Product showcase 2020: From snacks celebrating diversity to organic Babypops designed for little fingers

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Snacks to celebrate diversity, the love of art and growing up. Pic: Olga Tupikina/nicolesy
Snacks to celebrate diversity, the love of art and growing up. Pic: Olga Tupikina/nicolesy

Related tags: Gerber products company, Mister Bee Potato Chips, Mezcla, Pepperidge farm, Sara lee, St Pierre Groupe, pladis, Saintly, Green&Gold, EPIC Provisions

Mezcla rolls out its flagship range of vegan, gluten-free protein bars designed to foster a love of art and a celebration of diversity within the next generation; Gerber releases Organic BabyPops for little ones learning to self-feed; Sara Lee introduces mini cheesecakes to provide consumers with sweet peace of mind; and Gold&Green ups the plant-based ante with a new vegan range.

Inspiring diversity and art

Mezcla

Mezcla – which means ‘mixture’ in Spanish – is launching its flagship range of vegan, gluten-free protein bars that feature international flavours: Japanese Matcha Vanilla, Mexican Chipotle Hot Chocolate, and Peruvian Cocoa Peanut Butter.

“We’ve really put a lot of thought into the food and its packaging. Everything about what we have designed is meant to really captivate the consumer,”​ said Griffin Spolansky, Mezclan cofounder.

“Take a look at our wrappers, now look closer, do you see that QR code featured in the centre? It encourages people to actually interact with their food. Not only does it unlock a virtual art gallery, but it also celebrates the ingredients in each flavour by giving you a deep dive into what’s inside and where it came from.”

By scanning the QR code on the front of the pack, users can explore the bar’s ingredients, as well as participate in the #MezclaMovement, an art initiative that features user-submitted art that changes periodically. The #MezclaMovement also reserves a portion of the bar’s proceeds to support art programmes in schools across the US. By doing so, Mezcla hopes to help foster a love of art and a celebration of diversity within the next generation.

“Mezcla is a dream come true. I am so happy that I have the opportunity to create such a beautiful and meaningful product. Seeing the bars on the shelves is truly something special,”​ added cofounder Coco Sotelo.

The startup has raised $250,000 in pre-seed funding and is rolling out its snacks in Walmart this month. Also available online.

For little fingers

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Early childhood nutrition leader Gerber is expanding its Organic snacks line with the introduction of Gerber Organic BabyPops, a puffed corn and oat snack in a fun, popcorn-like shape that is just the right size for little fingers learning to pick up.

“Gerber Organic BabyPops are designed to be fun for your little one to eat while self-feeding as they dissolve easily in their tiny mouths and are just the right size for little fingers learning to pick up,”​ said Sarah Smith-Simpson, principle scientist at Gerber.

“While every child reaches this milestone at their own pace, this is usually around eight months or older when babies are in the Crawler stage, ready for finger foods.”

BabyPops come in three varieties – Peanut, Tomato and Banana Raspberry – the latter two flavoured with real fruits, while BabyPops Peanut contains real, organic peanut flour and is the first Gerber product to offer peanut in a developmentally appropriate form to help parents include peanut in their little one’s diet.

“Gerber recognises the importance of having a peanut snack available as paediatric and nutrition experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), state there is now evidence in some infants that the early introduction of infant-safe forms of peanuts reduces the risk of peanut allergies,”​ said Dr Joel Lim, paediatric gastroenterologist and Gerber medical director.

“Of course, parents should always discuss the introduction of peanut and other food allergens with their doctor and follow their doctor’s instructions.”

Parents can learn more about how to introduce new foods, including common food allergens via the company’s Parent Resource Centres 24/7 support.

The BabyPops are also organic and non-GMO, with no added sweetener or salt and available in a travel-size, recyclable container convenient for parents to slip into a diaper bag. Sold across the US in Target, with a rollout to Albertsons and Safeway in November.

Family of snacks

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Mister Bee Potato Chips had added Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels to its snack lineup for customers throughout West Virginia.

“It’s one family-owned snack business helping another,”​ said Mary Anne Ketelsen, CEO of Mister Bee Potato Chips.

According to Ketelsen, the pretzels will rollout on shelves of retailers across the Mountain State, alongside Mister Bee Potato Chips.

