Trendspotting: Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts get scary, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream gets hot and Eat the Change grows up

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The scary season is upon us. Pic: GettyImages/fotostorm
The scary season is upon us. Pic: GettyImages/fotostorm

Related tags: Pop-Tarts, better for you, vegan, Organic, Ice cream, carrot, advent calendars, Halloween, cranberries, Sustainability

Limited edition Haunted Frosted Chocolatey Fudge Pop-Tart Bites put the treat in trick or treating, Van Leeuwen is heating up the ice cream category with a flavour collab with Tapatío Hot Sauce and Eat the Change has created a grown-up version of its first-to-market carrot snacks.

Trick or treat

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Welch’s gets spook-tacular with Halloween-themed Fruit Snack Shapes. The packs contain mix fruits in season-specific shapes like bats, ghosts, and witches.

Welch’s Fruit Snacks are free from allergens, making them safe for all trick-or-treaters. They also make a great addition to neighbourhood Boo Bags and for parents looking for an alternative to candy.

The fruit snacks are available in retailers across the US, including Amazon, Walmart, Target and CVS, for an RRP of $1 (3.75oz pouch) and $5 (28-count box of 0.5oz pouches).

Crazy about cranberries

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Tastebuds are in for a treat with Craisins Dried Cranberries. They’re gluten-free, peanut-free, a good source of fibre, and 1 serving meets 25% of your daily recommended fruit needs. They’re also packed with vitamin C, but contain no artificial flavours or preservatives.

Ocean Spray’s Craisins are available in several variants, including Blueberry, Cherry and Pomegranate, as well as Whole & Juicy Craisins and 50% Less Sugar Craisins.

The Ocean Spray story started in 1930 when three passionate, independent cranberry growers formed a cooperative to create innovative products with the superfruit they loved. The company today includes over 700 grower families across North and South America.

Craisins Dried Cranberries are available online and at selected retailers across the US.

From Hawaii, with love

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Bubbies Ice Cream – best known for its mochi ice cream – has made it onto the Inc. Magazine’s Honour Roll as one of America’s fastest growing private companies. Bubbies has placed on the list every year since 2018, but only 5% of the companies achieve the Honour Roll status.

“We are honoured to achieve this prestigious accomplishment as a natural, better-for-you brand,”​ said Katie Cline, VP of Marketing.

“This comes after five years of recognition as one of the fastest growing companies in the country and we couldn’t be more proud. This further solidifies that our mission to bring exciting and indulgent innovation to the frozen novelty category is resonating with consumers, and we look forward to all that’s to come with no plans of slowing down.”

For four decades, Inc. has celebrated the resilience and integrity of the country’s fastest-growing private companies. Bubbies ranked at 3,347 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list, having recorded a 157% 3-year growth.

From its humble beginnings in 1985 as a scoop shop on the island of Oahu, the company has become a firm favourite on the mainland, serving up over 20 flavours, such as Madagascar Vanilla, Blood Orange and Cookies & Cream. Each piece contains just 90 calories and no rBST dairy.

Available online and from selected retailers across the US.

A really great snack

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Naturipe is experiencing tremendous growth, thanks to new plantings and expanded growing areas of both conventional and organic raspberries. It’s America’s fastest growing raspberry brand, with industry-leading 35% growth in volume and 43% growth in dollar sales at retail from the previous year. The 2022-23 season is on track to be the company’s biggest season ever, with Naturipe doubling raspberry availability over the previous year.

Naturipe’s primary raspberry growing regions are Central Mexico and Baja, where several production areas overlap, as well as some production in Northern California, allowing raspberry volumes to thrive year-round.

“Our growers have done it again, and produced an exceptional raspberry crop for our customers,”​ said Fernando Aguiar, director of Business Development.

“This tremendous growth is attributable to the success of prior seasons and demand from our customers for more of our proprietary raspberry varieties.

“We’re currently in Baja’s raspberry peak and will quickly transition to the seasonal peak in Central Mexico as we move into Fall. This is a great time to promote Naturipe’s Centennial variety, which have the true raspberry flavour that shoppers are looking for right now. Overall, Naturipe’s varieties stand out with great flavour, size and colour - the right blend of pink and red.”

Aguiar added strong volumes of raspberries will continue to the end of the year and lead into the holiday season – ensuring they get into the hands of even more US consumers. Available from selected retailers across the country.

Pop-pop-hooray

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This year’s countdown to Christmas is popping with fun with Popcorn Shed’s advent calendars.

Historically, advent calendars were filled with messages to remind people of the religious meaning behind the festive period. Then a few chocolate pieces hidden behind cardboard doors were enough to get people into the Christmassy mood. Today, consumers are looking for more innovative, luxury options.

According to Popcorn Shed, advent calendars helped grow retailers’ sales by 20% last year, with Brits spending upward of £3m on the seasonal almanac, and premium calendars accounting for two-thirds of all sales.

Popcorn Shed has created two 168g calendars – one vegan – each with 24 bags of popcorn in six of its fan favourite flavours, such as Salted Caramel, Raspberry & Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Cookies & Cream, Chock N Roll and Cherry Pie.

The vegan gourmet popcorn calendar is dairy- and gluten-free.

Available online and on Amazon for an RRP of £21.00.

