NPD 2021: Snacking sensibly on chocolate-covered carrot biscuits, nutritionally savvy seeds, and gut-healthy probiotic apricots

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

It's almost the most wonderful time of the year again! Pic: GettyImages/Robert Daly
It's almost the most wonderful time of the year again! Pic: GettyImages/Robert Daly

Related tags: Asda, Christmas, seeds, Nuts, plant-based, vegan, flexitarian

Munchy Seeds, Simply Seedz and Miss Nang Treats are taking seeds to the next level, while Rootles and Nature’s Garden is taking the guesswork out of snacking healthy. We also get an exclusive peak into Asda’s Extra Special launches for Christmas.

Just add seeds

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Munchy Seeds has secured a listing with Ocado for all six variants of its Breakfast Boosters and Savoury Sprinkles that were launched in March.

The Just Add ranges includes three Breakfast Boosters: Super Berry Goji Berry, Chia & Cranberry Seed Mix; Totally Tropical Coconut, Mango & Banana Seed Mix; and Cacao & apricot, Cacao Apricot & Date Seed Mix; and three Savoury Sprinkles: Totally Toasted Tamari Mega Omega 7 Seed Mix; Spicy Peri Peri Chilli, Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed Mix; and Warm Cumin & Fennel Sunflower, Pumpkin & Cumin Seed Mix.

According to the producer, the range takes seeds to the next level, redefining them as a multi-use staple for everything from baked goods and breakfast cereals to salads and soups to add crunch, flavour and a massive nutritional boost, being high in fibre, protein and a great source of vitamin E. It is also vegan-friendly, gluten and wheat free.

“We are delighted to have secured this listing with Ocado as it allows more consumers to try out our new range and see how versatile seeds are,”​ said Lucinda Clay, co-founder of Munchy Seeds.

“Our Savoury Sprinkles and Breakfast Boosters remove the guesswork and give people a clear use for our flavour-packed seed mixes. From adding to salads, soups and savoury dishes, to blending in a smoothie, using in porridge or granola, or mixing into yogurt, we're setting out to show the nation just how easy it is to add seeds to your daily meals.”

All six products are now available in Ocado for an RRP of £2.50 for a 125g pack.

Deliciously unconventional

Rootles101

A chocolate-covered crunchy carrot biscuit range has been launched to satisfy demand for indulgent guilt-free treats.

The Rootles brand has been developed by Helen Yates, who co-runs Luke Evans Bakery in Derbyshire with her husband David. Yates was inspired to develop the product through her work mentoring business students at the University of Nottingham. The concept of using veg in biscuits was developed as a market research project, which sparked her interest in the idea.

Later, she received funded support from Mission Ventures and the Good Food Fund, which identified Rootles as a healthy snack to help fight obesity.

Currently available in two variants – Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate – a three-finger Rootles pack contains only 120 calories, along with less sugar and fat than other chocolate snacks as they are naturally sweetened with nutritious root veggies. Each biscuit contains over 35% root veg – carrot being the first ingredient, along with a dash of sweet potato – meaning they are also high in fibre.

With a shelf life of at least seven months, Rootles are suitable for food-to-go, speciality food stores, coffee shops, convenience stores and other food service and retail outlets.

“The pandemic has led to a greater focus on health and Rootles are the perfect product for guilt-free snacking, as they are high fibre and contain just 120 calories per pack – fewer than many other snack bars,”​ said Yates.

“Consumers are looking for healthier snacks, particularly in the impulse snacking sector, but they don’t expect to compromise on taste or texture and still want to treat themselves. Veg has been added to cakes for a long time but we’ve taken the concept a stage further and developed biscuit bars using root vegetables.

“Rootles taste like a traditional chocolate biscuit but are naturally sweetened with carrot and sweet potato. They are deliciously unconventional and really have to be tasted to be believed.”

Rootles are available online for an RRP of £1.00-£1.20 per 27g pack.

Nutritionally savvy

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Simply Seedz has launched a three-strong range of ‘nutritionally savvy, home-fried Nibble Kits’.

According to Simply Seeds founder Cathryn Zielinkski, “the simple, dry-fried process and the pleasant popping of seeds is a perfect educational activity for children and parents to build a growing enthusiasm for health-conscious snacking.”

Pumpkin seeds are full of Omega 6 fatty acids, iron, calcium folate and beta-carotene.

Available in Seedy Gonzales (Tex Mex), Cheeky Tikka (Tikka Masala) and Trail Blaze (sticky BBQ), each kit contains 200g of ready-to-pop pumpkin seeds, a ‘full-throttle’ seasoning and a list of ‘easy-to-heed’ instructions.

“When your business’s name is Simply Seedz and your historical focus has been a full-bodied clean-deck breakfast offer, maybe it’s inevitable that the time will arrive to tap into the growing movement for ‘truly’ natural snacks that resonate with today’s ever-expanding, healthier living audience,”​ said Simply Seedz founder Cathryn Zielinkski.

