NPD Showcase 2021: Plant-powered, limited edition, seasonal flavours and planet-friendly packaging

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

There's a whopping range of delish treats lining up for the holiday season. Pic: GettyImages/Tara Moore
There's a whopping range of delish treats lining up for the holiday season. Pic: GettyImages/Tara Moore

Related tags: vegan, plant-based, Snacks, recyclable packaging, keto, India, Ice cream, Glanbia performance nutrition, Grupo bimbo, Protein

Popcornopolis, Munchy Seeds and Bagrry’s are shaking up the snacking space with new packaging; Miss Nang Treats, Cheryl’s Cookies and think! gear up for the holiday season; Union Foods take ice cream to the next level; and Betty Crocker invites fans to be part of its 100-year history.

Baking up a new batch

Cheryl's Cookies

Cheryl's Cookies – part of the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM family of brands – is rolling out a new assortment of cut-out cookies for the upcoming holiday season and beyond.

The range adds to brand's more than 200 baked offerings for gifting, entertaining and self-consumption.

“Our Cheryl’s Cookies customers continually inspire us to innovate within our product assortment and we are delighted to introduce these delicious new options for their gifting and sharing needs,”​ said George Schmidt, VP and GM of Cheryl’s Cookies.

“The love of our famous cookies has created a connected community of loyal customers and we look forward to deepening our relationships with them through exciting immersive, educational, and fun-filled activities, as well as engaging content that takes them behind the brand.”

The new offerings include:

  • Bake at Home Cookie Dough in variants like Chocolate Chip Dough, Cut-Out Dough, Sugar Dough, and Chocolate Chip Dough and Cut-Out Dough, plus Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or Yellow Buttercream Frosting
  • Cookie Dessert Boards: Birthday Dessert Charcuterie Board, Hot Cocoa Charcuterie Board and Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board
  • Do-it-Yourself Cookie Decorating Kits, including Sprinkle Decorating Kit and S'mores Kit
  • Gluten Free Cookies: Chocolate Chip, Buttercream Frosted Sugar, Snickerdoodle, Oatmeal Raisin, and Chocolate Brownie
  • New flavours, including Chocolate Obsession Cookie, Kitchen Sink Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Cookie, Rocky Road Pecan Cookie and Frosted Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie

Customers are also invited to engage with the brand through its Celebrations Book Club – one-hour discussions feature bestselling authors in a two-way conversation with a complimentary Cheryl's Cookies sampler box – and Cookie Convos, where talented bakers around the country answer questions and bake up something exclusively for Cheryl's Cookies fans.

Available for shipping across the US for an RRP ranging from $19.99 to $49.99. Free shipping for Celebrations Passport Members.

Be part of Betty Crocker’s 100-year history

Bettey Crocker

Betty Crocker is an American icon. From sharing cost-cutting cooking tips during World War II to revolutionising cake baking solutions, the brand has brought joy to celebrations big and small for the past 100 years.

Betty Crocker Timeline

Now fans can be part of the brand’s history. To celebrate her legacy, home bakers are invited to enter the #CallMeBettyCrocker recipe contest.

The competition runs until 31 December and the recipe must include at least one eligible Betty products. Entrants will be asked to share the story behind the recipe and how it’s used for celebrations for the chance to have their recipe featured on a Betty Crocker package or win a Betty Crocker prize pack. 

Sustainable manifesto

Munchy Seeds

Munchy Seeds is introducing recyclable pouches across its core range of sweet and savoury seed mixes.

The new pouches, which is suitable for recycling with soft plastics, will initially be rolled out across its 450g variants, including Mega Omega, Salted Caramel, Honey Roasted, Savoury Crunch, Warm Cinnamon and Mild Chilli. Plans for similar packaging for the brand’s other sizes and variants will follow in due course.

“We constantly seek to review our processes to make them as green and sustainable as possible and we’ve been looking for a recyclable solution for our pouches for some time. We are delighted to finally be able to make this change,”​ said co-founder Lucinda Clay.

“These changes tie into our sustainable manifesto where we’ve been looking to make small steps that will have a bigger impact on the UK road map to net zero. The planet gives us seeds and we need to ensure that we give back, so that generations can enjoy seeds for many millennia to come.”

Munchy Seeds produces its seed mixes, Breakfast Boosters and Savoury Sprinkles in 25g, 125g and 450g pouches, sold in selected retail outlets across the UK.

pop

Popcornopolis

Popcoronopolis, the fastest-growing ready-to-eat popcorn brand at retail that was recently swooped up by Grupo Bimbo,​ the world’s largest bakery manufacturer, has expanded its retail footprint into more than 1,800 Kroger stores across the US.

