NPD 2021: Seeking out worldly-snacks, better-for-you treats and a touch of indulgence

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Searching all four corners of the world for exciting snacks. Pic: GettyImages/Richard Drury/Shana Novak
Searching all four corners of the world for exciting snacks. Pic: GettyImages/Richard Drury/Shana Novak

Related tags better for you vegan low sugar High fibre Low carb Snacks macarons

Explore the delights of exotic flavours from Japan, France and Mexico; enjoy the tastier treats in life without the guilt; and show someone some real love with a romantic gift of cupcakes.

Uncover the secrets of Japan

October Box (002)

Sakuraco is sending subscribers on an adventure to discover the exciting flavours of Japan with its carefully curated snack boxes.

Experience 20 new, authentic Japanese treats every month – delivered worldwide – including seasonal delights like cakes, snacks and sweets from Castella to Taiyaki, Mochi, Manju, and more.

The snack subscription platform is passionate in spreading Japan’s unique food culture across the world. No matter where you are in the world, each Sakuraco snack box – which change each month – will whisk you away on an exciting journey full of discovery.

This month, the brand celebrates the Fall Flavors of Kyushu, from rich roasted sweet potato – Satsumaimo is a fall staple that features in both sweet desserts and savory snacks – to smooth chestnut, which has been enjoyed in Japanese cuisine for thousands of years.

The service is available in 12 month ($32.50/month), 6 Month ($33.50/month) and 3 Month ($35.50/month) packages, as well as an one-off for $37.50.

Getting into the French 'spirit'


The French luxury bakery and sweets maker house Ladurée – one of the world’s best-known sellers of the double-decker macaron with 15,000 sold every day – has created a limited edition of spooky treats to celebrate Halloween in style.

The collection includes a Halloween gift box with new popcorn and Halloween personalised vanilla flavour macarons (box of 8 for £25), along with a popcorn tart filled with popcorn and polenta almond cream, silky rich miso caramel and finished with popcorn ganache with chocolate.

The collection will be available in all Ladurée’s UK stores or through nationwide delivery on the company’s website.

Ay fiesta!


General Mills’ Old El Paso brand has partnered with Barcel USA’s popular Takis brand to introduce an exciting new offering in the TexMex space.

Old El Paso has fired up the flavour intensity with Stand ‘N Stuff Taco Shells inspired by the distinctive taste of Takis Fuego hot chili pepper and lime flavours, both of which are exclusively available at Walmart.

The product is available in sets of 10 (5.4 oz) for a family-sized taco celebration, and with endless options ranging from traditional taco fillings to customisable taco creations, consumers can create Mexican-style meals at home in minutes.

“The Takis Fuego and Old El Paso collaboration is focused on bold flavours and fun,”​ said Ryan Harrington, VP, Walmart, General Mills.

“We’re introducing the newest breakthrough innovation that consumers have been searching for, meeting their needs for a spicy taco shell with unique flavour.”

Added Sandra Peregrina, marketing director of Salty Snacks for Barcel USA, the US snack division of Grupo Bimbo, “The Old El Paso Takis Fuego Hot Chili Pepper and Lime-Flavored Stand 'N Stuff Taco Shells are not only inspired by the intensity of our iconic rolled tortilla chip beyond the snack bag, they allow our consumers to build their own Takis Fuego creation in taco form with the convenience of the Old El Paso Stand 'N Stuff Taco Shells.”

Give a little love


As we get closer to Christmas, it’s time to think of gifts and everyone loves a cupcake.

Rachael’s Kitchen – a next-day delivery cupcake service founded in 2009 – offers personalised cupcakes in over 40 tempting flavours. The brand will pipe edible personalised messages and photos on the cupcakes, as well as include message cards and other gift items like fizz or candles to goods.

“I love to give gifts and spend time choosing the perfect gift for friends and family – it’s an expression of love when you pick out something thoughtful and personal to the recipient,”​ said founder Rachel.

“Cakes are celebratory and it is a privilege to be part of people’s special occasions, particularly over the past year. I have been moved to tears by some of the lovely feedback we have had from customers.”

Rachel’s best-selling item is the Fill Your Own box of 12 hand-picked flavours, along with the Lucky  Dip tasting selection (with 6 or 12 cupcakes) and the new ice cream sundae range.

Available for next day delivery across the UK if ordered before 4pm.

Better-for-you baking


SkinnyDipped – the maker of better-for-you snacks with less sugar and clean ingredients – is making another splash with the launch of lower-sugar chocolate Baking Bits that are suitable for baking, snacking and melting, with up to 67% less sugar than its competitors.

Baking Bits are SkinnyDipped’s third major launch this year, following on the heels of peanut butter cups and chocolate bars in April. The newest item similarly breaks category convention and delivers an indulgent taste with less sugar and without sugar substitutes like stevia or sugar alcohols.

The Baking Bits are instead sweetened from a blend of cane sugar and allulose, which is the sugar found in fruits like raisins and figs that tastes like cane sugar but has 90% fewer calories.