“Lockdown has inevitably resulted in longer working hours from home, extended periods of desk-based stagnation, and heightened levels of impromptu snacking. It’s vital that we do our bit to bust the myth that snacking is a guilty shortcoming because the right savoury treats can prevent illness, boost immune systems.”

Healthy Snack award

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Nature’s Garden Probiotic Apricots has been chosen by Good Housekeeping Magazine as one of its 2021 Healthy Snack Award recipients.

The recognition builds on the incredible momentum of the brand’s extensive line of Probiotic dried fruit offerings, which include prunes, dates, cranberries, mixed berries raisins and tart cherries.

The apricot variant is an easy-to-eat, no-mess snack containing only 100 calories per serving, made from Turkish-grown apricots that contain no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, no added sugar and 3g of fibre.

The novel snack is also enhanced with 10 billion live cultures using a patented micro-encapsulation system featuring S. Boulardii​ and L. Rhamnosus​ probiotics, clinically shown to improve digestive wellbeing and restore the balance of healthy bacteria to the gut, without impacting the plumpness or flavour.

“We are honoured to receive this prestigious Healthy Snack Award from Good Housekeeping,”​ said Emre Imamoglu, CEO and co-founder of Nature’s Garden maker Cibo Vita.

“Nature’s Garden was founded on the principal of healthy snacking with purpose.” 

Nature’s Garden Probiotic Apricots are sold online, as well as in selected retailers across the US – such as Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Acme and BJ’s – in 12 and 24 ounce packs.

Getting creative

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Like many other producers, Miss Nang Treats had to become creative during the pandemic and morphed into an ecommerce entity that has experienced strong growth, earning itself an award for COVID-19 Business Resilience from Croydon BID.

Miss Nang Treats was created by Hortense Julienne in 2016 to fulfil a gap in the market for safe, healthy, natural plant-based snacks that could be eaten by both non-vegans and vegans alike. At the time, she suffered from chronic neuropathic pain, so was also looking for something that would be healing and restorative.

Today, Julienne’s pain has almost gone and she is convinced that adding more nuts and seeds in the diet is absolutely essential for good health.

Miss Nang Treats’ range of 15 nuts and seeds are made with natural ingredients, and brim with antioxidants, vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. They are suitable for vegans, along with those following gluten-free and Kosher lifestyles. The offerings are also packed in recyclable, reusable or regiftable packaging, with compostable options coming soon.

“I’ve had to be very creative during the pandemic. Having heavily relied in F2F business in the past, I have had to learn to navigate the online world in order to continue to push my small business,” ​said Julienne.

“I signed up in a business academy where I learnt to use Instagram to create videos and educate the audience on my healthy snacks range. I also got £300 from a friend, which allowed me to buy the full ecommerce option for my website.

“For the first time, I did better online than I ever did. I continued my Instagram live chats, learnt to shoot reels to educate my prospects on my processes... my followers have grown, I have become an Instagram expert .... and also wanting to leverage my story, responded to journalist call outs on disability, rare diseases and healthy eating.”

Julienne has also recently written a cookbook to help carnivores with plant-based cooking ideas.

“By popular demand from my customers and followers, I wrote a cookbook called Plant-Based Ideas For Carnivores. It has been well received specially by new flexitarians and vegan explorers. I could say the COVID months have been the most creative months of my life.”

Miss Nang Treats are available online, and hand-made to order.

It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year again

Waitrose

Retail giant Asda is gearing up for Christmas and unveiled an exclusive look at its expanded range of Extra Special products.

According to the retail giant, 2021 will be ‘the most inclusive Christmas yet’, with more than 240 premium products across all categories, including a strong contingent of vegan and free from items, including Extra Special Vegan ‘Crab’ Croquettes with Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic Dip, and Free From Extra Special Chocolate Orange Shimmer Brownies.

Asda’s Christmas range is set to offer something for everyone and brings to life the key trends of Blood Orange and Salted Honey – think Extra Special Blood Orange Belgian Chocolate Bauble and Extra Special Salted Honey and Caramel Meringue Stack.

The retailer is also adding some novelty to the season to make customers smile, with Bruce the Brussel Sprout taking centrestage for the second year in the form of a cake incarnation (a chocolate sponge filled with chocolate flavour frosting and covered in soft green icing).

“This Christmas, we know our customers are looking to create something truly magical for their loved ones. Our insight has told us that for many, this Christmas will be two Christmases in one, with customers seizing every moment and starting the celebrations as early as possible,”​ said Sam Dickson, VP, Asda Own Brand at Asda.

“It’s our job to make all of those moments as magical as possible, and we really do believe we have something for everyone and every occasion this Christmas. We can’t wait for our customers to sample the range and be blown away by the quality.”

Highlights include:

  • Extra Special 3 Bone Rib Joint with Parmesan & Truffle Crust
  • Extra Special Blood Orange Chocolate Bauble
  • Extra Special Salted Honey and Caramel Meringue Stack
  • Extra Special Truffle Brie
  • Extra Special Blood Orange and Venison Pate
  • Extra Special Mince Pie with Orange Zest Pastry

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