What’s trending in 2022: From aerated nuts to Lay’s ‘Greatest of all Time’ chip collection

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Seeking out this month's top-drawer snacks. Pic: GettyImages/WeAre
Seeking out this month's top-drawer snacks. Pic: GettyImages/WeAre

Related tags Lay's potato chips Harry & David Lionel Messi Lieke Martens Geoffrey Zakarian Nuts vegan chocolate Clif bar Kind snacks Real Handful

Lay’s teams up with soccer champs Lionel Messi and Lieke Martens; Harry & David enlists celeb chef Geoffrey Zakarian; Real Handful banks on first-to-market aerated nuts to change the nutty landscape; and Nibble Simply creates vegan chips made with responsibly-sourced Madagascan cocoa sweetened with nutritionist-recommended coconut sugar.

Back to life

CLIF Thins_Snacking Infographic (1)

Clif has released a new offering to fit in with consumer’s move back to pre-pandemic routines.

A consumer survey from Clif found that two in three Americans report to be returning to their ‘old ways’, with 75% planning to travel in 2022 and half of those conceding to snacking more when on the move. Meanwhile, 72% admit to snack more frequently than they were prior to the pandemic.

A perfectly ‘moveable’ treat, Clif Thins are a crunchy take on the iconic Clif Bar and intended for everyday snacking, comprising only 100 calories and 5g of sugar in every pack of two thin and crispy bars.

The Thins come in three flavours – Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Brownie and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut – and are available in retailers across the US, including Target, Walmart, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Giant Martin’s, Meijer, Safeway, Stop & Shop and Supervalu as well as on Amazon, for an RRP of $7.30 per box of 7 packs.

“Our research shows that the return of office commutes and travel is on the rise. In fact, 75% of Americans plan to travel in 2022, and half of those admit they snack more when on the move,”​ said Liz Watson, Clif brand manager.

“Meanwhile, 43% of employed Americans are working in hybrid environments and need snacks that can adapt to their changing work settings.

“Clif Thins are lightweight and easily stored in purses, carry-ons and desks, so you always have a quick and easy pick-me-up in your hectic schedule.”

The Thins are made with plant-based ingredients (like organic rolled oats), underlining the producer’s commitment to utilise ingredients that nourish bodies and support a healthy planet.

"When choosing a snack, decisions are most often influenced by flavour and nutrition,” ​added Amari Thomsen, a registered dietitian at Clif.

“Clif Thins come in three craveable flavours that are formulated with plant-based ingredients, and mindful of calories and sugar – a perfect option for on-the-go snacking.”

Soccer snacks


Soccer’s G.O.A.T. player and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has revealed Lay’s limited edition G.O.A.T. Cheese Flavour Series.

The brand its celebrating its continued premier partnership with the UEFA Champions League with its own ‘greatest of all time’ flavours from around the world, starting with the US’s Cheddar Jalapeño and Argentina’s Queso & Pimienta and Caramelised Onion.

American fans can purchase the product, while supplies last, online at snacks.com.

Messi said, “I’ve worked with Lay’s for many years now, and of course been featured on their packaging. But this is new level. I am so excited Lay’s was able to make this happen for fans and hope they can get their hands on one of Lay’s G.O.A.T. bags.”

Additionally, the world’s number one snack brand is premiering a new creative that will have fans joyfully following along a high-energy soccer game in the streets. The all-star player line-up adds glitter, featuring Messi and Lieke Martens passing an imaginary ball through dives, tricks and bites of the beloved chip, welcoming all to take part in the game.

“This year’s Lay’s campaign is exactly what Lay’s is all about: fun and joy. And I think we gave a game without a ball a really good effort! Because we all know, it takes more than a ball to play,” said Martens.

Added Sebnem Erim, VP of marketing, Global Foods, PepsiCo, “We are kicking off another exciting UEFA Champions League season celebrating the joy and passion our fans show for the sport each year.

“From bringing to life the hotly anticipated Lay’s G.O.A.T. limited edition packaging and flavours to an imaginative creative that you just have to smile throughout, our goal this season is to celebrate our fans and bring them joy as they open a bag of Lay’s and get ready to watch a UEFA Champions League match at home or in the stadium.” 

That’s nuts

Real Handful_Airnuts Full Range Landscape copy

Real Handful is determined to shake up the nut category with Air Nuts, a four-strong range of aerated nut snacks.

A category first, the range is created by blending peanuts with rice flour and seasoning before baking and aerating them through a patented process. They feature a honeycomb texture, making them 60% lighter than regular nuts. However, packed with 83% peanuts, they’re still a strong source of plant protein and fibre. At under 115 calories per 20g serving, they’re lighter, but definitely still nuts.