Popcornopolis is also rolling out its new Resealable Snack Pouches – a first for the brand and the snacking aisle. The 7.5oz pouches come complete with a zipper and stand-up structure to preserve both flavour and freshness.

“We are thrilled to expand our retail presence with Kroger and make our wildly delicious popcorn snacks even more accessible to U.S. consumers,”​ said Daniela Simpson, Popcornopolis’ chief marketing officer.

“We are also excited to bring a first-of-its-kind, resealable packaging to the Ready-to-Eat popcorn section of the store.”

Popcornopolis is easily recognisable by its iconic, one-of-a-kind cone shaped packaging and now its resealable pouches, in variants like Zebra, Unicorn and Nearly Naked, among others. The popcorn is popped in small batches, made with premium American-grown non-GMO corn and is free of gluten and added preservatives.

Popcornopolis is packing its Double Drizzle, Caramel & Kettle and Honey Butter flavours in the new resealable snack pouches, retailing for an RRP of $3.99.

Pumped up

Think!

High protein snack brand think! has added two limited edition seasonal flavours to its lineup, especially for the season.

Packed with premium ingredients, the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Chocolate Peppermint bars are a guilt-free way to enjoy the season’s favourite spice and swing softly into the holiday season – as each have no more than six grams of sugar. The bars also offer 10g of protein, are gluten-free and are only 150 calories.

“Demand is high for seasonal flavours and our think! team worked diligently to create these high protein, low sugar offerings that meet lofty taste expectations,”​ said Perri Gordon, VP and GM for Glanbia Performance Nutrition’s Healthy Lifestyle Brands.

“Our think! Pumpkin Spice Latte tastes like the real thing and our think! Chocolate Peppermint is ready to become a holiday favourite.

“The focus of think! is to Stand for Strong and create products that power your body and fuel your life.

“These high protein seasonal flavours were designed with this objective and deliver a delicious taste that brings you the portable protein that you need to do what you love stronger – whether it's raking leaves, shopping for the perfect gift, studying for finals or simply making a smarter snacking choice.”

Developed in 1999 by a single mom whose passion was to create nutritious products that help support overall wellness, think! was acquired by Glanbia Performance Nutrition in 2015 and rebranded in 2019 with an expanded product offering, including high protein bars, protein oatmeal and thinkKIDS protein bars.

The seasonal flavours are available online and on Amazon.

Christmas star

Miss Tang

Miss Nang Treats has launched the Kokwa & Mikki range, which comprises an assortment of crackers and dips.

“As we approached Miss Nang Treats’ 5th​ anniversary, I wanted to offer an alternative way of enjoying nuts and seeds to a new cohort of plant-based aficionados,”​ said founder Hortense Julienne.

“Over 20% of Brits have switched to a flexitarian or plant-based diet since the beginning of Covid 19. People are paying more attention to their health, and nuts and seeds are a whole pharmacy on their own. They are full of nutrients, vitamins, and are versatile and varied. Plant-based consumers often include nuts in their diet to build and conserve good health from the inside out. The only hick is those kernels can often taste like nothing and are therefore often ignored.”

Julienne added, “I feel that people do not value nuts and seeds enough and so don’t realise how versatile those little kernels really are. This is why I cover them with unexpected flavour and colour combinations to turn them into visibly attractive stars. Everybody is attracted to stars, right?”

Building on her original recipes, Miss Nang Treats turns rehydrated walnuts into fresh butter with carrot and coconut cream, while its Bitsy Beet Chutney is made with beetroot, water chestnuts and fennel. As for the crackers, there are four variants, made from black rice, red beans, plantain, Maris piper potatoes and combined with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond or peanut.

The range launches just in time for the Christmas treat list and is available online. The Kokwa & Mikki range is handmade and produced in small batches upon order.

PS: its plant-powered

PS Bites

P.S. Snacks Company has debuted in the shelf-stable baking category with a plant-powered instant pudding and line of chickpea-based cookie dough.

“We want to reinvent the classics,”​ said founder Nikki Azzara.

“We get rid of the junk and use real food ingredients to create these better-for-you versions of my favourite nostalgic treats. These new products are near and dear to my heart, as they were developed in my home kitchen during the pandemic and brought me so much joy and creative energy.”

The dark chocolate-covered cookie dough bites are plant-based, vegan and gluten free, with only 3g total sugar and 7g net carbs per single-serve snack pouch. The brand uses chickpeas for a clean label alternative to the nostalgic movie theatre candy.

The instant pudding is made from cocoa, vanilla beans and banana, and does not contain dairy, refined sugars, sugar alcohols, artificial flavours or preservatives. The multi-serve mixes can also be used as a versatile baking ingredient and contain 70% less added sugar than competitor brands.

The new offers are available online and on Amazon, with plans to expand its retail footprint across the US.