For kids of all ages

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Eat the Change – the planet-friendly snack company founded by social entrepreneur Seth Goldman and celeb chef Spike Mendelsohn – has expanded its first-to-market carrot snacks with Organic Carrot Chews.

In March, Eat the Change launched Cosmic Carrot Chews in March, in three kid-forward variants: Sour Cherry Berry Blast Off, Orange Mango Moonbeam and Apple Cinnamon Asteroid. The brand has innovated the veggie snack category one again, with chews aimed at 12+-year-olds in Meyer Lemon, Ginger Turmeric and Maple Cardamom flavours.

“Consumers are looking for convenient and delicious ways to incorporate more vegetables into their diets,” ​said Goldman.

“Our Organic Carrot Chews are a great option to pack and enjoy at work, while traveling or really any time you want a tasty, nutrient-dense snack.”  

Made with just four simple ingredients – primarily organic carrots and organic fruit juice – the chews are nutrient-dense and provide an excellent source of vitamin A. Each 4.23oz, multi-serve pouch also contains 2g of fibre and only 130 calories per serving. They are also vegan, certified USDA organic, OU Kosher and paleo-friendly.

“We’ve heard from a number of parents who have introduced Cosmic Carrot Chews to their kids, and the feedback is in: they want a snack of their own,”​ said Chef Mendelsohn.

“Organic Carrot Chews are the grown-up version of Cosmic Carrot Chews, but with flavour combinations that appeal to all ages.”

Eat the Change products do not contain any of the top 8 allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soy. Available online for an RRP of $6.49-$6.99 per pack.

Scary tarts

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Kellogg’s has ‘Halloween-ified’ its popular toaster pastry brand.

Limited edition Haunted Frosted Chocolatey Fudge Bites put the treat in trick or treating with orange icing, a bite-size format and pouches that glow-in-the-dark.

Haunted Frosted Chocolatey Fudge Pop-Tarts Bites are available in retailers across the US for an RRP of $11.47 for a 28-count box.

Sizzling the ice cream aisle

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Van Leeuwen Ice Cream is heating up the ice cream category with seven new flavours, including Mexican Hot Chocolate (made in collaboration with Tapatío Hot Sauce), Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole, Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll, Wildberry Layer Cake, Strawberry, Hazelnut Fudge Cookie and Honeycomb.

“Heading into the season known for all things pumpkin, we are excited to offer Walmart shoppers a variety of fall-themed flavours that will quite literally spice up their ice cream selection at home,​” said Ben Van Leeuwen, cofounder and CEO.

“Walmart has been a great partner and we are happy that Van Leeuwen’s flavours, especially our collaboration with Tapatío Hot Sauce, will be up for grabs when Walmart shoppers are stocking up for their upcoming festivities with friends and family.”

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream 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, who were on a mission to make ice cream from ingredients that make you feel good.

The brand now has 33 scoop shops. Its ice creams – including dairy and vegan ice cream bars – are also available online and in retail across the country.

“We take the time to cultivate thoughtful formulations that are sometimes unexpected, but always good, and we are so excited for shoppers to get their hands on our latest collection,” ​added Van Leeuwen.

The pints are rolling out in 3,500 Walmart locations for a 10-week rotation in all 50 US states. 

Rolling snack station

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GoGo squeeZ has enlisted organisational experts Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit to help families ‘contain the chaos’ of the pantry so there is less time spent searching and more time spent enjoying a moment together, especially as they gear back into the school routine.

According to KRC Research, 88% of parents crave more time to meaningfully connect with their kids as they head into the hustle and bustle of a new fall routine. The biggest roadblocks, though, include after-school activities (88%), social media distractions (90%) and the inability to share a meal together (82%).

With 71% of parents agreeing that smart pantry storage systems would help them spend less time on meal prep and more time connecting with kids, GoGo squeeZ and The Home Edit are sharing top tips:

  • Organise by colour but label by category for an intuitive system that anyone in the house can follow.
  • Designate containment zones that flow with your everyday routine, such as a GoGo squeeZ Morning SmoothieZ in the breakfast zone.
  • Store items on a lower shelf where kids can easily access them, either in clear open bins or turntables. These kid-friendly solutions also make it easier to spot the snacks that need to be restocked.
  • Provide even easier access to snacks during playdates or study time by transferring the containers to a rolling cart, alongside things like books, craft supplies and family games.

“Organising doesn't have to be a chore. Make the habit a regular one – and one that involves the kids,”​ said the founders of The Home Edit, which has a social following of over 7 million people and organising teams in cities across the US.

“Not only are you making snacking easier and healthier, but you are also creating moments to share with your family, and we think that’s what really matters.”

GoGo squeeZ and The Home Edit are also giving away one snack station on wheels to help families find their back-to-school groove. The sweepstake is open until 27 September.

“Our colourful pouches are often spotted in The Home Edit’s pantry projects as they are a wholesome snack that families can quickly grab for at-home or on-the-go,”​ said chief marketing officer Mark Anthony Edmonson.

“We love how this partnership not only provides the tools to get organised, but also the inspiration to create snacking spaces that encourage family interaction and connection – two elements vital to children's wellbeing.”

GoGo squeeZ makes on-the-go snacking nutritious and delicious with more than 30 flavours of squeezable applesauce, Fruit & VeggieZ, YogurtZ, Pudding and SmoothieZ, available from retail across the US.

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