No oil is used to produce the range, which launches in four variants – Sea Salted, Salt & Black Pepper, Cheese & Onion and Hot Chilli.

“We passionately believe that we can help double the nut snacking category in the UK, a £771m opportunity that would have a huge macro-nutritional benefit for the UK population and is endorsed by nut snacking’s compliance with the HFSS legislation,”​ said Joe Taylor, cofounder of Real Handful.

“However, nut snacking hasn't changed for decades and the fact that nuts are fried and roasted in oil has created some negative health associations in the mind of consumers, particularly younger consumers.”

Last year, the brand surveyed over 800 snack lovers to identify the main barriers to increasing nut consumption and found two of the main concerns were portion control and calorie consumption

“Our new Air Nuts range help overcome this by offering a fun new snack that doesn't compromise on the nutritional benefits of nuts but through its unique lighter texture and bold flavouring can provide a credible alternative to crisps and regular nut snacks,”​ said Taylor.

“We think Air Nuts represents the most significant, and exciting innovation to hit the UK nut snacking category in years and we're so excited to be launching with Wholefoods as a first to market before rolling the range out nationally.”

The range is being launched initially in Wholefoods, followed by a larger national roll-out, including Sainsbury’s and Ocado in April for an RRP of £2.49-2.69/60g sharing pouch and £1/20g impulse pack.

Sugar and spice and all things nice


Kellogg’s is kicking off the spring season – and celebrating Club Crackers’ 90th anniversary – with Club Crisps Sweet & Salty.

Available for a limited time, the wavy crisps are baked light and thin and offer the perfect balance of caramelised sugar with a savoury pop of salt on a rich buttery base. It's an easy bite-size snack that brings the whole family together – without any artificial colours or flavours.

“With trending sweet and savoury snacks on the rise, we saw the perfect opportunity to bring a unique twist and seasonal offering to the Club Crisps line,”​ said Zach Wyer, director of Brand Marketing, Kellogg’s Crackers.

“Our innovation team worked to combine the perfect mix of sweet brown sugar and savoury salt crystals to excite and delight tastebuds, and we're thrilled to share it in this new thin and crispy bite-size format.”

Fans can take family snack time to the next level, as Club Crisps Sweet & Salty joins the existing Club Crisps lineup (Sea Salt and Ranch), available at retailers across the US for a limited time.

Going gourmet


US gourmet food gifting platform Harry & David has enlisted celeb chef and author Geoffrey Zakarian as its official culinary ambassador. The Iron Chef has been tasked to create products, recipes and experiences that reflect his philosophy on fine food, entertaining and healthy living.

The Armenian-American chef, restaurateur, TV personality and author is exec chef of several restaurants, including the Lamb’s Club in New York City, The National by Geoffrey Zakarian in Dubai, and consultant at the Water Club in Atlantic City. He is also chairman of the City Harvest Food Council, a non-profit dedicated to fighting hunger in NYC. His style is described as ‘modern’ with roots in French cuisine, or as he describes it, ‘dynamic American’.

Now, he's bringing his signature style to Harry & David. To launch the collaboration, Zakarian has curated a collection of more than 30 Harry & David specialty items that will change seasonally and range between $32 and $200.

For example, Classic Epicurean Charcuterie and Cheese Collection ($179.99); Italian Inspirations Gift Basket ($139.99); Bone-In Ribeye Steak ($99.99); Wolferman’s 1910 Original Recipe Super-Thick English Muffins ($34.99); and Deluxe Pears, Apples, and Cheese Gift with Wine ($84.99); among others.

Zakarian is also releasing how-to videos, featuring recipes like Poached Pears with Red Wine; Roasted Rib Eye with Caramelised Shallots; Greek Sunday Morning Yogurt Parfait; and his Famous Bloody Mary.

Available to ship across the US now.

All the taste, none of the waste


Pack’d has added Frozen Avocado to is burgeoning lineup of Superfood Smoothie Kits and organic Frozen Fruits.

Frozen Avo is a first for the category. With no added salt (unlike other frozen avo brands) to let the pure, natural notes of the fruit shine and a texture that stands up to its fresh counterpart, the product is set to be a game changer.

Perfect for smoothies, guacamole and avo on toast, snackers need only defrost what they need – meaning there’s no waste. It also avoids brown mushy disappointment from sitting in the fridge too long and guarantees a creamy, smooth avo hit every time.

