NPD Showcase 2021: Seasonal celebrations with English Truffle crisps, Puff Pastry Brioche and Thanksnuggets

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Getting ready to celebrate the holiday season. Pic: GettyImages/Willie B. Thomas
Getting ready to celebrate the holiday season. Pic: GettyImages/Willie B. Thomas

Related tags vegan plant based better for you keto Protein no sugar added

Made For Drink rolls out a proudly English crisp range for Christmas; Bridor meshes brioche with puff pastry; Nellie’s gets cracking with a fuss-free Free Range French Toast Mix; and Perdue releases limited edition Thanksdippings to go with its seasonal Thanksnuggets.

Watch this space

English Heritage range

Made For Drink has forged a partnership with English Heritage to champion the nation’s food producers through a Christmas potato crisp range rolling out exclusively in Fortnum & Mason.

Each variant – English Truffle, Dorset Sea Salt, Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt and Unseasoned Yorkshire Potato Crisps – tells a behind-the-scene story of some of the country’s most passionate producers.

The artisan crisps are made from potatoes grown within a 10 mile radius of the Made For Drink’s Yorkshire factory and hand cooked the same day they are harvested.

A highly prized flavour, the seasoning for English Truffle comprises truffles picked by The English Truffle Company founder James and his truffle hunting dog in the south of England. The company supplies many Michelin-starred restaurants across the UK, along with truffle hunting courses in the autumn.

Founder Jethro was awarded a grant by the Princes Trust to re-kindle an ancient tradition. The hand harvested salt from Chesil beach is famed for its quality and sold to some of the world’s most respected restaurants. It also has found its way into Made For Drinks Dorset Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt crisps.

“We’ve all learnt what really matters over the past year and that has had an impact on the food we are all starting to enjoy again,”​ said founder Dan Featherstone.

“In particular, a nostalgic return to the foods of our past, but also a surge in support for small, local producers. Our partnership with English Heritage celebrates all of this, and tells the wonderful stories behind many of our English food producers. While we are launching with Potato Crisps, there are many more fantastic products and stories to tell in the pipeline, keep watching this space.”

The five-year global licence with English Heritage will generate income to help English Heritage carry out vital conservation work at over 400 sites to keep the story of England alive for future generations.

“These products really capture an authentic story that is at the core of our licensing programme,” ​said Kingston myles, head of Commercial Development.

“I’m excited to keep exploring the history of snacking and unlocking other English producers that this range can showcase.”

All four flavours will be available in 150g (RRP £2.750 and 40g (RRP £1.25) packs in Fortnum & Mason outlets across the UK.

Breakfast mash up


French bakery manufacturer Bridor has added a Puff Pastry Brioche to its range, especially designed for breakfast occasions and set to peak interest at both hotel buffets and on the table at home.

Made with puff pastry brioche dough, Bridor’s innovation has butter added between the pastry layers, which gives the product the softness of brioche but with the laminated look of a croissant. With its soft centre and crispy top, the Puff Pastry Brioche is available in 295g swirl format, giving it an Instagrammable look that has already generated over 21,000 posts on social media with the hashtag #briochefeuilletée.

The brioche come in two formats – either frozen and fully-baked, easy to defrost in 45 minutes and crisped in the oven within just five; and a ready-to-prove 330g ‘DIY’ Puff Pastry Brioche, which allows bakers to prove up to three brioche rolls. These can also be customised before or after baking to create a sweet or savoury breakfast snack. Both the fully baked and the ready-to-prove brioche are supplied with their own brown cardboard moulds.

The clean label brioche are made only from the essential ingredients of natural origin, with the exception of ascorbic acid, which plays a decisive role in the final quality of breads and Viennese pastries.

Bridor is part of the Le Duff Group, which operates 2,000 restaurants. Established in France in 1988, today Bridor operates 10 production site delivering new and exciting products that appeal to an international audience, while supporting baking cultures worldwide.

Going turkey


Following the release of turkey Thanksnuggets in September, Perdue has announced the creation of Thanksdippings – two limited edition dipping sauces to bring even more flavour home.

Thanksdippings are exclusively available in limited quantities with a purchase of each order of Thanksnuggets from the brand’s online shop.

The Thanksnuggets pair white and dark meat No-Antibiotics-Ever turkey in holiday flavours, including sweet potato seasoned breading, cranberries and stuffing flavoured breading. Perdue’s Thanksdippers – Spiced Apple Honey Mustard and CranBBQ Sauce – provide the perfect foil for these Thanksgiving favourites.

“We were inspired to create this fun complement to Thanksnuggets by listening to consumers’ reactions to the launch of these unique nuggets last year,”​ said Jon Swadley, VP of Marketing, Perdue Premium Prepared Foods.

