

The ready-to-eat popcorn – available in two Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot – are infused with ‘cheetle’, a term trademarked by the company to describe the orange cheese dust.

“We’ve seen the way Cheetos lovers don their red- and orange-dusted fingers like a badge of honour, and we’re always looking for ways to help them step up their snacking game,”​ said Brandi Ray, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay North America.

“The only way to truly take popcorn to the next level is to add the iconic Cheetle, the cheesy dust that will entice Cheetos fans to snack on this popcorn all year long.”

Cheetos Popcorn is available in stores across the US for an RRP of $3.99 for 7oz Cheddar bags and 6.5oz Flamin’ Hot bags, and an RRP of $1.89 for 2oz bags. 

Inspirational cookies

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The Girl Scouts of the USA has introduced a limited edition ‘lemon cookie baked with messages inspired by Girl Scout entrepreneurs’ for its 2020 selling season.

Each Lemon-Up cookie sports a positive message of encouragement etched on the top, like ‘I am a go-getter’ and ‘I am an innovator’.

According to Girl Scouts, the positive messaging ‘emphasises what the Girl Scout Cookie program is all about’, which is empowering girls to learn essential life skills such as goal setting, decision making, financial management, business ethics and interpersonal skills.

The association’s refreshed packaging also highlights the programme, featuring Scouts taking part in a diverse range of badge activities, from camping and canoeing to exploring space science and designing robots.

The crispy and tart wafer cookies contain 140 calories per two-cookie serving, as well as 7g of sugar, but notably only use sustainable palm oil to support conservation and environmental protection efforts.

Lemon-Ups replace the Savannah Smiles cookie, and are only available in select locations for six to eight weeks starting this month.

Other Girl Scout cookies include Lemonades, Thin Mints, Caramel deLites/Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs, Do-si-dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich, Shortbread/Trefoils, Thanks-A-Lot, Toffee-tastic, Caramel Chocolate Chip and Girl Scout S’mores. Toffee-tastic and Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies are both gluten-free.

Creating more smiles

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Lay's has unveiled its first brand redesign in over a decade by spreading even more joy to flavour fans across the country.

The snacking giant is rolling out Lay's Cheddar Jalapeño, Lay's Poppables Sea Salt & Vinegar, and Lay's Kettle Cooked Flamin' Hot, along with its first-ever Smiles Survey, which maps the most joyful regions of the US.

According to Lay’s, 66% of Americans consider themselves ‘happy’ people with residents of the state of New York coming in with the highest level of joy.

Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Arkansas, Connecticut, Alabama and Indiana rounded out the top 10 list of most joyful states in America.

Lay’s has also sent a shout out to consumers to nominate a friend or family member – who goes to great lengths to inspire joy – for the Lay's Smiles campaign, which will once again benefit Operation Smile in 2020.

Last year, Lay's custom-designed 65 potato chip bags to feature the smiles of 31 ordinary people whose extraordinary acts – from throwing birthday parties for children in need to providing jobs to women transitioning out of homelessness – generated more than 17,500 Instagram shares.

Lay’s 2020 Smiles bags will hit shelves in the fall for RRP ranging between $1.89 and $3.79.

What more could you wish for?

Tim Tam

Arnott's has unveiled a new range of Tim Tam flavours featuring ingredients sourced from Australia and New Zealand.

The Crafted Collection range includes Murray River Salted Caramel, Sunshine Coast Strawberries & Cream, Gisborne Orange & Dark Choc and Manuka Honey & Cream.

Each flavour features its own unique ingredient:

  • Salted Caramel contains salt flakes from the pristine mineral waters of the Murray River
  • Strawberries & Cream incorporates the super sweet strawberries grown on Queensland's Sunshine Coast
  • The woody, the woody, rich flavour of manuka honey is sourced from the nectar of the native Manuka plant
  • Navel oranges from New Zealand's coastal town of Gisborne have been transformed into a decadently smooth orange cream chocolate.

“We love our Tim Tam fans just as much as they love us, so what they want, they get,”​ said Matt Grant, Arnott’s marketing manager.

“Premium ingredients - sourced from some of the best regions - have been expertly crafted to create an indulgent experience for everyone who loves a Tim Tam.

“With decadent flavours like this, what more could you wish for?”

The Crafted Collection biscuits are available from selected retailers in Australia and New Zealand this month.

Pepperidge Farm goes gluten-free

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Campbell Snacks-owned Pepperidge Farm has taken its first foray into the gluten-free arena in its 83 year history with the introduction of gluten-free cookies.

Gluten-free Farmhouse Thin & Crispy Milk Chocolate Chip and Butter Crisp biscuits will debut in select grocers across the US, including Target, Albertsons and Publix.

“The snacking industry has evolved over time and in our 80-plus year history, Pepperidge Farm has consistently listened to our consumers and retail partners to understand what emerging needs are, trends and how we can better meet these needs or even improve on them,”​ said Janda Lukin, chief marketing officer for Campbell’s Snacks.

“Certainly, over the past decade, the demand for gluten-free has grown. Not only for medical concerns, but also as a broader lifestyle choice. We saw an opportunity to deliver on what consumers are looking for.”

The cookies will be available for an RRP of $3.89 in the same grocery aisles that other Pepperidge Farm cookies are sold, but consumers can expect a new look. 

“We chose a completely different carton to package our Gluten-Free Farmhouse cookies to help distinguish these products from the rest of the Farmhouse cookies that do contain gluten,”​ added Lukin.

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