What’s trending in 2022: Jubilee popcorn, first-to-market functional salad topper and HFSS-compliant cookies and veggie cakes

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Let's spring into a healthy spring. Pic: GettyImages/We Are
Let's spring into a healthy spring. Pic: GettyImages/We Are

Related tags: vegan, health & wellbeing, Natural ingredients, HFSS, functional benefits, Platinum Jubilee, plant-based, Sustainability, Protein, low sugar

Popcorn Shed and Popcorn Kitchen claim that there's no party without popcorn, Good4 U is helping to ramp up a bland salad into a nutritious crowd-pleaser and pladis and Kallø are on a mission to prove that healthy treats don't have to be dull.

Cake and ale

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Cake makers Ginger Bakers has teamed up with Cumbrian brewery Lakes Brew Co to create a limited edition chocolate and stout sponge.

According to Ginger’s Bakers bakery development team, the complex flavour profile of the hand-baked Chocolate & Stout Loaf Cake is like no other.

Intensely rich dark chocolate merges with hints of coffee, tonka beans and cocoa from Lake Brew Co.’s Breaking Origin Imperial Stout, and topped off with Ginger Bakers’ cream cheese icing.

The collaboration between the duo is further cemented with the use of a signature design on their respective products, both featuring a work called Langdale Dawn created by Cumbrian artist Paul Bennett.

Ginger Bakers & Lakes Brew Co’s Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Stout Cake is available for nationwide delivery for an RRP of £7 (excluding postage and packing).

“We love to surprise our customers with new and interesting cakes,”​ said Lisa Smith of Ginger Bakers.

“Head brewer and cofounder of Lakes Brew Co Matt Clarke produces incredible beers, and I am delighted to be able to collaborate with him and his team to create what has to be the ultimate dark chocolate cake.”

Clarke added, “When Lisa approached us about working with her to help add a bit of extra interest to a limited edition cake, we jumped right in. Having the chance to combine one of our beers with Lisa’s cake knowhow has created a pretty special cake.”

No baking required

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Pop-Tarts’ maker Kellogg’s continues to innovate with crowd-pleasing flavours by giving fans an ooey-gooey, cinnamon-y cookie experience,

Snickerdoodle Pop-Tarts is a cookie-pastry hybrid that takes tastebuds to another level, by combining a snickerdoodle-flavoured filling with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping.

The best part? No oven is required to fill the kitchen with a drool-worthy, fresh-baked cookie scent.

“We know our fans love a ‘dessert for breakfast’ moment, so Pop-Tarts continues to deliver crazy-good flavours that capitalise on this trend with our pie, doughnut and cake-themed lineups already on shelves,”​ said David Greci, senior brand manager, Pop-Tarts.

“This spring, we’ll complete the cookie trifecta with this delicious new Snickerdoodle flavour. Besides, who needs a cookie jar when you've got a toaster and a box of Pop-Tarts?”

Joining the brand’s growing lineup (including Frosted Chocolate Chip and Cookies & Crème), Snickerdoodle Pop-Tarts will be rolling out in retail outlets across the US in an 8-count box for an RRP of $3.19.

Memory and ceremony

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Nostalgia is a powerful force whether we’re talking childhood memories and national institutions, which is why Popcorn Kitchen is proud to unveil two new lines for 2022 that are “unashamedly geared to unlocking happy yesteryear memories,”​ said Popcorn Kitchen co-owner Andy Valentine.

“The Chocolate Orange popcorn is a heartfelt tribute to everyone’s favourite spherical chocolate treat, bringing together velvety smooth chocolate and sweet, citrusy orange in one light crunch.

“Our Jubilee bottle (packed with our best-selling Sweet & Salt) is a moreish ‘shared snacking’ celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne in 1952 as bunting and flags are unfurled for a summer’s worth of Big Jubilee street parties and family gatherings.”

Added Valentine, “Towards the back end of 2021, we found ourselves inundated with requests from loyalist retailers to provide an eye-catching Jubilee proposition that could provide a head-turning focal point for their fine snacking fixtures.

