What’s trending in 2022: Mac ‘n cheese ice cream from cult brand Van Leeuwen, Veggies Made Great gets stuffed; and Soul Fruit breathes new life into fruit snacks
Tapping into the growing demand for exotic tastes and wholefoods, Soul Fruit is launching all-natural Jackfruit Chips, Keo Mango Chips and Soft Dried Keo Mango.
All are made from 100% fruit, with no added sugar or additives – specifically targeting health conscious consumers seeking out snacks with increased health benefits.
“We are incredibly excited for people to try our new varieties,” said Daniel Twiss, cofounder of Soul Fruit.
“When we launched with our Dragon Fruit snacks last year, we knew there was a real opportunity to bring something new to the dried fruit snack market and we’re pleased to now be able to extend our range.”
Soul Fruit launched in 2021 with the goal to provide more exotic options in the dried fruit sector, which has seen 40% growth in the past five years.
Health-conscious millennials are driving the demand, but many brands still remain stoic to the usual fruit choices when it comes to snacking. Soul Fruit claims to be pushing the boundaries.
“People are crying out for unusual and exotic tastes and these new products not only provide something exciting and different, but they also appeal to those time-poor snackers who want to eat healthily and consume products with added health benefits,” added Twiss
Vegan, gluten-free, low in calories, fat and counting towards one of your five a day, the three new products brim with antioxidants and come in both soft and crispy options.
Soft Dried Keo Mango, Keo Mango Chips and Jackfruit Chips are rolling out in Selfridges this month, following a wider rollout to retailers, cafes and restaurants nationwide for an RRP of £1.79 a pack.
Lenny & Larry’s
Macro counting is the hot new trend in wellness.
Macronutrients (or macros) are the kinds of nutrients that our bodies need in large amounts to provide energy, that is, carbs, fat and protein. Everyone’s needs, though, are different and finding the right food to consume is tough.
That’s where Lenny & Larry’s comes to the fore with its new and improved Keto Cookie to help consumers looking for a plant-based treat to meet their daily macro needs.
Crafted by the originators of the protein cookie, Lenny & Larry’s Keto Cookie features a decadent chocolate chip and peanut butter profile in a soft cookie texture.
Bumped up with 9g of plant-based protein and only 3g net carbs and 1g of sugar, it offers the perfect pick-me-up that’s also gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, and Non-GMO Project Verified.
Available in two flavours – Chocolate Chip (with a touch of peanut butter), and Peanut Butter – from selected retailers across the US.
Upcycling snack pioneer Renewal Mill’s newly released Matcha Chip Cookie Mix is a sustainably sourced, plant-based and gluten-free alternative to traditional flour-based baking mixes.
The easy-to-make ‘just add water and oil’ mix yields a swathe of artisan cookies with golden edges and soft chewy centres, sporting the delicate nuances of green tea and luxurious white chocolate chips from Vesta Chocolate, a bean-to-bar craft chocolate factory.
Handcrafted by James Beard Award winning chef Alice Medrich, the mix contains Renewal’s organic okara flour, crafted from upcycling the soybean pulp generated during soymilk production.
Okara flour is a versatile superfood that provides superior nutrition with a neutral taste, which can be used on its own or in combination with other flours and baking ingredients as an eco-friendly, vegan option. By upcycling the pulp that would otherwise go to waste and release greenhouse gases which cause global warming, Renewal is fighting climate change and global food loss, keeping valuable nutrition where it should be – on the plate instead of down the drain.
“According to leading research, around 1.3 billion tons of food gets wasted each year with much of it ending up in landfills and contributing to climate change,” said Caroline Cotto, cofounder of Renewal Mill.
“By improving the efficiency of our food system, Renewal is helping ensure that the next-generation of eaters have a healthy planet and a sustainable future.
“Upcycling is about respect: respect for all the resources that go into growing and producing our food, and the people who do it. We are honoured to receive the NEXTY Award and help not only raise awareness about food loss and climate-friendly food options, but prove that eating sustainably doesn’t sacrifice taste.”
Renewal Mill’s new Matcha Chip Cookie Mix is available online and in wholesale, for an RRP of $7.99 for a single bag (13.7oz).
