What’s trending in 2022: Bake-in-pack cheese toasties, dill pickle meat stix and grab-‘n-go activated chips

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

More than 4bn toasties are devoured by Brits every year. Pic: GettyImages/Fotosmurf03
More than 4bn toasties are devoured by Brits every year. Pic: GettyImages/Fotosmurf03

Related tags plant-based brioche Meat snacks Clean label functional snacks cheese toastie Foodservice vegan Bakery Snacks

With Brits devouring more than four billion toasties a year, Country Choice has introduced bake-in-pack toasties for foodservice operators; the sharp tang of dill pickle blends perfectly with Wenzel’s naturally handcrafted smoked meat sticks; and Boundless Activated’s 23g bag is drumming up excitement in the grab-and-go meal deal sector.

Little stars

KFF Little Moons

KFF – a division of the Sysco Speciality Group – has extended its exotic portfolio of Little Moons, bite-sized balls of ice cream wrapped in a soft rice dough.

Originating in Japan and now hugely popular in the UK, the mochi dough is made from naturally gluten-free sweet, soft and chewy rice flour dough.

The dough is steamed and then wrapped around a centre of artisanal gelato ice cream that is made in small batches from British milk and slow-churned for an intense flavour. Free from artificial flavourings and preservatives, the treat is suitable for vegetarians and a vegan flavour is also available.

Five new flavours have been added to the line-up, namely Himalayan Salted Caramel, Honey Roasted Pistachio, Creamy Coconut, Summer Raspberry and Passionfruit & Mango (which is made from cashew milk).

Little Moons are supplied to the foodservice channel frozen in cases of 60 x 32g. Remove from the freezer and soften at room temperature for three to five minutes before serving.

On-the-go meal deal


Gut healthy snacking brand Boundless Activated has won a series of listings for its latest format: a 23g Grab & Go bag.

Founded by commodities trader-turned-entrepreneur Cathy Moseley to revolutionise what functional snacking can be, Boundless Activated Snacking has seen tremendous growth since launch in 2017. In the past 12 months alone, the online business has seen in excess of 4000% growth, maintaining its spot as Amazon’s Choice for Gut Health Snacks for 18 months running.

Boundless Activated can today be found in more than 3,000 stores across the UK, as well as 10 international markets including Germany, Belgium and Asia. In the last two months,

The new 23g format is stirring up further excitement. In fact, the bags launched on Holland and Barret online sold out in less than 48 hours.

The brand is now turning its attention to the on-the-go meal deal market, and went live in WHSmith Travel and on the Eurostar last month. It is also the first ever challenger brand to launch into Exeter University, rivalling brands like Kettle Chips.

A world first, the Activated Chips are made using sprouted sorghum which, thanks to the unique soaking of the ancient supergrain, enables a better uptake of the nutrients meaning it's great for the gut. Sorghum is also one of the most sustainable grains in the world due to its tiny water and carbon footprint.

Available in two flavours – Chipotle & Lime and Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar – the new pack size is also available in Epicurium, DDC, Diverse, Tree of Life, The Health Store, Tropicana and CLF.

With a little twist


Little Debbie Snickerdoodle Crème Pies are McKee Foods’ latest addition to a growing bouquet of snacks, including the one that started it all, Oatmeal Crème Pies.

By adding a twist to a classic flavour profile, the company’s bakers have crafted another rendition of a much loved cookie from our childhood.

Snickerdoodle Crème Pies are a blend of soft chewy cookies baked with a mixture of cinnamon sugar crystals, which provide the crunch. These are then sandwiched around fluffy vanilla-flavoured crème, creating a layering of both textures and flavours.

Snickerdoodle Crème Pies are packaged with eight individually-wrapped sandwich cookies per brightly coloured Little Debbie carton and have a RRP of $2.59.

“For the packaging, we wanted our cinnamon and sugar mascots to encourage smiles with their cheerful expressions,”​ said Jill Sito, McKee Foods creative services manager.

“The nostalgic look of these characters has broad appeal, while the bold teal colour of the carton enhances the appetizing product shot and makes the carton easy to spot on shelves.”

Available in stores across the US.

