NPD Showcase 2021: From ready-to-bake Pasteis de Nata to creating a chef-inspired Italian feast at home

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Roll up yur sleeves and get backing at home. Pic: GettyImages/Dean Mitchell
Roll up yur sleeves and get backing at home. Pic: GettyImages/Dean Mitchell

Related tags vegan Gluten-free Clean label Food waste homelessness frozen Greek yoghurt bar Cake home baking Gino D'Acampo

We are taking tastebuds on a global trip with a traditional Portuguese Pasteis de Nata, a Birthday Cake frozen Greek yoghurt bar to celeb chef Gino D’Acampo’s Italian favourites.

It’s pumpkin time


Los Angeles-based Bougie Bakes has launched its range of seasonal allergen-friendly pumpkin bakes, available to the end of November.

The seasonal assortment includes soft, chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies; and Pumpkin Pecan Blondie Bites. Both items are gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free and have an RRP of $35.

The bakery’s Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies are made with real espresso powder, while the Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Mini Muffins are packed with all the fall flavour without the unnecessary sugars and additives (both with an RRP of $35).

The pumpkin bakes are also available in bundles: Pumpkin Szn Bundle comprises 16 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and 16 Pumpkin Pecan Blondie Bites ($65); the Vegan Pumpkin Szn Bundle contains 16 Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies and 16 Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Mini Muffins ($65); and the Pumpkin Spice Everything Bundle ($120) including 64 treats of everything pumpkin the company bakes.

“You can’t be in the baked goods industry and not have a pumpkin line,”​ said Ryan and Meghan Quinn, the husband-and-wife co-founders of Bougie Bakes.

“We are so excited to have created a better-for-you, delicious option that will make anybody want to put on a flannel, light a candle and embrace everything fall has to offer.”

The bakes are packed in 100% recyclable trays and wrapped in cellulose derived from wood pulp. Bougie Bakes also uses water activated tape made with recycled paper, ensuring the entire package is 100% sustainable.

Available online from the producer.

Upping the ante


The Edinburgh Butter Company has launched a new buttermilk that will help bakers add that extra layer of zing to their bakes from pastry to scones and pancakes.

Renowned for its range of cultured butters, the producer adds live culture to local cream (farmed just seven miles away from its site in Ratho). After fermentation, the resulting smooth, glossy crème fraiche is churned and shaped into butter. The buttermilk left at the end of the process comes straight from the churn with no preservatives, additives or thickeners. With a consistency similar to milk, it gives a high quality, natural finish to dishes.

“We’ve really enjoyed the process of developing our butters with chefs and have found an increasing number of them requesting our buttermilk,”​ said Hilary Sinclair, co-founder and production director of The Edinburgh Butter Company.

“It’s a natural product that comes directly from the churning process so doesn’t have any additives or preservatives. I think chefs have respected the integrity of this and we’ve seen brilliant results in everything from pastry to marinades.”

The buttermilk is available in 500ml, 2 litre and 5 litre pack sizes and is distributed across the UK.

Honest bread


Jason’s Sourdough has expanded The Great White Straight Up lineup.

Launching both online and in 270 Tesco stores around the UK, the range includes The Great White and Superb Sprouted Grains to which master-baker and MD Jason Geary has added his own take. The sprouted spelt grains are soaked in the sourdough culture before being added to the final dough, which then goes through a 24-hour fermentation process. The sprouted grains give bursts of flavour and texture, alongside their associated health benefits, such as better digestion and higher nutritional content and value.

The two ‘Straight Up Sourdoughs’ are pre-sliced and traditional in artisanal half boule shape, with a longer life and a yeast-free production, making them gentler on digestion than standard bread. As with all Jason’s Sourdough products, there is no added sugar, preservatives or additives. The packaging delivers the authentic craft bakery experience with a transparent film to show the loaves, and a re-sealable label.

“We are absolutely delighted to be launching in Tesco this September, building on our distribution in M&S, ASDA and Ocado,”​ said Geary.

“The new Sprouted Grains loaf has been created with innovation at the forefront, to bring new bursts of flavour to our sourdough range, with quality ingredients as our top priority. We can’t wait to share it with our loyal and new customers alike.”

