Trendspotting: A new croissant/pretzel hybrid, frozen craft-quality pizzas and Scotland’s finest shortbread

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The weather might be turning colder (Northern hemisphere), but there's no cooling off from brands producing tasty treats. Pic: GettyImages/Morsa Images
The weather might be turning colder (Northern hemisphere), but there's no cooling off from brands producing tasty treats. Pic: GettyImages/Morsa Images

Related tags Snacks bakery treats vegan better for you viennoiserie SIAL RXBAR Pizza plant-based bakery hybrid

Gourmand Pastries is getting into a twist with its new Pretzel Triangle, Schwan’s is boasting about its pre-fired frozen pizzas that deliver pizzeria-quality craftmanship; and Walker’s is decking the halls with its Premium Festive Travel Retail Range, dressed in seasonal World of Walker’s livery.

The real deal

Eat Real - Hummus Sea Salt  Balsamic Vinegar

Eat Real has broaden its appeal to flavour explorers with the addition of Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar to its hummus chip range.

The leading UK free from brand – a pioneer in the plant-based snacking movement – is pushing to accelerate its growth with its bold flavours and better-for-you credentials. As such, its new variant is vegan and contains 30% less fat than regular potato chips. It is also free from gluten, artificial colours, flavours and ingredients. It joins other hero flavours in the range – like Tomato & Basil, Salted and Sour Cream & Chive – five of which are HFSS compliant, thanks to a reduction of their salt content by more than 50%.

The launch coincides with Eat Real’s rebrand with new pack designs across its portfolio, which includes lentil chips, quinoa chips and veggie straws, among others.

“Eat Real has become pioneers in better-for-you thanks to its unusual ingredients layered with bold, unexpected flavours inspired by the combinations you find in your own cooking,”​ said marketing director Helen Pomphrey.

“We’ve found that Eat Real’s flavours are a key driver to consumer purchase, as more people opt for delicious, yet healthier alternatives.”

Eat Real’s new packs are rolling out across the UK, in Sainsbury’s from September and other retailers including Tesco from October, in grab bags (45g) for an RRP of £1.20 and sharing bags (135g) for £2.00.

Seasonal bestsellers


Pladis has unveiled its 2022 Christmas ranges from Jacob’s and Carr’s, which includes returning favourites and non-HFSS (high in fat, sugar and salt) treats.

Jacob’s has refreshed its line-up of ever-popular Christmas Caddies (£2.79), with 50% HFSS-compliant. This year, Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Original and Treeselets are joined by two lighter options – Mini Cheddars Nibblies Cheddar & Smoked Paprika – which contain 30% less fat. Jacob’s Mini Twiglets is also returning with a non-HFSS recipe, which is both 60% lower in salt and high in fibre.

Jacob’s Festive Selection (300g £3.25; 450g £4.40; 900g £7) dials up its longstanding baking heritage and expertise. Ready for topping, dipping, or sandwiching – the selection includes big sellers like the signature Cream Cracker.

Jacob’s Heritage Tin (£6) taps into the trend towards togetherness with a seasonal sharing selection of crackers – including Jacob’s Cream Crackers and Jacob’s Digestives.

Also returning is Carr’s Melts Warm Chilli (£1.69), crisp wheaten biscuits that embody Carr’s signature light, melting texture with a gentle heat.

Carr’s Melts Selection Pack (£5) includes a trio of treats, namely Melts Original, Melts Cheese and Warm Chilli, great for the post-dinner cheeseboard.

Carr’s Selection (200 £3; 400g £4.50) offers a variety of nine savoury biscuits and crackers.

“As always, we’ve focused heavily on offering shoppers quality and choice with our 2022 savoury Christmas range,” ​said Cassie French, marketing director, Seasonal & Cake.

“We’ve no doubt our portfolio of cracker selection boxes – whether family favourites from Jacob’s, or our extra special offerings from Carr’s – will be particularly popular this year. As Brits tuck into cheese boards and gather together with friends and family in larger groups, products which are perfectly placed for sharing will perform well.”

The Jacob’s and Carr’s Christmas products are rolling out various UK grocery retailers – including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Amazon and Ocado – as well as discounters.

Pizza perfect

Hearth & Fire

Schwan’s Company has launched the Hearth & Fire pizza line: pre-fired frozen pizzas that delivers pizzeria-quality craftmanship.

Hearth & Fire begins with a minimum 20 hour-fermented dough (a process that took three years to perfect) that is flame-fired at 1,000°F (537°C) to add crunch and char to the crust. Every pizza is then finished with a selection of artisan toppings and vacuum-packed to ensure the craft quality is preserved from freezer to oven to table.

There are four variants in the line: The Margherita (mozz, basil, red sauce and a dash of olive oil); The Pepperoni (pepperoni, mozz, spicy red sauce and a parmesan herb sprinkle); The Bianca (mozz, Fontina, cheddar, goat cheese, asiago, a parmesan garlic cream sauce and oregano); and The Mushroom (gouda, portabella mushrooms, caramelised onions, roasted shiitake and cremini mushrooms, goat cheese, asiago and thyme).

Available at Kroger stores and online in select US states for an RRP of $11.99-$12.99.

Biscuit perfection


Mason Dixie Foods has recently revamped its e-comm platform so consumers will have easier access to its best-selling baked goods.