Sharing the love

Utz at Publix with banner 2022-06-01

Utz Brands has rolled out its portfolio of fan-favourites into 1,300 Publix stores across the US Southeast, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The line-up available in Publix’s snack food aisle includes:

  • Utz Potato Chips, Pretzels and Variety Packs
  • On the Border Café-Style and Cantina Thins Tortilla Chips: Mild and Medium Original Salsa, Salsa Con Queso and Monterey Jack Queso
  • Zapp’s New Orleans Kettle-Style Potato Chips: in Spicy Cajun Crawtators, Hotter ’n Hot Jalapeno, Evil Eye and Voodoo flavour
  • Golden Flake Original Pork Skins: Barbecue, Hot Sauce and Sweet Heat Barbecue

“Introducing these Utz Brands to Publix guests expands our reach to meet the ever-growing demand for our snacks,”​ said Mark Schreiber, chief customer officer for Utz.

“We know our fans will appreciate finding their favourite Utz, On the Border, Zapp’s and Golden Flake snacks at their local Publix and across the Southeast. Utz fans and new consumers to our brands will enjoy discovering the family-crafted flavour in each of our recipes.”

The Utz story began in 1921 in Hanover, Pennsylvania, in the kitchen of Bill and Salie Utz. They believed potato chips should be made from clean and simple ingredients to bring out the natural flavour of farm-fresh potatoes. Today, Utz remains focused on Family-Crafted Flavour, reflecting its legacy and eagerness to share this with others.

Utz’s products are distributed nationally through grocery, mass merchandisers, club, convenience, drug and other channels.

Proud to be Welsh

20-6-22 Madryn Foods-4

Bwydydd Madryn (Madryn Foods) teamed up with farmers’ cooperative South Caernarfon Creameries to create a new variety of all-Welsh cheese and onion crisps.

Launched under the popular Jones Crisps brand, the chips have been given “extra flavour and tang”​ thanks to the creamery’s Dragon cheddar, which has won a clutch of gold medals including top honours at the International Cheese Championships.

The potatoes used to make the crisps are also Welsh and come from Anglesey, Pembrokeshire or Monmouthshire, depending on the time of year.

“As well as creating a fantastic new addition to our range of Jones Crisps, we are passionate about promoting Welsh food and Welsh producers,”​ said Madryn MD Geraint Hughes.

“I'm very proud to be able to work with South Caernarfon Creameries – the company is a cooperative where farmers have ownership of the organisation and the creamery is answerable to them.

“I have a strong emotional attachment with the creamery, with relatives from both sides of my family having close ties over the decades, and the home farm where I was brought up is a supplier member of the farmers’ cooperative.

“The farm is just a few miles as the crow flies from the creamery in Rhydygwystl near Pwllheli and I came here on work experience when I was 15.”

The Dragon Cheddar Cheese & Onion Crisps is the latest in a series of new products unveiled by Madryn, which opened new bases in Pwllheli and Llanrwst to cater for a growing order book – which has grown four-fold since the pandemic.

The new variety comes hot on the heels of a beer-laced chutney made in collaboration with the Purple Moose brewery in Porthmadog.

Perfecting the new cheese and onion flavour was a labour of love for Madryn five-strong team.

“We were very eager to bring provenance into the taste because in a big competitive market you have to be distinctive and different,”​ said Hughes.

“Cheese and onion is a classic taste and it’s one of the staples. It doesn’t matter what intelligence you look at, cheese and onion and salted are the two go to flavours.

“We made loads of trial batches before we got the taste just right with the perfect balance between the cheese and the onion. We wanted the cheese to be prominent and the flavour to be strong.

“The standard of ingredients is all-important because we want to be the best and offer value for money. Creating a Welsh supply chain is a very important part of our ethos so the fact that creamery is rooted here is so important. There are generations of knowledge and skills here, which is why the cheese itself is so wonderful. It’s a traditional aged cheddar that’s alive on the tongue.

Added Kirstie Jones, marketing manager for South Caernarfon Creameries, “Everything starts with the quality of the milk and we have a really successful track record​.

“Dragon cheese is our flagship brand and it’s really what we use to get the message of the creamery across. We’re proud to be Welsh and we use traditional recipes that have been passed down from generations.

“It’s fantastic for us to be able to team up with another iconic Welsh brand with the same ethos as ours, supporting local producers and local communities.”

The Dragon cheese potato chips are available online from Madryn Foods.

Going dilly


Wenzel’s Farm is rocking tastebuds with the addition of Dill Pickle to its line of handcrafted small batch meat snacks.

