What’s trending in 2022: Artisanal jam from a London microbakery, Hot Cross Bun cereal from Kellogg’s and real fire from Pipcorn and Tabasco
Easter in a bowl
This year, Kellogg’s is making sure Easter can be enjoyed from the moment you open your eyes with Hot Cross Bun Flavour Cereal.
The limited-edition cereal is currently on shelves in Sainsbury’s and Asda across the UK, but once gone, they’re gone.
It took Kellogg’s food developers two months to create the cereal’s hot cross bun filling at its Manchester plant, testing a mass of various spice blends before they eventually settled on the ‘perfect’ hot cross bun taste.
The cereal is made up of crunchy wheat shells packed with dried fruit, a hint of cinnamon and ginger, rounded off with candied lemon peel. It’s high in fibre, low in salt and low in saturated fat – offering a guilt-free way to get your hot cross bun fix.
“In order to get the perfect flavour, we sampled a number of hot cross buns to help us understand what made certain ones so good,” said Kirsty Smith, food designer at Kellogg’s UK.
“We then took our hot cross bun expertise and applied it to our cereal. The filling in the crunchy casing all comes together to deliver that famous Easter taste.’’
The launch follows the introduction of Kellogg’s Apricot, Plain & Blueberry Wheats last year, and has an RRP of £1.80.
Her greatest adventure
Growing up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Kate Schade’s days were spent skiing, hiking and biking.
She began making energy bars that conveniently fitted in her pocket to help sustain her busy lifestyle. She also added in her family’s food values – the family farm in NY has been passed on down the generations spanning over 200 years – focussed on caring for animals, land soil health and organic agriculture.
Her Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate bar – coined the Tram Bar – became an instant hit among friends, spring boarding the birth of Kate’s Real Food.
You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to delve into Kate’s snacks. The energy bar & bites producer is committed to fuelling everyday adventures, travels and workouts with treats that provide sustainable, long-lasting energy for everyone.
The snacks are USDA-certified organic, certified gluten-free, certified non-GMO, certified kosher and soy-free. The dried fruit in the bars contain good sources of healthy sugars to help fuel workouts or to keep pace chasing the dog or kiddies around the house. They are also packed with good fats (dark chocolate) and protein (almonds), providing a nutritious bite that’s filling, but still portable and light.
Today, the product line spans to Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate; Dark Chocolate Cherry & Almond; Peanut Butter Hemp & Flax; Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate; Oatmeal Cranberry & Almond; Dark Chocolate Mint; Lemon Coconut; and Mango Coconut variants, available online and at selected retailers across the US.
High end confectionery
Borna Foods is debuting the chocolate spread category with a high cocoa spread, targeting more ‘grown up’ chocolate preferences.
It wasn’t so long ago that sugary jams and spreads were at odds with the growing demand for healthier options. Fortunately, premium peanut butter variants arrived on the scene to show us that nutritional oomph (high protein) could happily co-exist with taste, and that fillers like palm oil and other synthetics were no longer necessary.
Following a slow decline, the arrival of lockdown led to a welcome reappraisal of the breakfast category – the moment when ‘real’ nut butters (almonds, pistachios, cashews) put their best foot forward and brought panache to the party.
Maintaining that mindset, Borna’s chocolate spread looked to high end confectionery for its inspiration, focusing specifically on reduced sweetness and flavour intensity.
The velvety smooth spread packs twice the amount of natural, fat-reduced cocoa powder (15%) than its competitors, and has generous portions of cocoa butter, cashew nuts and hazelnuts, and a light dash of coconut sugar.
Throw in the fact that home baking also shows no sign of slowing down and you have a hedonistic chocolate spread for all occasions.
Available online and specialist outlets across the UK.
London-based Doughlicious has won new listings for its innovative dessert collection – just a couple of months since launch.
From March, the Dough•Chi range will be available in 240 Waitrose stores nationwide, giving ardent fans more opportunity to pick up the delicious frozen cookie dough and ice cream snack.
A rival to Japanese mochi, Dough•Chi comprises ice cream wrapped in a gluten-free cookie dough that can be eaten straight from the freezer.
“We are delighted to be stocking Waitrose with our frozen desserts,” said Kathryn Bricken, founder of Doughlicious.