“People wanted to know what they should dip the seasonal nuggets in, and some even offered creative suggestions. This year, we’ve been able to answer that call by including dipping sauces with the Thanksnuggets sold online, as well as providing recipe suggestions for those who’d like to prepare their own sauces at home – making the ideal pairings to pack all the best flavours of Thanksgiving into a few bites.”

A limited quantity of the white and dark meat nuggets, complete with both sauces, will be available online for $14.99 per 24oz package. Last year, Thanksnuggets sold out online in less than three minutes, so act fast. Consumers can also find 22oz bags of white breast meat with sweet potato-seasoned breading turkey in retailers across the US.

No cracking necessary


Nellie’s Free Range French Toast Mix is a one-bowl-one-pan-no-mess-option to enjoy an epic breakfast at home.

The first-of-its-kind, shelf-stable mix from the leading US free range egg brand comes in two flavours – Classic Recipe and Chocolate. Naturally high-in-protein, it’s easy to prepare with just water or milk to create 16-20 slices per pouch. In keeping with the brand’s commitment to humane farm animal care, Nellie's French Toast Mix also features a dozen Certified Humane Free Range eggs in every bag.

The clean ingredients list contains no added sugar in the Classic variety and just 6g in the Chocolate variety. The mix is also adaptable to all diets, including keto, paleo and gluten-free.

This new creation comes as breakfast has undergone a transformation. Thanks to the pandemic, consumers have shifted from eating breakfast on-the-go to enjoying it at home with family. According to Mintel, pancakes, waffles, and French Toast now lead the pack in popular breakfast foods in nostalgic flavours of cinnamon, caramel and maple.

“I’m confident that consumers are going to love our French Toast Mix,”​ said Erik Drake, CEO of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs.

“Not only does it taste great, but it’s the perfect product to keep on hand in the pantry for a quick, convenient and stress-free – yet still special – breakfast that the whole family can enjoy, and even help prepare.”

Nellie’s French Toast Mix come in 6.7oz pouches, available on Amazon and for shipping nationwide for an RRP of $12.99.

Supporting the plant-based revolution

Barry Callebaut dairy-free chocolate

Dairy-Free Compounds has joined Barry Callebaut’s North American existing Plantcraft range of dairy-free chocolates, nuts, cocoa powders and cacaofruit experience ingredients.

The new Dairy-Free Compound introduces a versatile solution that’s 100% plant-based and 100% dairy-free. Made in fully segregated production facilities that do not handle dairy, the portfolio offers a range of shelf-stable compounds suitable for the bakery, confection and snack segments, and low melt chunk offerings for the ice cream market.

The full range includes:

  • Dark Dairy-free EZ Melt Compound – easy workability and a higher melt-point for a variety of applications including moulding, enrobing, drizzling, bottoming or even panning.
  • Dark Dairy-free Compound Chip/Chunk – for baked goodies such as cookies and a decadent addition to trail mixes or other snacks.
  • Dark Dairy-free Compound Soft Chunk – ideal for plant-based or allergen-free ice cream and frozen dairy applications.
  • Dark Dairy-free Compound Soft Shaped Chunks – a customisable inclusion to relay a theme or accent.
  • Dark Dairy-free Bulk Liquid – for large scale moulding, enrobing, drizzling, bottoming with easy workability.

“To support the plant-based revolution, we’re thrilled to introduce our latest offering,”​ said Laura Bergan, director Barry Callebaut Brand.

“Recent successful plant-based launches met market demands with a flavour-first mentality, focusing on taste.

“At Barry Callebaut, we’ve taken the plant-based opportunity to a new level, elevating products on indulgences that happen to be plant-based. We’re excited to see the industry expand product lines and introduce new innovative creations to cater to everyone’s lifestyle choice, across different generations.”

Especially for corporates

My Baker - NEW Corporate offer

My Baker can be explained as a ‘cake concierge for uncompromising cake aficionados’.

The D2C platform – which fronts a network of over 200 carefully vetted artisanal bakers – is perfectly placed to bring ‘cakey joy’ to the boardroom table, both virtual and in person.

Zoom Meetings and virtual-get togethers have certainly played their part in keeping both big and small businesses ticking over the past year, but in truth nothing beats a well-orchestrated business meeting laden with treats.

“I can vividly remember some lovely examples of ‘meeting food,’ but also being disappointed by the lack of consideration for the practicalities of ‘eating whilst meeting’,”​ said My Baker founder Mel.

“Meeting food should be delicious with a wow factor, yet straightforward, risk-free (no spillages…) and mostly hand-sized treats capable of being eaten without cutlery.”

Founded in 2016, My Baker was originally a London-based business that has rapidly extended its reach across the nation. Founders Mel and Mark recently decided to revisit the B2B arm of their business and refurbish it to mirror the success of its fast-moving B2C division.

My Baker is especially proud of the role it has played helping bakers in these uncertain times generate some much-needed revenue alongside their independent sales – growing their talented pool at a rate of 12-15 a month.