The Great White and Superb Sprouted Grains Straight Up Sourdough range (450g) are available in Tesco and online for an RRP of £1.80.

Eat like nobody is watching

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Mrs Crimble’s – the gluten-free bakery brand owned by Ecotone UK – has launched an autumnal campaign to encourage shoppers to take a relaxing moment and ‘eat like nobody is watching’.

The #NoFilter digital activation – set to reach over 6.5m social media users – highlights the producer’s core range alongside its recent innovations in vegan bakery, including the Deeply Dipply Choc Macaroons rolled out in Sainsbury’s and the Vegan Oat Bakes with chocolate in Tesco.

The digital activity will run until the 31 October, and targets consumers interested in flexitarian and gluten-free foods.

“As the summer months draw to an end and the days get shorter, Mrs Crimble’s is there for the consumers looking to relax at home and indulge in a great-tasting treat,”​ said Vicky Hazel, Mrs Crimble’s brand controller at Ecotone UK.

“Digital campaigns have been highly effective for the brand and we’re confident this investment will keep Mrs Crimble’s front-of-mind during a key sales period for cake.”

Mrs Crimble’s is a supporter of Fareshare UK, a British charity focused on fighting hunger and food waste by redistributing surplus food to frontline charities.

Happy birthday!


To celebrate its 10th​ anniversary, Yasso has added a Birthday Cake variant to its lineup of frozen Greek yoghurt bars.

“When Yasso launched in 2011, we saw a white space to deliver great tasting desserts with superb nutritionals and quality ingredients within the frozen aisle and we are proud and grateful, to still be here progressing that mission forward,”​ said Drew Harrington, Yasso co-founder.

“We wanted our newest flavour to commemorate Yasso’s 10th​ birthday and be symbolic of the milestone itself - an awesome celebration of delicious fun.”

Yasso has recently entered the top 5 novelty dessert brands in the US and landed the spot as the #2 fastest growing better-for-you snacking brand, according to IRI data. According to co-founder Amanda Klane, much of this success can be credited to the company’s core mindset of always striving to improve customer satisfaction.

“While the mission behind Yasso has remained the same over the past 10 years, the products and branding have evolved to give consumers the best experience possible. We’ve continued to improve formulas, expanded categories and have created a way to give back to our community through our Game On! Foundation.”

The Birthday Cake bar – the 12th​ core bar flavour – is filled with rainbow sprinkles and chunks of cake dough, but still meets Yasso’s nutritional standards with only 90 calories per bar, 5g of protein and no artificial ingredients.

The Birthday Cake variant is available for purchase online and at select Target locations in October.

To honour the launch, Yasso is making a $10,000 donation to The Birthday Party Project, which will provide birthday gifts to over 300 children experiencing homelessness.

Indulging in all-things cake

We love cake

Bells of Lazonby is debuting its first plant-based ‘mini bites’ range in 400 Sainsbury’s outlets across the UK under the We Love Cake brand.

We Love Cake is known for its nostalgic nod to the ‘Best of British’ desserts. Similarly, the latest SKUs – available in 156g/110g resealable tubs – pays homage to two of the nation’s favourite tray bakes, including Crunch ‘n’ Crisp toffee mini bites and Choc-a-block chocolate-topped flapjack mini bites.

“Mini bites are huge innovation for We Love Cake as they allow us to challenge not only in bakery, but in sharing and snacking occasions,”​ said Josh Boydell-Smith, head of brand and marketing at We Love Cake.

“This new range is another opportunity to challenges perceptions around free-from bakery and allows us to go after the mainstream, confectionary shopper looking for sharers that work for everyone at the table. Delicious cakes for all dietary requirements.”

Made in Lazonby on the edge of the Lake District, Cumbria; all We Love Cake products are baked in small batches by skilled bakers and hand finished. The bakery strives to maintain freshness without losing its small batch quality. Its range of gluten-free cakes are registered with Coeliac UK and Vegan Society.

The plant-based bakes are available instore from September, on an introductory deal of RRP £2.

The real deal

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Former events bakery brand Maria Nata has diversified into the retail and foodservice sectors with the launch of a range of Pasteis de Nata. Hailing from Portugal, Pasteis de Nata are one of the country’s most popular delicacies and are loved throughout the world.