“Since we launched Dough•Chi last winter, we’ve captured the attention of ice cream and cookie dough lovers who are seeking more innovative and interesting dessert options than what is currently offered.
“Dough•Chi appeals particularly to those who want a quick sweet snack that nods to indulgence, without ruining healthy eating plans.”
Dough•Chi comes in a pack of six (RRP £4.20). Waitrose is stocking three flavours from the range, including Blueberry Frozen Yogurt, Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Truffle (the latter two being vegan). Planet Organic is also stock three vegan variants: Coconut Dream, Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Truffle.
Doughlicious also produces a range of gluten-free, vegan and organic ready-to-bake Cookie Dough and Savoury Biscuit Dough, Snackable Dough Bites, available in Waitrose, Ocado, Costco, Whole Foods, Selfridges, Planet Organic and other retailers across the UK.
Love me tender
K2 Ventures, a Boston-based startup behind Brave Good Kind (BGK), is expanding its distribution across the US.
First launched online in spring of 2021, BGK is on a mission to reimagine healthy on-the-go snacking, designed especially for women and kids. Its novel Tender Chicken Bars are now rolling out in more than 350 Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the US.
IRI data shows the meat snacks category has grown steadily over the past five years, with the market is projected to reach $4.9bn this year. Thanks to the rise in popularity of high protein diets, meat snacks are a top performing segment in the savoury snack category, however, more than 90% of the options available are made from beef. Not only does beef have high saturated fat content, it also has the highest carbon footprint of all food sources.
Chicken produces 90% less of a carbon footprint than beef, making BGK’s chicken bars a conscious and environmentally friendly choice.
The bars are made with antibiotic-free chicken and come in three variants: Original, Teriyaki and Hot Honey. They are all-natural, a good source of protein, gluten-free, and contain no MSG or added nitrates. According to the maker, they also offer a better snacking experience than other snacks that are loaded with sugar and carbs.
“We are thrilled to announce our national partnership with Sprouts Farmers Market. We share a common goal to serve health-conscious consumers with better-for-you products that are good for them and good for the world,” said Prabal Chaudhri, president and founder of K2 Ventures.
“With 65% less fat than standard potato chips and 30%-40% less sugar than standard granola bars, these are ideal on-the-go snacks where every bite is filled with positivity.”
The 0.8oz bars boast 8g protein, 4-5g carbs and less than 6g sugar per bar. They are available at Sprouts for an RRP of $2.99, as well as on Amazon and from BGK.
Low carb reimagined
Birch Benders – a leading pancake and waffle mix brand in the natural channel in the US – has expanded its better-for-you portfolio with a line of ready-to-eat (RTE), no-sugar-added, keto-friendly Cookies.
At a time when consumers – no matter their allergen-driven or voluntary dietary choice – share a common goal of eating healthier.
Birch Benders’ keto-friendly Cookies contain no added sugar and have less than 5 net carbs per serving. The maker obsessed over every ingredient in the Cookies, resulting in a better-for-you indulgence that is friendly to those following keto and gluten-free diets, among others.
“The snack aisle is full of empty carbs and excess sugar, which leaves consumers with few options for delicious, satisfying, feel-good snacks and treats,” said Lucy Rand, GM at Birch Benders.
“That’s why we focus on creating delicious, better-for-you versions of the comforting foods people enjoy. Life is too short to deprive ourselves of the foods we love the most, and now people can enjoy their cookies and feel good about them, too.”
The crispy, oven-baked Cookies are packed with wholesome ingredients, like almond flour, and are available in four variants, namely Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle and Vanilla Shortbread. Available online and selected retailers, including Kroger, Walmart and Target, along with Amazon later this month, for an RRP of $5.99 for a 4oz pouch.
New on your radar
BāKIT Box is a new, all-inclusive US subscription baking kit platform delivered right to your door.
On a mission to make baking fun and easy for everyone, the female and minority-founded brand offers unique recipes that arrive with pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions (aka the ‘HelloFresh of baking’, according to the producer).
BāKIT Box delivers everything needed, even perishable goods such as milk and butter, and new recipes are added each month – including Funfetti Birthday Cake, Carrot Cake, Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes, and an exclusive Tarte Tatin, specifically created to benefit a charity for Women’s History Month (March).