As well as bringing excitement to meetings, My Baker’s corporate offering includes show-stopping cakes for special occasions, like the branded cakes for hair care brand Lee Stafford’s 20th​ anniversary. The extensive, nationwide network also means it can accommodate large scale and multi-site orders, such as the 4,300 cookie order sent out the same day to all 50 WeWork sites across the UK and ROI for Mental Health Awareness Day.

“This winter, we’re keen to bring a real ‘feelgood factor’ to the workplace, courtesy of a deliciously diverse sweet & savoury offer, via a dedicated home page for corporate clients, which includes easy-to-eat delights like Apple Coffee Cupcakes; Banana Pecan Loaves; Pumpkin Muffins; Vegan Pistachio Blondies; Cheddar, Chive and Date scones and Leek Olive & Mushroom tarts.”

Sourdough every day


After the recent launch in Tesco, Geary’s Bakeries has now rolled out its Jason’s Sourdough Every Day range in Waitrose.

The Waitrose SKUs include firm-favourites No. 11 Grains & Seeds (with sunflower seeds, linseeds and spelt) and No. 08 White Ciabattin; White Bloomer with Sourdough and White Rolls with Sourdough; and new this year, a Olive & Basil Twisted Sourdough.

Jason’s Every Day range is made with sourdough but is more suited to everyday occasions. The range is created using the 24-hour fermentation process typical of artisanal sourdough. The recipe combines sourdough with traditional bloomer dough and allows the bulk to ferment to create a unique taste and texture. As with all Jason’s Sourdough products, there is no added sugar, preservatives or additives and the loaves are made up of minimal, honest, ingredients.

Jason’s Sourdough Ciabattin White 580g (RRP of £1.80), Ciabattin Grains & Seeds 580g (RRP of £1.80), Olive & Basil Twisted Sourdough 380g (RRP of £2.29), Jason’s Everyday White Bloomer with Sourdough 800g (RRP of £1.70) and Jason’s Everyday White Rolls with Sourdough 320g (RRP of £1.40) will be available from Waitrose online and in store from 10 November.

Hazelnut holiday


Oregon Orchard’s limited edition holiday collection offers a hazelnut twist to four seasonal flavours: eggnog, gingerbread, pumpkin spice and peppermint. A generous scattering of each flavour dusts the white candy creme coating that enrobes a roasted hazelnut centre.

Available in a 16oz tin and 16poz gift box featuring all four flavours (RRP of $24.99), as well as 8oz boxes offering two different flavoir pairings (RRP of $14.99) online, as well as via Amazon, the Oregon Hazelnut Marketplace, SnackMagic and at select retailers in the US.

“Hazelnuts are less sweet than almonds or pecans and pair exceptionally well with a variety of sweet and savoury flavors — including the seasonal favourites that we’re featuring in our new holiday collection,” ​said Matthew Gillespie, marketing and innovation manager for Hazelnut Growers of Oregon, the farmer-owned cooperative that produces Oregon Orchard products.

“Oregon-grown hazelnuts offer premium quality and taste, which we preserve with advanced steam pasteurisation and cutting-edge technology in our state-of-the-art processing plant.”

Oregon Orchard also offers natural and dry roasted hazelnuts (whole, sliced or diced), as well as seasoned hazelnuts, for baking needs.

Delicious duo


Better-for-you Northern Irish brand Acti-Snack has made its debut in the breakfast category with two plant-based granolas.

The breakfast category has seen a continued momentum of 2.9% year-on-year, as consumers spend more time at home, according to Kantar data for the 52 weeks ending 17 May 2021. That also means a greater demand for better choices that deliver both on taste and honest credentials.

“For many people, breakfast is the most important meal – a chance to fuel for the day ahead and pack in as much good nutrition as possible,”​ said Bronagh Clarke, marketing director at brand owner Kestrel Foods.

“Consumers are always telling us they want more choice – something packed with good honest ingredients and still tasted great to power them through the day.

“We set out to create granolas that were plant based, high in protein and low in sugar without the use of artificial sweeteners. We worked with performance nutritionists and health minded consumers to hit the right mix of nutrients and to deliver a great tasting start to the day.”

The brand’s High Protein Peanut Butter Granola is made with 30% real peanut butter. Each bowl packs 23% protein, and is also a good source of fibre, iron, magnesium and potassium and vegan.

The Keto Dark Choc Almond Granola taps into a trend that has been steadily gaining momentum among those looking to burn fat, improve lean muscle mass or seeking out low sugar/carb diets, predicted to grow by a 5.3% CAGR to 2027, according to Insight Partners.

“Keto products are typically full of sweeteners as well as being at a steep price premium, but we have worked to keep the products natural and the price accessible for everyone,”​ said Clarke.

The Acti-Snack Granolas are batch-made locally in the company’s dedicated granola roasting site in County Armagh. The products are launching into Ocado in November, with other retailers following, for an RRP of £3.80 for a 300g or 350g box.

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