Superfood seeds

Bagrry's

India’s leading breakfast cereals brand Bagrry’s has added six nutrition-packed seeds to its Selects & Organics ranges, now available in stand-up pouch packs.

The 100% organic, vegan and gluten-free Flax seeds are rich in protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, great to toss into salads or used as a topping on muffins, breads, mueslis and oats.

Calcium and antioxidants-rich Chia seeds and the protein-rich super grain Quinoa round off the other new variants in the Organics range.

The 100% gluten-free Pumpkin seeds are loaded with good fats, proteins and micronutrients, while Sunflower seeds are rich in fibre and protein and offer anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits. Low in calories, Watermelon seeds are a natural immunity booster and enhance bone density.

“At Bagrry’s, we’ve always believed in natural goodness,”​ said Aditya Bagri, director at Bagrry’s.

“Our Organic & Natural Seeds range is nutrition packed with protein, fibre good fats and micronutrients. They’re so easy to use and can be roasted and rolled into a healthy snack or sprinkled into daily foods for a healthful, power-boosting meal. These seeds are sourced carefully to retain natural goodness and maintain our exceptional quality promise. We had already successfully introduced Certified Organic Quinoa and Chia seeds. The positive response to those prompted us to further expand the range.” 

The seeds – available in select retailers across India – join Bagrry’s diverse range of breakfast cereals and health foods, including Corn Flakes Plus (with 2X Fibre), Choco+, Whey Protein Muesli, Makhanas, Nut Butters and Apple Cider Vinegar.

Bread heaven

Companion

Companion Baking has expanded its offerings to five new grocery chains across the US.

Companion’s award-winning bread is served in more than 400 restaurants, grocery stores and businesses around the country, and now its notable range of bread puddings is rolling out in 120 grocery stores across multiple states.

For example, Fresh Thyme Market (70 stores in seven states) will be selling Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Mocha, Maple Pecan and Banana Chocolate bread puddings, while Strack & Van Til Food Market (21 stores in Indiana) is stocking The Original bread pudding.

Companion Baking is a St. Louis-based manufacturer of specialty breads and pastries founded in 1993 by Josh Allen. The family-owned company prides itself on building customised bread programmes to serve the unique needs of each of its customers, believing the creative process is as important as the loaf itself.

Ice cream on the next level

Pols

Food Union has rolled out a new innovation for its legacy ice cream brand Pols. Snow Peaks is a box of cocoa glazed ice cream bites in a form of snow peaks.

In honour of the Latvian company’s half a decade in ice cream, this celebratory box of 15-piece individual bite-size frozen delights is the perfect indulgence in the frozen desert segment and features Pol’s signature polar bear.

Continuing the snow-inspired theme and echoing the shape of snow peaks, the range is chocolate enrobed and filled with a creamy vanilla ice cream. The harmonious balance of milk chocolate made from cocoa butter and the smooth finish of vanilla ice cream made from locally produced milk make for a tastebud excitement. Pols is firmly committed to using only natural ingredients with natural stabilisers or emulsifiers.

“This is about blurring lines of product categories and driving the innovation cycle with creativity,” ​said Sandra Usacheva, Food Union ice cream brand manager.

“Food Union’s group of brands look to its connection with consumers to deliver highly unique ice cream experiences and creating a frozen confectionery that is the next level of innovation.”

The new product was a creation of Food Union’s Riga-based Ice Cream Competence Centre, where a team of experts develop and test recipes for both Latvian and export markets across Europe, the Baltics, Russia, China and Asia Pacific.

Pols Snow Peaks bites are served in an easy-to-open and biodegradable cardboard box that will eventually break down completely without residue.

The offering is available online and in various retail outlets throughout Latvia and Lithuania.

Nosh-talgia for carb counters

Hilo

Keto-friendly lifestyle brand Hilo Life has launched Snack Puffs in Fiery Hot and Cheddar.

The brand is on a mission to make foods a source of joy for carb counters. With bold flavours and net carbs you can count on one hand, Hilo Life helps keto consumers stick to their guns.

The new snacks contain only 3g net carbs and 0g added sugar, but pack in 12g of protein per serving.

“Consumers have a burning passion for snacks with that hot and cheesy flavour, and our new Snack Puffs nail this popular taste combination in a way that maximises flavour and crunch, while minimizing net carbs,”​ said Amanda Cheung, brand director for Hilo Life.

“Carb counters tell us they miss their favourite snacks and we’re on a mission to combat that ‘Nosh-talgia’ and bring to market innovations that offer bold flavours and crunchy texture with net carbs you can count on one hand.”

Snack Puffs are available online for an RRP of $21.99 for 12 single-serving 0.92 oz. bags.

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