“We hope we’ve met the brief, because nothing encapsulates coming together like a gigantic bottle of melt-in-the-mouth popcorn.”

Popcorn Kitchen’s swag is available online, as well as in selected outlets, like garden centres, gifting emporiums, sweet shops and delis across the UK. The Chocolate and Orange popcorn retails for 75p a 30g pack, and the 550g Jubilee Bottle – which is made from 100% recyclable plastic and can double as a money box – for £23.99.

Queen’s Jubilee

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Popcorn Shed is another that is popping up with ideas to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s momentous Platinum Jubilee.

The royally-themed snacks are quintessentially British and include Strawberries & Cream and Cherry Bakwell flavours.

Strawberries & Cream Gourmet Popcorn melds the iconic partnership of creamy caramel with sweet, dried strawberries. It’s as luscious and luxurious as it is timeless.

Cherry Bakewell Gourmet Popcorn hints of caramel almond, and features real cherry pieces.

Popcorn Shed also contends it cannot be a party if there’s no popcorn, so has created a Union Jack-themed gigantic party pouch that is filled with 14 bags of seven different flavours.

Available online and on Amazon, the two new flavours have an RRP of $3.50 each, the Cherry Bakewell Snack Pack is £1.20 and the Party Pack is £20.00

Crunch time

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Good4U has launched a vitamin-enriched Caesar Crumbles Salad Topper that contains 110% more fibre and 70% more protein than standard croutons.

Ramping up a bland salad into a nutritious crowd-pleaser is a no-brainer with Good4U’s latest Salad Topper, which adds crunch and punch with roasted fava beans, Atlantic seaweed and a vegan Caesar seasoning.

The first-to-market functional Salad Topper is rich in vitamins and minerals, including the recommended daily intake of vitamin D (immune health) and iodine (cognitive function and glowing skin). It packs 7g of plant-based protein – the same amount as a large egg – and is also vegan, gluten-free and contains no added sugar.

 The topper won’t only liven up a salad, but will add zing to soups, wraps, pizza, burgers and anything your imagination runs to. What’s more, the handy pouches can be easily resealed for use at every mealtime.

Good4U is an Irish family-run producer that uses 100% natural ingredients to ‘empower people of all ages to live a healthier lifestyle with its energy balls, protein balls, super seed snacks, savoury roasted pulse snacks and breakfast boosts, among others.

The Sligo-based company also places sustainability at its heart and ensures its ingredients are sustainably grown – such as the UK-grown fava beans and Irish seaweed.

Good4U’s Caesar Crumbles Salad Topper is available in Tesco outlets across the UK.

The best of both worlds

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Pip & Nut has collaborated with Crosstown to launch A limited edition Cinnamon Scroll Almond Butter, inspired by the London bakery’s best-selling sourdough doughnut.

The new variant infuses Pip & Nut’s award-winning Almond Butter with Zanzibari cinnamon and hand-pollinated and hand-picked Tongan vanilla. The nut butter contains only premium nuts; as always, is free from palm oil; is vegan and gluten-free. Available online, as well as from retailers and independents around the UK and Ireland, for an RRP of £3.25/170g.

In turn, Crosstown has created an Almond Butter Cinnamon Scroll Doughnut that is packed with silky smooth almond butter custard and topped with an almond butter glaze and roasted almond nib crumble. The doughnut is also vegan and available for nationwide delivery (£4.50). Individual doughnuts are also available in Crosstown stores and via select partners such as Wholefoods Market and Ocado Zoom.

“I love the Crosstown brand and ethos, so I’m thrilled that we've been able to create this limited edition almond butter and doughnut together,”​ said Pip & Nut founder Pippa Murray.

“Crosstown shares our values for sourcing the finest natural ingredients, and you can really taste the difference.”

‘Simply the best’

No Cow

Snack producer No Cow has created a Chocolate Dipped offering to add even more decadence to its lineup of protein bars.

Dipped in plant-based chocolate with zero compromise to the bar’s macro profile, each Dipped bar is powered with a proprietary blend of rice and pea protein, packed with 20+g of plant protein, 3-5g of net carbs and only 1g of sugar.