Online purchases of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels can be also be made on Mister Bee’s website for a RRP of $10.00 for three 5oz bags.

Gearing up for the fall

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Although we’re smack dab in the middle of summer, snack producers are thinking ahead to the pumpkin spice season.

Pepperidge Farm has been delighting fans with Pumpkin Spice Milano cookies annually since 2014, and this year is no exception. The brand owner will be rolling out its limited edition favourite from the end of August.

According to Pepperidge Farm, the cookies feature a fall twist on the perfect balance of crisp, exquisite cookies and luxuriously rich chocolate, with a pumpkin spice filling that has notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clover.

Available in 7oz bags for an RRP of $3.89 at Target, Walmart, Kroger, and Publix – and only available while supplies last.

Touchless snacking

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Sara Lee Frozen Bakery has launched a new line of mini cheesecakes that are individually packaged in an innovative Peel & Plate cup to give consumers ‘sweet’ peace of mind.

The perfectly portioned Sara’s Selections Mini Cheesecakes come in three variants: Classic, Strawberry and Salted Caramel Truffle.

According to a study by Datassential, nearly half of consumers polled were concerned about foods being ‘touched’ by others, so individually wrapped items provide consumers the peace of mind to enjoy a low contact, safe treat.

”Sara Lee Mini Cheesecakes are on-trend now more than ever because they’re individually wrapped snacks that you can eat right out of the cup with a fork or spoon,”​ said Ryan Malone, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery chief marketing officer.

“We’re pleased to answer increasing consumer demand for ‘touchless snacking’ with our innovative packaging that helps consumers feel confident about the safety of their food.”

The bakery owner is also capitalising on the demand for cheesecake, arguably one of America’s favourite desserts found on over one third of all restaurant menus, according to Datassential Menu Trends for June 2020.

Sara’s Selections Mini Cheesecakes have an RRP of $6.49 per pack of four cheesecakes, and are available in the grocery freezer aisles from select food venues across the US.

Fun facts:

  • The first recorded cheesecake recipe comes from the ancient Greek writer Athenaeus and was served to athletes at the very first Olympic Games, held in 776 BC.
  • The Romans spread the tradition of cheesecake from Greece across Europe. Centuries later, cheesecake appeared in America, with a variety of regional recipes brought over by immigrants.
  • The iconic Sara Lee name dates back to 1949, when Charles Lubin named his cream cheesecake after his then 8-year-old daughter.

Tapping into indulgent breakfast trend

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International bakery business St Pierre Groupe has added All Butter Croissants to its range of European-style baked goods.

Made in France to an authentic recipe, the St Pierre All Butter Croissants are sweet and flaky with a buttery taste that reflects the rich French heritage that is a fundamental part of the St Pierre brand. The croissants have an extended shelf-life meaning they will appeal to both consumers and retailers looking to reduce food waste.

“Our new All Butter Croissants are a great addition to our popular St Pierre Croissant range,”​ said Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre Groupe.

“With indulgent treats and morning goods currently driving bakery category growth, we are confident that this new launch will be a hit with consumers seeking out indulgent breakfast products.”

Available to grocery, wholesale and independent retailers from the end of July, the St Pierre All Butter Croissants 4-pack has an RRP of £1.99.

Ticket to sales growth

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pladis is rolling out a new format for its £14.1m bestseller that is an “independent retailers’ ticket to sales growth in the Everyday Treats category”.

According to Jonathan Bull, head of McVitie’s Commercial & Seasonal Brands at pladis UK&I, Flipz Milk Chocolate in a price-market pack (PMP) will attract interest from both the brand’s loyal shopper base, as well as new shoppers looking to bag a bargain.

“Flipz is one of our most exciting success stories in recent years,”​ he added.

“The brand is absolutely propelling growth in the category and, in the impulse channel, it’s outpacing the rest of the growth in Everyday Treats at six times the overall category rate [up 57%].

“PMPs remain a sure-fire way of demonstrating value to shoppers and, in turn, driving sales - in fact, PMPs generate a third of the sales in the convenience channel. Launching Flipz Milk Chocolate in this format will help convenience store owners and wholesalers continue to drive sales and capitalise on the popularity of the Flipz brand.”