According to the award-winning producer, the sharp tang blends perfectly with Wenzel’s naturally smoked meat and like all its snack sticks, contains no MSG, artificial colours and is certified gluten-free.

The new sticks are currently available in 8oz packs, with a 2oz option coming later this year.

Wenzel’s Farm now offers 14 tasty snack stick varieties, all of which are crafted in small batches using premium cuts of meat, lightly seasoned and naturally smoked: a tradition that has been in place since 1949 in Wisconsin.

Watch this space

Rich nuts

Rich Nuts is poised to more than double its business by the end of the year, propelled by a new listing with United Natural Foods, the largest distributor of organic and natural foods in North America. 

We are so excited to be part of UNFI’s Next programme,”​ said Samantha Coker, Rich Nuts cofounder and CEO. “It’s such an honour to be included among UNFI's impressive roster of brands.”

UNFI’s Next programme aims to help new and up-and-coming brands reach a wider audience.

Under the platform, Rich Nuts is rolling out in over 150 natural and independent grocers throughout California, Nevada, and Utah, including Center Market, Eureka Natural Foods, Harvest Market, Lassen’s Natural Foods, Mollie Stones, Nugget Market, and two independently run Sprouts in Southern California.

Touted by nutrition thought-leaders as Dr Mark Hyman, Tim Ferris and Ben Greenfield as a clean, gut-friendly snack. Completely organic, Rich Nuts are sprouted and germinated just enough to bring them to life and decrease lectins and phytic acid making their nutrients bio-available and easier to digest

The LA-based producer is as a certified minority-owned (as well as first responder/veteran-owned) triple bottom line (TBL) business committed to regenerative practices and eco-friendly packaging.

It has also developed a rapidly-growing direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform.

“2022 has been an exciting year for Rich Nuts,”​ said Richard Pauwels, Rich Nuts co-founder and originator.

“With UNFI support growing our distribution, we’re excited to focus on expanding the brand’s team and finalising development for line expansion with future sprouted nut-based products.”

The Rich Nuts line-up includes Savoury Sage Cashews, Brilliant Balsamic Walnuts, Crunchy Curry Cashews, Maple Pecans, Cinnamon Walnut Crunch and Go Nuts & Berries for an RRP of $9.99-$11.99, available online, on Amazon and at natural grocers across the US.

Love the cheese toastie

Country Choice toasties in pack

Country Choice has introduced bake-in-pack Savour It! Toasties.

Designed for foodservice operators with limited labour and cooking facilities, the four varieties of individually wrapped toasties come frozen and ready-assembled in ovenable film, baked in around 25 minutes.

The toasties can then be displayed in the hot unit for up to four hours, but with the British public eating more than four billion toasties a year, they won’t last long.

  • Four Cheese & Onion: white bloomer filled with Vintage Cheddar, mozzarella, red Leicester cheese, béchamel and red onion, then topped with béchamel, Cheddar, mozzarella and red onion.
  • Ham & Cheese: white bloomer filled with Wiltshire ham and mild Cheddar cheese, topped with béchamel, Cheddar and mozzarella.
  • Tuna Melt: white bloomer filled with tuna, spring onion and mozzarella, topped with béchamel, Cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
  • BBQ Chicken: packed with BBQ chicken, mozzarella, mustard, béchamel and pink pickled onion, topped with béchamel, Cheddar and mozzarella.

The Savour It! Toasties come in compact, freezer-friendly packs of 20, for an RRP of £3.95 per unit.

Brioche boutique goes plant-based


Euroclassic’s Vegan Brioche-Style Bun has received the Plant-Based certification from NSF (National Sanitation Foundation), highly valued by industry and consumers worldwide.

Th certification comes at a key time, with the US plant-based foods sector now valued at over $5bn.

Euroclassic is a pioneer in introducing European baked goods to the American market, combining traditional European know-how with American demand for convenience and innovation.

Producing a brioche-style bun with similar features to the original but no animal products is no small feat, as classic brioche products are based on butter and eggs. However, Euroclassic innovative tech results in a light, spongy, delicate bun, free from butter and eggs.

It is also a clean label product, as Euroclassic cares deeply about sustainability, transparency and conscious nutrition values.

The Vegan Brioche-Style Bun joins the producer’s brioche boutique, including Authentic Brioche Burger Bun, Authentic Brioche Hot Dog Bun and Authentic Brioche Dinner Roll, among others.

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