“Every product launch is exciting of course, but this launch feels particularly momentous for us as a business,”​ said Alex Stewart, founder of Pack’d.

“For this is not just a new SKU, but one that is entirely shaking up the category, both in terms of fresh and frozen. Finally, consumers will be able to buy avocado from the freezer that is guaranteed to be as it should be, every time and you can defrost and use only what you need.

“PACK'D announce this launch on the back of some strong financials, having turned over in excess of £3.8m at the end of 2021, as well as enjoying 50% growth year on year for the past three years. These figures reaffirm Pack’d as a key player in the frozen category.”

Each Smoothie Kits contains a portioned mix of prepared fruit and veg and its own unique Superfood sachet, designed by nutritionists to supercharge every recipe.

The new Frozen Avocado SKU (£3.49) is packed in a recyclable cardboard box, available online, as well as in Morrisons. Pack’d’s other treats are available in Ocado, Costco, Sainsbury’s, Amazon ad Amazon Fresh. Smoothie kits start at £1.85; fruit starts from £2.25 for a 300g pouch.

No ordinary chocolate chips


Nibble Simply are made with responsibly-sourced Madagascan cocoa, crafted by expert Belgian chocolatiers using Nibble’s innovative recipe sweetened with nutritionist-recommended coconut sugar.

These really are no ordinary chocolate chips.

It all started when the lower sugar pioneers needed refined, sugar-free, 80%+, vegan chocolate chips for its new clean, keto-friendly range. However, the UK producer wasn’t prepared to compromise by using chocolate sweetened with sugar alcohols or metallic-tasting stevia, so embarked on scouring the globe to look for an alternative.

Unsuccessful, it decided to make its own offering sweetened with 64% less sugar than most commercially available chocolate chips and no emulsifiers. Despite its high cocoa content and lower sugar, the chips are not bitter like most 80%+ chocolates and has attracted attention from chefs around the world.

It’s essentially down to the incredibly special cocoa mass. Grown in mineral-rich soil, Madagascan cocoa accounts for less than 1% of chocolate globally, but considered so special, it has been awarded a ‘fine flavour’ classification by the International Cocoa Organization, a distinction reserved for less than 10% of the world’s cocoa.

And because it lacks the bitterness of many cocoas, Madagascan cocoa tastes deceptively sweeter, even when used at high concentrations.

It’s better for you, too. According to nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston, coconut sugar contains inulin, a soluble fire that helps reduce blood sugar spikes, is a prebiotic, feeds beneficial gut bacteria, and may even help sleep.

Nibble Simply Divinely Dark Madagascan Chocolate Chips is available for £3.00/160g retail packs as well as 10kg B2B bags, from Nibble, as well as Amazon and Ocado.

Power on


Muscle Food has launched three cookies that are high in protein but low in calories.

Packing 12g of protein and less than 230 calories, the new offering comes in three variants, namely Lemon Drizzle, Peanut Butter and a Chocolate Fudge flavour that tastes just like a Millie’s Brownies, with 38% less sugar.

Muscle Food is a British online food retailer that sells high-protein food and snacks, lean meats, sports supplements and meal plans that can be adapted to cater to your fitness needs – so the powerful treats fall neatly within its remit.

The soft biscuit makes the ideal on-the-go snack to curb that sweet craving.

The cookies are all under 230 calories, with 12g of protein.

Available online and from select retailers for an RRP of £1.50 each, or £18 for a box of 12.

The kind choice


Kind, the UK’s fastest growing healthy snack bar brand, has added a new flavour to its wildly successful Protein range.

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate is a blend of nuts – with hazelnut front and forward – drizzled in dark chocolate. It contains 12g of plant-based protein/50g bar, is high in fibre and heart healthy fats, is gluten-free and lower in sugar, but, ultimately, is designed to deliver on taste as much as it does on nutrition.

Touted as its tastiest bar yet, Hazelnut Dark Chocolate (RRP: £2/50g bar) is rolling out in retailers across the UK, including WHSmith Travel, BP, Amazon, Nisa and Costcutter, along with Simply Heavenly, DDC Foods and Tree of Life.

“We’re so excited to be adding a new variant to our trio of tasty plant based protein bars,” ​said Audrey Arbeeny, UK marketing director, Kind.

“The range has been so popular, and we believe there remains to be a huge opportunity in this category here in the UK. Not only are we seeing the functional health trend continue, but people are still on the lookout for convenient products that deliver on both taste and nutritional value.

“We’re confident this new Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate flavour combination will be a hit with our customers and can’t wait to hear what they think.”

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more