The 80g pack Flipz Milk Chocolate PMP are available at independent retailers and wholesalers for an RRP of £1.00. Packaging is recyclable through pladis’ partnership with Terracycle.

Heavenly delight

Saintly

Saintly – a range of plant-powered frozen desserts launched last year – has refreshed its look following a surge of interest during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the boom in plant-based offerings.

The line-up of sweet treats – full of natural, unrefined, nutritious and ethically sourced ingredients – now boasts added standout in the freezer cabinet with a powerful visual of each dessert and clear front of pack messaging regarding the brand’s Vegan Society approved status.

Produced without artificial additives, preservatives, palm oil, dairy or animal-based ingredients, the ‘feel good’ dessert brand resonates with the ‘conscious consumer’.

“We offer consumers a healthy alternative to the traditional over-processed frozen dessert, but with absolutely no compromise on the taste experience,”​ said Saintly founder Vanessa McNiven.

“Our products are made with the highest quality natural ingredients and blast frozen to lock in the valuable nutrients, creating a decadent dessert with a long shelf-life without the inclusion of preservatives, emulsifiers or stabilisers. The collection of sumptuous dessert options represents a guilt-free purchase – successfully delivering convenience but not at the expense of quality nutrition and exceptional flavour.”

In line with the brand’s commitment to sustainability, all packaging is made from sustainable card, is plastic-free, printed with vegetable-based inks and is fully recyclable. Where possible, the focus for ingredients is to adhere to British/local provenance and any imported ingredients (such as coconut oil and coconut milk) are from certified sustainable sources.

The Saintly range comprises Blackberry & Apple Crumble Tarts, Sweet Almond & Raspberry Tarts, Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tarts, British Apple Tarts and Dark Chocolate Tarts, available from specialist local stockists as well as Delishops wholesale sales platform for an RRP of £4.99 (two tart pack).

Upping the plant-based ante

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Nordic company Gold&Green has developed a new ingredient range for manufacturers that want to meet the demand for vegan snacks.

With just five ingredients and absolutely no soy, Pulled Oats by Gold&Green is a mix of oats, fava beans, and peas that is 100% natural and approved by the Vegetarian Society.

“It’s never been a more challenging time for manufacturers to meet the demand of consumers who want unprocessed, nutritional and satisfying options. The arrival of Pulled Oats by Gold&Green means there is a soy-free, clean and green meat-free solution for manufacturers looking to give their ready meals, snacks and food-to-go portfolio some pure pulling power,”​ said Simon Solway, country manager, OOH UK & Ireland.

“With an unbeatable range, great texture, as well as a mild and tender taste, Pulled Oats is the easy way to offer healthy, nutritious and filling plant-based products that will boost sales.”

The range includes Pulled Oats Perfect Protein Granules, suitable for adding texture and nutrition to pie and pastry fillings as well as packing out bakery products; Pulled Oats Perfect Protein Flakes, for use in granola bars and ready meals; Pulled Oats Mince and Pulled Oats Burger Patties.

The oats are non-flavoured and pre-cooked, to be eaten either hot or cold and used in dry or ready-cooked dishes.

With 30% of all greenhouse gases coming from food production and a single vegetarian meal saving up to seven bathtubs of water versus a meat-based dish, the positive impact manufacturers can have by swapping their meat protein for Pulled Oats is also significant.

Impressive bites

Epic

EPIC Provisions has released a new suite of flavour-forward products made with guilt-free protein, including a new line of Chicken Crisps.

The Beef Sea Salt + Pepper Bars and Beef Jalapeno Bars are two new additions to EPIC’s original line of protein bars, both made with simple ingredients, including 100% grass-fed beef and a blend of spices.

The new Cracked Pepper Chicken Crisps and Pink Himalayan + Sea Salt Chicken Crisps a tailored towards carb-conscious consumers looking for a high-protein, crunchy snack. Oven-baked and made with chicken breast, coconut flour and quality spices, they’re perfect for dipping or topping with a variety of sauces and spreads.

The producer has also rolled out a tender Chicken Sriracha Bites, made with simple ingredients, including chicken and a custom Sriracha spice blend, that are suitable for the whole family.

EPIC snacks are available at select US retails, including Sprouts Farmers Market, as well as online for an RRP between $2.00 and $6.99 per pouch.

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