Supplied frozen ready for baking, Maria Nata’s offerings come in three options: Classic, Mini and Vegan Natas – aimed at retailers, bakeries and catering outlets across the UK that are looking for fresh and co-effective bakes.

“Pasteis de Natas are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, but people now expect something authentic that tastes just like the ones they’ve tried in Portugal,”​ said Antonio Carmona e Costa, director of Maria Nata.

“These Natas are the real deal. They are made by Portuguese chefs, using natural ingredients and traditional methods; they fill the need for a quality product that is competitively priced and accessible to everyone - with vegan options also available. Plus, because they are frozen they help reduce waste and allow businesses to effectively manage stock levels. They also require no training to bake, but promise a delicious and consistent product every bake.”

Maria Nata originally launched in 2019 with the aim of serving Natas at events and food festivals, but when the pandemic hit the UK it added a wholesale business unit to expand its business proposal.

“We’ve had to make a lot of changes to our business model and adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic. We feel bakeries, independent retailers and coffee shops are the perfect target audience for our products and look forward to building our list of outlets over the autumn and winter,”​ added Carmona e Costa.

“There’s no one else offering Natas like these in the UK and we’re hoping to build our base of customers to ensure that customers can find these delicious products in bakeries throughout the UK. There’s over 5,000 independent bakeries in the UK so the scope is huge. We believe that Natas can have a similar story to Pizza - a traditional product that spreads around the world.”

Clean, simple and wholesome


Eurostar Commodities has launched a new range of gluten-free clean label tortilla flours for manufacturing, retail and home use for the creation of tortillas, tacos and wraps.

The clean label flours are made from 100% natural ingredients including starch, flour (rice, pea, maize), buckwheat flakes and vegetable fibre. They are gluten-free, vegan, high in fibre and allergen free – with no additives or preservatives – and produced in an allergen-free factory in Yorkshire with 100% recyclable packaging.

The flour offers a workable dough and produces soft and flexible flatbreads that smell, feel, and taste just like the real thing.

Products are available in two varieties: White and Brown in sizes 1.5kg, 3kg, or cases of 8×1.5kg & 4x3kg.

“We recognise that there is a huge opportunity to create a healthier flour for making wraps and tortilla,”​ said Jason Bull, director of Eurostar Commodities.

“The market for these products is growing steadily in Europe and predicted to grow by 5.5% by 2027. However, the quality of some of these products, and some of the preservatives used are not what consumers want right now. We are seeing continued interest in clean labelling and a movement towards simple, clean, and wholesome foods.”

Mamma mia

Garlic & Provola Cheese Flatbread

Celeb chef Gino D’Acampo has launched a range of Italian classics and staples to give consumers a taste of his childhood.

Handed down from his Nonna Flora and reminiscent of his childhood in southern Italy, D’Acampo has shared these treasured recipes in his restaurants, in his bestselling cookbooks and popular TV series. Now, his partnership with Asda is helping everyone to enjoy a slice of Gino’s Italy at home.

The range of staples means home chefs have everything they need to cook the classics from scratch, from different types of pastas and pulses to exciting additions like 'Nduja paste and Nocellara olives.

The range also includes a Garlic and Provola Cheese Flatbread and a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with 'Nduja Sausage, buffalo mozzarella pearls, spicy salami and roasted pepper strips – a nod to Gino’s 30 years of experience perfecting the art of pizza-making since he was a young boy in Naples

“We are so excited to be partnering with Gino D’Acampo to launch over 60 new products across three different ranges,”​ said Duncan Cross, senior director, Meal Solutions and Frozen Foods at Asda.

“We know families will enjoy having a unique way to experience Gino’s family-inspired Italian recipes, to suit any occasion, whether it’s home-cooking comforting Italian favourites or treating their loved ones to a three-course Italian feast.”

Added D’Acampo, “For me, life is about two things: family and food. I can’t wait to share my passion for family-cooking and Italian food with ASDA customers. These Italian recipes, which have been inspired by my family, are delicious and truly stand the test of time."

Gino D’Acampo’s new range is available online and in Asda stores from September.

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