This week’s batch of new product launches includes the meat-free Awesome Burger from Nestle-owned Sweet Earth, and plant-based ranges from Kerry Foods and Tesco.

Dr Oetker’s Chicago Town pizza enters chilled aisle

German food group Dr Oetker is taking its Chicago Town pizza brand into the chilled aisle with the launch of a three-strong range in the UK.

Stonebaked Deli Crust will be available nationwide in Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, along with convenience stores, independent retailers and wholesalers, from the 6 October in Straight Up Salami, Chicago Hot and Cheeeese Fest at a recommended retail price of GBP5 (US$6.16) each.

Dr Oetker said its research shows a “gap in the market for a chilled American-style pizza, as opposed to the more traditional Italian”.
Paula Wyatt, head of marketing at Dr Oetker, added: “We’re passionate about bringing pizza to everybody. Whether it’s filling up the freezer, tea for tonight, or pizza to go, we want to treat consumers to the real taste of Chicago, anytime, anywhere. We’ve identified that our new chilled range will allow our gooey, messy goodness to reach new consumers that may not have tried Chicago Town pizzas before.”

Sweet Earth’s Awesome Burger hits US shelves

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Sweet Earth Foods, the plant-based business owned by Nestlé, has finally launched its meat-free Awesome Burger in the US, along with its ground ‘beef’ cousin.

“The Awesome Burger and Awesome Grounds advance Sweet Earth’s mission by delivering on the taste and texture of beef with the environmental and nutritional benefits offered by plant-based proteins, and a win for animal-conscious consumers,” California-based Sweet Earth said.

The non-GMO Awesome Burger was developed by Sweet Earth’s culinary team in collaboration with Nestlé’s R&D group. It is made with yellow pea protein, giving the burger 26 grams of protein and six grams of fibre.

The Sweet Earth Awesome Burger and Grounds will be available at US retailers nationwide this week, while further distribution will follow. 

Kelly Swette, the CEO of Sweet Earth Foods, said: “The Sweet Earth Awesome Burger has a delicious, grilled beefy flavour, great texture and juiciness, with the added benefit of plant-based fibre and protein. We’ve been making delicious plant-based proteins for more than eight years, so the Awesome Burger is a natural evolution of our work in this space.” 

Itsu rolls out frozen Bao Buns  

Itsu Grocery, the London-based Asian-inspired food company, is introducing Chinese-style frozen Bao Buns to supermarkets this month. 

Its pack of six hoisin duck, steamed Bao Buns will roll out in Tesco and Sainsbury’s at a recommended retail price of GBP3.75 (US$4.66).

They can be cooked from frozen in 60 seconds and each serving of two buns has 196 calories. More flavours are due to launch in January.

Natalie Sugarman, the company’s marketing director, said: “We are excited to bring yet more innovation to the frozen category, fuelling the UK’s growing love for authentic Asian food. We know how popular our Bao Buns are with consumers, as they have already entered the top-selling dishes in our [UK] restaurants. We are confident this will translate into strong sales in supermarkets.”

Canada’s Delimax-Montpak debuts new Fontaine Family meat range

Délimax-Montpak, the Canadian veal, lamb and beef producer, has introduced a new brand of  “superior quality meat” in the shape of Fontaine Family.

The brand is made up a variety of local meat products, including grain-fed veal, GMO-free milk-fed veal, lamb and ready-to-cook lines.  

It will be widely available in most major supermarket chains across Canada by the end of the week. 

Montpak president Alex Fontaine said: “With the new Fontaine Family product line, we want to address consumers directly and help them appreciate the subtle and refined taste of veal, but also raise awareness on the many benefits this lean and nutritious meat provides.” 

The company goes back two generations and has more than 1,300 employees at its plants in Canada and the US. 

Kerry Foods launches Naked Glory plant-based range

Ireland’s Kerry Foods has launched a plant-based range in the UK in the shape of Naked Glory.

The chilled, meat-free, vegan range is made up of quarter pounders, sausages, meatballs and mince.

David Hamilton, chief innovation officer at Kerry Group, said: “We are really excited to be bringing Naked Glory to market and adding some much-needed sizzle to the meat-free category.”