Veggies Made Great
Veggies Made Great is a line of clean label, convenient frittata and muffin options.
Vegetables take centre stage in all the products – which are also kosher and gluten-free and only take 40 seconds in the microwave (or made in the toaster, oven or air fryer).
The brand has recently launched a line of keto-friendly muffins – which really means low sugar – and Cauliflower Bites – a healthier version of pizza.
The crispy cauliflower crust stuffed bites are loaded with a blend of authentic Italian veggies and cheese; are gluten free; low calorie and high protein. Available I four variants: Margherita, Spinach & Ricotta, Roasted Veggie & 4 cheese blend and Mushroom & Onion with Swiss.
Available online, on Amazon and at retailers like Walmart across the US.
RW Garcia is a family-founded producer of better-for-you chips and crackers recently acquired by Utz Brands.
The producer's impressive lineup of healthier snacks includes gluten-free chips and crackers in flavours like Sweet Beet, Lentil Turmeric, Sweet Potato and corn chips (think Fritos).
The US producer is passionate about giving back to the community and works closely with non-profits and local food banks interested in raising the awareness for healthy eating choices.
Available online and on Amazon.
Cult brand Van Leeuwen Ice Cream has announced the rollout of seven intensely exotic flavours in 3,500 Walmart outlets across the US.
The exclusive launch includes the utterly unusual variants like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Planet Earth, Pizza and Hot Honey, along with Royal Wedding Cake, Bourbon Cherries Jubilee and Wild Blueberry Shortcake
The new flavours are available in all 50 states starting 14 March, with plans to refresh the flavours later in the summer.
“Having started the company with a single ice cream truck, we are beyond excited to bring Van Leeuwen to ice-cream lovers across the nation through Walmart,” said Ben Van eeuwen, cofounder and CEO of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.
“What inspired us to start making ice cream was the idea that good food, and good ice cream made from good ingredients, should be widely available on the market.
“We made these seven exclusive flavours using the same artisanal processes and ingredients that we have been using to make our ice cream for the past 15 years. We have created a collection of classic flavours using thoughtfully sourced ingredients, from local jam makers to wild blueberries from Maine, to cookie bakers with a social mission. There are also unique and surprisingly delicious flavours that you would never expect to love as an ice cream (like mac and cheese, and pizza).”
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream was started out of a yellow scoop truck on the streets of NYC in 2008 by Ben Van Leeuwen, Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill. Since 2008, the disruptive entrepreneur has innovated beyond the original dairy recipe and added vegan ice cream to their scoopable lineup. In 2021, they launched a line of dairy and vegan ice cream bars.
Van Leeuwen now operates 27 scoop shops and has a footprint in major retailers across the US. Products are also available to order for nationwide shipping.
Breakfast’s renaissance as a ‘slow-release-energy’ foodie movement – which first began when stuck-at-home commuters started seeking out compelling ways to jazz up their first meal of the morning – is taking root.
Capitalising on this is Oatsu, by carving out a niche as a portable, all-natural morning snack that stops discerning ‘time poor,’ commuters from relapsing back into bad snacking habits as they slowly return to office life.
Launched early 2022 in an array of flavour – Choc Peanut, Blueberry & Apple Cinnamon and Banana Biscoff – Oatsu is already making waves in London, UK, with online supermarket Jiffy recently announcing the brand is the most popular option to get its fleet-footed operators on the go each morning.
Oatsu is the healthier outlook vision of former HSBC social media manager Lauren O’Donnell who constantly found herself frustrated by the lack of substantial plant-based breakfasts available within the supermarkets encircling her office.
“Despite being a long-time advocate of preparing overnight oats, one doesn’t always have the time or inclination to spend every evening in the kitchen prepping for the next day,” said O’Donnell.
“Having taken my fledgling idea to an Enterprise Nation gathering in late 2019, I was taken back by the overwhelming positivity towards my vision and samples. I knew then that Oatsu had an exciting future providing the perfect ‘at desk breakfast.”
Oatsu may offer a healthier stance at breakfast time but that doesn’t mean that any indulgence commitments have been dialled down – and the breakfast is as delish as it looks.
Launched late Feb 2022, Banana Biscoff has quickly stormed the breakfast barricades to become the business’s flagship flavour.