The flavours are reminiscent of classic American candies, such as Chocolate Sea Salt, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Mint Cookie, Chocolate Sprinkled Donut and Chocolate Coconut Almond (the latter being the signature flavour of country music star and No Cow brand ambassador, Jessie James Decker).

“Forget about just trying to be the best plant-based option, we truly believe that the new line of Dipped Protein Bars are quite simply the best protein bars on the market, period,”​ said Eric Haddenhorst, No Cow’s CEO.

“Early feedback from both consumers and retail partners after a soft launch of two flavours could not have been stronger. Consumers love the taste of these new bars – so many have told us they can’t believe they are plant-based. Of course, they still expect all of the low sugar, high protein, low carb benefits that they’ve come to expect from No Cow.”

Founded by Daniel Katz in 2015 in response to sensitivity to dairy products, No Cow products are vegan, Certified Gluten-Free and Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified and soy free, making them a great choice for all lifestyles.

Changing the game with both taste and texture, single flavour 12-count boxes of the Chocolate Dipped line are available online and on Amazon for an RRP of $29.99. Rollout to retailer is to follow.

De-lighter touch

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pladis has expanded its £31m McVitie’s portfolio with a lighter version of its bestselling Rich Tea biscuits.

McVitie’s Rich Tea Delights contain 30% less sugar than the typical semi-sweet biscuit, and only 38 calories per biscuit, while retaining the familiar crisp, golden and rich flavour that Brits love. The reduced-sugar recipe also does not include any artificial sweeteners.

“As biscuit category leader, we understand we have an important role to play when it comes to helping consumers enjoy healthier lifestyles,”​ said David Titman, marketing director of McVitie’s at pladis UK&I.

“Virtually all British households buy biscuits and, for many of us, there’s nothing more comforting than taking time out to enjoy one with a cuppa.

“We’re excited to be bringing a product to market that caters to evolving shopper needs and a nationwide focus on health, while retaining the great taste that’s synonymous with McVitie’s. Now, whether shoppers are looking for an indulgent treat or something a little lighter, it’ll be even easier for them to enjoy McVitie’s biscuits as part of a balanced diet.”

McVitie’s Rich Tea Delights will sit outside of upcoming guidelines relating to HFSS products, meaning their position in store will not be restricted.

“This launch will show shoppers they don’t need to forego the biscuit aisle entirely in a bid to choose lower-calorie options,” ​added Titman.

McVitie’s Rich Tea Delights is available in 300g packs across multiple retail, convenience and wholesale in the UK for an RRP of £1.59). Packaging is recyclable through pladis’ partnership with Terracycle.

Tapping the health trend

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Kallø is set to shake up the snacks category with Veggie Cake Minis, expanding on its award-winning Veggie Cakes range that it claims was the biggest branded savoury biscuits launch in the UK in the past two years, driving 60% incremental category growth with 30% repeat rate.

Made from lentil and peas, the plant-based snacks are high in natural plant proteins, low calorie, a great source of fibre, HFSS compliant, contain nothing artificial, are gluten-free and suitable for both vegan and vegetarian diets. The crunchy, crispy cakes also come in two distinctive flavours – Beetroot & Balsamic and Spinach & Pesto.

The launch is part of Kallø’s mission to prove that healthy food doesn’t have to be dull. Part of the Ecotone UK family, the brand continues to innovate in plant-based products that also support wildlife biodiversity.

“We know that snacking is changing,”​ said Bryan Martins, Kallø’s marketing & category director.

In the past year, we’ve seen increasing demand for healthier snacking options that not only offer nutritional benefits but taste great, too. We’ve also seen a growing trend towards convenient snacks to suit busier lifestyles – especially as more and more of us return to the office.

“We’re focused on creating products that are better by nature and making healthy eating simple. That’s why we’re launching our new Veggie Cake Minis, offering consumers a new way to enjoy our delicious Veggie Cakes on-to-go – and a snack they can feel good about.”

The Kallø Veggie Cakes Minis are available from Tesco Express stores across the UK, with a bigger roll out in health food trade in 22g single bags for an RRP of 90p.

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