Customers can actually select recipes they like each month, whether sweet or savoury, or even by level (intermediate or challenging).
Shipping can be done across the US, with a monthly Subscription Box costing $45.98 for two recipes.
Taking puff pastry brioche up a notch
French bakery manufacturer Bridor has expanded its popular Puff Pastry Brioche range with a DIY format that enables bakers to tailor the product to their heart’s content.
Bridor’s latest innovation uniquely has butter added between the puff pastry brioche dough layers to create an ultra-laminated effect, which gives the product all the softness of brioche but with the laminated look of a croissant. It comes in a 330g ready-to-prove format, which simply needs to be placed in a mould.
Bakers can then add a topping – chocolate chips, pearl sugar or sliced almonds – before baking, or customise the brioche after baking to create a sweet or savoury treat that will appeal to consumers seeking out a visually appealing and indulgent item.
Current research indicates that the home working boom has caused a shift in consumers’ buying habits. With many still yet to return full-time to the office, they now have more time for a leisurely breakfast and are seeking out something special.
With its practical and premium packaging, the fully baked and ready-to-prove brioche are supplied with their brown cardboard mould, ready to sell. These can also be sold on restaurant menus as an original base for tasty and surprising recipes.
Bridor’s brioche is made only from ingredients with a natural origin, with the only tolerated exception being ascorbic acid for its decisive role in the quality of the final product.
Brands on fire
Better-for-you corn snack brand Pipcorn is celebrating its 10th birthday with a partnership legendary hot sauce makers Tabasco, to create its hottest innovations yet.
The Spicy Cheddar Popcorn and Cheese Balls combine Pipcorn’s heirloom corn and real cheddar cheese with Tabasco Original Red Sauce for an irresistibly cheesy and spicy experience. Baked – not fried – these spicy and cheesy treats have 25%-30% less fat than leading category favourites, and are made with 100% Non-GMO ingredients.
“Pipcorn will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and we couldn’t think of a better time to unveil such an exciting partnership for our consumers,” said Jeff Martin, cofounder and chief product officer.
“Working with a legacy brand like Tabasco is a dream come true for our team, and is just one of the ways we plan to celebrate our anniversary with our super fans and newcomers alike.”
Pipcorn’s Spicy Cheddar line debuted at Expo West and will be launched online in early April. The products will then roll out in Whole Foods Markets and other major retailers across the US in May for a RRP of $4.49.
“We’re always looking for ways to excite and surprise our consumers, which is why we’re thrilled to collaborate with Pipcorn and offer our fans a whole new way to experience Tabasco Sauce,” said Kate Neuhaus, director of Global Marketing Communications at McIlhenny Company.
“As two family-founded companies with a shared commitment to making irresistibly great tasting products, this partnership is a natural fit.”
Pipcorn popped more than 10 million heirloom popcorn kernels daily in 2021, and anticipate that number doubling in 2022. Heirloom corn is the not-so-secret ingredient to Pipcorn’s snacks. Like all heirlooms – cherished items passed down from generation to generation – Pipcorn’s heirloom seeds are hand-selected by family farmers to be grown sustainably and never genetically modified.
Love and marriage/bread and jam
Charles Artisan Bread, a small micro bakery in Clapton, UK, has introduced a clean label preserve.
The jam comprises just three ingredients – strawberries, sugar and citric acid – keeping it as simple and natural as possible.
The jam was developed to answer consumer demand, and joins the bakery’s own Granola launched last year.
“We’re so excited to release our second product of the Charles’ shop, the Charles’ Strawberry Jam,” said Daniel Burke, director and head baker at Charles Artisan Bread.
“Following the positive feedback we’ve received from our first product, the Charles’ Granola, we’re excited to continue to expand our in-house range. We want to continue in our mission to provide simple, honest and no fuss products and freshly baked goods everyday.”
Championing its East London’s origin, the bakery also stocks several local-produced treats, including Hackney Garden Honey, Vegan Cheese from I Am Nut UK vegan cheese and chilli sauces from Dalston Chillies.
The strawberry jam is available to buy instore and online at an RRP of £5.