Demand for its clean label Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich continues to grow, completely selling out of Whole Foods each week. As such, the brand has made the scratch-made sandwiches available online – with free shipping – so fans won’t miss out.

The buttermilk sandwiches are made with real ingredients like nitrate-free sausage and 100% egg, and is available in two options: 8 single-serve sandwiches or 12 sandwiches that come in a 2-pack packaging.

Mason Dixie is also offering 15% off the buttermilk sandwiches, which use only real ingredients like nitrate-free sausage and 100% real egg, with code BACKTOSCHOOL.

Cereal snacker


General Mills has continued to expand its bestselling cereals into the snacking aisle.

Trix Popcorn joins Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs in General Mills’ line-up of indulgent popcorns, as a perfectly balanced sweet and salty snack.

Featuring a Trix-flavoured fruity glaze, along with bits of the cereal itself, the popcorn offers a nostalgic crunchy bite ideal for any snacking occasion.

Trix Popcorn is available at Sam’s Club for an RRP of $6.48 for a 20oz bag, while a 7oz pack will be available at Walmart stores for $3.69 from October.

Scotland at its finest

GTR Group

Walker’s is exclusively unveiling its newly curated four-strong Premium Festive Travel Retail Range, decked out in seasonal World of Walker’s livery, at the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference (2-6 October in Cannes, France).

The range consists of a 200g Christmas Spiced Shortbread Tube, a 200g Cranberry and Clementine Shortbread Tube, a 460g All Butter Festive Shortbread Assortment Gift Box and a Premium Six Mince Pies Gift Box.

Reflecting the brands recent rebrand, the World of Walker’s sports playful illustrations of iconic global landmarks, along with a fresh take on the brand’s Scottish heritage. It has been reimagined for today’s traveller, and highlights its focus across sustainability and digitisation, including the first fully recyclable paper Sharing Bags and Gifting Tubes.

“This year has seen several milestones for Walker’s across global travel retail as we continue to celebrate our heritage and expertise,”​ said MD Nicky Walker.

“We remain committed to strengthening the opportunities across premium travel retail and bringing our shortbread to consumers and customers around the world. We are excited to be coming back to Cannes to showcase the ‘World of Walker’s’ and our products to both long established and new customers”.

Visitors will be treated to an immersive experience for all the senses with freshly warmed samples, enabling them to taste Scotland at its finest first hand.

Four times winner of the Queen's Award for Export Achievement, Walker’s exports its distinctively packaged luxury shortbreads, biscuits, cakes and oatcakes to over 100 countries worldwide. In 2017, Walker’s Shortbread was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment from Her Majesty the Queen for the supply of shortbread to the Royal Household, following a similar granting by the Queen and Queen Mother in 2002 for oatcakes.

All Walker’s products are free from artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives. They are certified Kosher (OUD) and are suitable for vegetarians.



This Halloween, Post Consumer Brands is rolling out Limited edition Fruity Pebbles cereal.

The cereal will sport the same fruity taste that brand loyalists love, but with a mixture of orange and purple flakes to join in on the fall festivities. The box also features Fred Flintstone and the cereal’s namesake character, Pebbles, dressed in costumes for the holiday.

The Limited-Edition Fruity Pebbles cereal will be available at retailers across the US in 10oz packs, along with an 18.5oz pack for die-hard fans.

Ready or not…

RX Bar

… limited time RXBar flavours are coming in hot.

Chocolate Cinnamon Brownie will be joined by three seasonal favourites – Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread and Pecan – available until the end of the year.

Each is inspired by nostalgia – like the smell of warm pecan pie, cinnamon and spice – but made with wholesome ingredients for a better-for-you treat.

The trio also boast the brand’s simple ingredient list – egg whites (punching in 12g of protein), dates (to bind), nuts (texture) and 0g added sugar.

“These bars are anything but basic, and we hope each nostalgic flavour helps eliminate any added stress or drama the season might bring along,”​ said senior associate brand manager Carly Smith.

These are accompanied by limited time Chocolate Cinnamon Brownie, packed with whole almonds, chocolate chunks and cinnamon, a nod to homemade brownies straight from the oven.

The bars are available online and in selected retail stores across the US for an RRP of $2.79/bar, $9.99/4-pack and $25.99/12-pack. Additionally, new bite-sized RXBar Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Sea Salt Minis will be available exclusively at Target beginning mid-August.

Let’s twist again


Gourmand Pastries is hopping onto the vegan trend, getting into a twist and showcasing all-butter-tasting croissants that are actually made from a butter/marg blend at SIAL Paris 2022 (15-19 October).

Vegan is one of the biggest trends of the last few years. That’s not new news, but what is, is that Gourmand Pastries – which specialises in frozen viennoiserie for the B2B sector – is joining the movement. Its vegan viennoiserie range comprises croissants, pains au chocolate, praliné croissants and maple pecan plaits. The range is made from 100% plant-based ingredients, including certified sustainable palm oil (RSPO).

Getting into a twist, but doing it in style, the Pretzel Triangle by Gourmand Pastries uses a variety of pastries to create a treat somewhere between a croissant and a pretzel. A crisp start is followed by soft texture and slightly salty tones. This new-fangled vennoiserie is perfect on its own, or as a richly filled sandwich-carrier.

Finally, the Belgian bakery manufacturer is showcasing Superblend, a clean label combo of butter and margarine, which flawlessly matches the buttery flavour of a real butter croissant.

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