“Not only are SkinnyDipped Bits ideally suited for baking because of their amazing taste, lower sugar and just-right meltability, but they’re super snackable for all the same reasons,”​ said SkinnyDipped CEO Breezy Griffith.

“Different from a traditional chip, we’ve given bakers and snackers alike a unique product form in a conventional lay-flat pillow pack as well as a resealable stand-up pouch, making it easy to grab a handful and save the rest.”

Baking Bits are available in two variants: Semi-Sweet, with 3g of sugar per serving (63% less than the leading brand of semi-sweet chips); and Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt, with only 2g of sugar per serving (67% less). The product is also non-GMO, kosher and gluten-free.

SkinnyDipped Baking Bits are available online for $6.99 (9oz pillow packs) and $4.99 (7oz pouches), as well as in selected Walmart stores.

Mixing it up

Dawn SuperBakery Ancient Grain Muffins

Dawn Foods has unveiled its Super Bakery Range, which features an all-natural Whole & Ancient Grain Cake Mix and a Superfruit Filling, designed to appeal to consumers’ preference for better-for-you baked treats.

Dawn’s new multipurpose Whole & Ancient Grain Cake Mix comprises quinoa, buckwheat and spelt and can be used to create muffins, loaf cakes, cookies, cake bars  and shortcrust pastry.

The mix contains 30% less sugar than Dawn’s standard crème cake mix and does not contain nuts, colours or preservatives.

To compliment the Mix is Dawn’s Delifruit Classic Superfruit Filling, which contains 70% real fruit, with only natural flavours and no additional colours. The ready-to-use filling is made from a combo of five fruits – redcurrants, cherries, blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates – and can also be used to fill doughnuts, decorate pastry or inject into muffins.

“While today’s consumer is looking for a sweet bakery treat, they are also mindful of their health and are increasingly choosing products with healthier, natural ingredient,”​ said Jacqui Passmore Marketing Manager at Dawn Foods UK and Ireland.

“There’s been a big focus recently on ancient grains across snacking, bakery and cereal categories and this is now moving into sweet treats too. Dawn’s new Super Bakery range gives bakers the tools to create some fantastic, great tasting and innovative new sweet bakery products that are exactly right both in looks and eating quality for today’s health-focussed consumer.”

Not all carbs are the same

ROYO_BREAD-mkp (1)

ROYO Bread Co – a US family-owned and operated bread company known for its high-fibre, low-carb, plant-based baked goods – has unveiled a new low-calorie artisan bread.

The pre-sliced bread contains only 30 calories and 2g of net carbs per slice, along with 11g of heart-healthy fibre. The launch of the 30-Calorie Low Carb Artisan Bread will follow with the roll out of low-carb bagels and challah next month.

Made from non-GMO wheat resistant starch, oat fibre, wheat bran, whole grain rye flour, ground flaxseed and psyllium husk, the offerings are also vegan, keto-friendly and certified Kosher.

Founded in 2019 by Ronit Halaf (a registered dietician) and her baker husband Yoel, ROYO Bread Co offers a line of superfood-rich baked goods that contain only nutrient-filled ingredients and no preservatives, in flavours like Cinnamon Raisin, Rye, Spicy Chili, and Za’atar (80 calories, 1g net carbs).

The 30-Calorie Low Carb Artisan Bread is available online for an RRP of $9.00.

It’s good to get cheesy

Jacobs all

pladis has reimagined its £80m Jacob’s Mini Cheddars brand in a lighter, crunchier format.

Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Crunchlets are golden-baked with real cheese and offer consumers a new better-for-you variant with retaining the same distinctive cheesy taste that the nation already knows. Available in two flavours – Rich & Tangy Cheddar and Cheddar and Caramelised Onion – Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Crunchlets come in at just 76kcals per serving.

“The iconic, real-cheese flavour of our Jacob’s Mini Cheddars has helped the brand to become a store-cupboard staple for over a third of UK households (36.5%) , but we know that there’s even more room for growth,” ​said Christopher Owen, marketing controller at pladis UK&I.

“That’s why, with our recent innovation, we’ve gone beyond the brand’s signature circular biscuit to experiment with new textures, formats and taste sensations. We’re confident that the new light, moreish texture of Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Crunchlets will help our retail customers unlock incremental sales in popular consumption occasions.

“While many Brits are actively seeking portion-sized snacking options for lunchtime and when they’re out and about, a number of shoppers are continuing to enjoy cosy evenings in. That’s why we’ve launched a variety of pack sizes and formats – from our perfectly-portioned multipacks for a light lunchtime snack, to our larger, sharing bags. This means whether consumers are back on-the-go or are settling down for a movie night, they can enjoy a moment of cheesy pleasure.”

New Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Crunchlets are rolling out in 6x17g multipacks and 115g sharing bags (RRP: £1.50) across multiple grocery, wholesale and convenience. They are also launching in a 65g Price-Marked Pack (RRP: £1) exclusive to the wholesale and convenience channels.

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