He added: “We’ve taken our time as product delivery was paramount and are confident the brand will be a hit with everyone – regardless of their dietary preferences.”

The Naked Glory range, which will be launched later this month, is made from rehydrated soya. The range is registered with The Vegan Society.

The Naked Glory No Meat Balls, Naked Glory Sausages, Naked Glory Quarter Pounders and Naked Glory Mince are all priced at GBP2.75 (US$3.42).

Tesco in plant-based push with own-label Plant Chef range

UK supermarket Tesco is rolling out a new own-label range of plant-based foods starting today (23 September).

The retailer also said it will have dedicated areas in store for plant-based and vegetarian foods for the first time. Its plant alternatives will sit alongside real meat products to appeal to so-called  flexitarians.

Tesco’s own-label Plant Chef range includes Butternut Cauli Mac (RRP GBP2.50/US$3.11), Breaded Goujons (GBP2), Battered Fish-Free Fillets (GBP3), and Mushroom pizza (GBP2.50).

The introduction of Plant Chef will be staggered over the next four months with today’s initial launch comprising more than 450 “large” stores. It will then expand the offering into the prepared fresh food aisle across almost 900 outlets from 14 October, and then into the frozen and grocery section in January. 

Tesco said it also plans to expand its range of groceries and cooking kits for consumers wanting to cook plant-based dishes at home.

Two years ago, Tesco said it partnered with chef Derek Sarno to launch Wicked Kitchen, which it claims was the first own-brand, plant-based food range to be launched by a UK supermarket.

Sarno, who is head of Tesco’s plant-based innovation, said: “The biggest impact we can make as individuals, for our health but also that of the planet, is to eat more plants. At Tesco we’re making that easier than ever by providing the widest and best range of plant-based options available on the UK high street.

“We’ve turbo charged our innovative original Wicked Kitchen snacks and meals. For those looking for everyday delicious meal swaps, we’re launching the exciting Tesco Plant Chef range.”

Two new Wicked Kitchen products are also being launched: Wicked Kitchen Wicked Shredded M’Shroom (RRP GBP3) and Wicked Kitchen Coconut Crack’d Corn (GBP2).

Dole debuts Fridge Packs

US-based fruit and veg producer Dole Food Co. is rolling out Fridge Packs.

Fridge Packs are a line of shelf-stable packaged fruit in clear plastic containers free of the BPA chemical that have a space-saving stackable feature with a snap lid.

Four varieties in 15-ounce packages are available complete with juice: Pineapple Chunks, Mandarin Oranges, Peach Slices and Mixed Fruit. They are naturally gluten-free, high in vitamin C and are non-GMO. Each 3.5 gram serving of fruit offers 80-90 calories.

Dole Fridge Packs carry a recommended retail price of US$2.49.

“Shoppers around the country told us they love the way simply adding fruit makes everyday meals special,” said Brad Bartlett, president of Dole Packaged Foods. “Our new Dole Fridge Packs elevate the experience, with clear containers that let you see the delicious fruit inside. Plus, they’re stackable for easy storage in the fridge or pantry, and the snap-shut lids allow you to enjoy a portion and keep the rest in the fridge for later.”

Perfetti Van Melle launches vegan Fruitella variants

Italian confectionery firm Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) has launched vegan variants of its Fruitella sweets brand in the UK.

The jungle-themed jellies – which have been approved by The Vegan Society – contain natural colours and flavours and are gluten-free. Fruittella Koalas come in Lemon, Pineapple and Raspberry flavours, while the Fruittella Sour Snakes are Tropical, Lemon, Apple and Raspberry.

Diego Pol, Fruittella brand manager, said: “We know that there is a huge demand for vegan sweets, but often the taste and texture suffers when gelatine is removed. We’ve worked to make sure our new Fruittella jellies have the same great taste that people expect of any Fruittella product. The feedback from consumers has been second to none, with the taste and texture in the top 5% of all products we’ve ever tested.”

Fruittella Koalas and Fruittella Sour Snakes are available in standard 120g bags from retailers including Morrisons.