This week’s batch of new products includes Danone claiming a UK first with measured baby-formula tabs and Premier Foods entering the baking spreads category in conjunction with Kerry Group.

PepsiCo debuts low-carb Hilo Life almond flour chips

Hilo Life, a low-carb snack brand to emerge from PepsiCo’s North America internal incubator programme called The Hive, has launched a three-strong range of keto-friendly, tortilla-style chips.

The snacks use “defatted” almond flour as a base ingredient, which PepsiCo claims has less fat and more protein than traditional almond flour.

Hilo Life’s Almond Flour Tortilla Style Chips have three grams of net carbs in each one-ounce bag, as well as nine grams of protein and zero added sugar. 

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They available at Hilo Life online and on Amazon in Nacho Cheese, Ranch and Spicy Salsa.

Nestle launches cocoa fruit chocolate bar Incoa

Nestlé has announced the roll out of Incoa, a 70% dark chocolate bar made with the cocoa fruit, in France and the Netherlands under its Les Recettes de L’Atelier brand, with other markets in Europe to follow.

The cocoa fruit is essentially the pod and pulp surrounding the inner cacao, or cocoa seed. “Incoa is made entirely from the cocoa fruit, not adding any refined sugar”, Nestlé said, adding it first used the fruit in a KitKat launched in Japan in 2019.

Louise Barrett, head of the Nestlé’s confectionery product technology centre in the UK city of York, said: “We are proud to be able to develop and produce a chocolate at scale using only the cocoa fruit. This breakthrough innovation allows us to deliver a great-tasting dark chocolate, while also integrating agricultural side-streams into our value chain, a key priority for our sustainability agenda.”

Nestlé said it has developed “a patented natural approach which allows it to extract the pulp and produce a dark chocolate that captures the pulp’s intrinsic sweetness and texture”. 

It explained further: “The pulp, which makes up around 10% of the fruit, surrounds the beans and is soft, sweet and white in colour. Some of the pulp is used in the fermentation of the cocoa beans after they are harvested, but a significant proportion is usually discarded. In some countries, the pulp is commercialised as juice, or frozen and used as an ingredient in ice cream and other food products.”

The company said the cocoa pulp is sourced from farms in Brazil which are part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, and it is working on expanding the sourcing to other global farms. 

Danone launches baby formula in measured tabs

Dairy major Danone is claiming a first in the UK by rolling out infant formula in a pre-measured dissolvable tab format under its Aptamil brand, with plans to introduce the product in other countries in Europe next year.

Launching via the French giant’s Specialized Nutrition division in response to mother’s needs for “greater convenience and ease when preparing formula milk feeds”, Danone says one tab is equivalent to one scoop of regular powdered formula, with each pack consisting of 24 sachets containing five tabs.

The tabs are being manufactured under a partnership with Japan’s Meiji, which brings its “patented tab production technology” to the table with Danone’s expertise in formula production, which in this case, will take place at its plant in Wexford, Ireland.

Gustavo Hildenbrand, the general manager for Specialized Nutrition in the UK and Ireland, said: “We hope bringing to market formula milk in a pre-measured tab format will offer added convenience and support for formula feeding pa rents – especially in the ‘new normal’, when parents are often stretched and trying to juggle balancing family and work life from home.”

The new tabs will be available at UK health and beauty retailer Boots.

PepsiCo takes Red Rock Deli crisp brand into crackers

US food and beverages giant PepsiCo has launched two cracker ranges under the brand of its Australia-based crisps business Red Rock Deli.

Its new Red Rock Deli-Style Crackers are available in three flavours: Honey Soy Chicken, Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream and Cheddar & Parmesan, while its Gourmet Crackers are available in three flavours: Murray River Pink Salt & Black Pepper, Sundried Tomato & Italian Herbs and Aged Cheddar & Caramelised Onion.

Susan Press, marketing manager, PepsiCo ANZ, said: “We’re excited to bring our flavour expertise to the cracker category. We’re launching not one but two new ranges for our consumers to enjoy. Both ranges are sure to become picnic and cheese board staples with some truly unique, mouth-watering flavour combinations.

“The snacking category in Australia is robust, highly competitive and experiencing strong growth as consumers seek new and different flavours and experiences. As a category leader, PepsiCo is actively extending into new formats and segments to meet these needs.”

Both ranges and all flavours are available throughout Australia in Coles supermarkets.

Premier Foods enters baking spreads with Kerry Group

UK-based Premier Foods and Ireland’s Kerry Group have teamed up to launch a duo of baking spreads under the former’s Homepride brand, better known for its range of flours.

It is the first time Premier Foods, which owns the Batchelors soups and Mr. Kipling cakes brands, has entered the spreads category as more people turn to cooking at home and baking during the pandemic. Kerry has brought its dairy expertise to the new product launch.

Homepride Unsalted Baking Spread and Homepride Salted Baking Spread make up the line-up, available in Morrisons at a RRP of GBP1.40 (US$1.94) for a 500-gram tub.

Elodie Bretz, the marketing manager for Homepride Flour, said: “We are so excited to branch into the butter and spreads category with the launch of our new Homepride Baking Spreads. Our aim is to continue inspiring bakers of all levels and demonstrate how simple ingredients such as baking spreads and flour are everything families need to make delicious treats.” 

Unilever debuts Cornetto ice-cream sandwich

Unilever is launching a Cornetto ice-cream sandwich under its Wall’s brand in the UK and Ireland designed for on-the-go occasions, along with Cornetto Soft.

The Cornetto Go sandwich features a cocoa biscuit with vanilla ice cream and pieces of cocoa cookie available now at a recommended retail price of GBP1.40 (US$1.94). 

Soft-serve Cornetto Soft with a 50% recyclable lid comes in three flavours Chocolatey (in single sticks at a RRP of GBP1.60) and Salted Caramel and Strawberry, both available in multipacks of four at a RRP of GBP3.00 per pack.

Unilever has also added a new flavour and shape to its Twister ice cream – Twister Peek-A-Blue. It features a mix of flavours per stick: melon, strawberry-lemon and apple-blueberry carrying a RRP of GBP1.10, or a five pack can be purchased at GBP2.79.They have a maximum of 110 calories and a maximum of 12 grams of sugar per portion.

Muller rolls out Rice Protein pots 

Germany-based dairy major Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller will roll out Müller Rice Protein pots later this month.

Müller Rice Protein contains 14 grams of protein per 180-g pot, more than double the content within the existing Müller Rice range. 

The low-fat pots will launch in Morrisons on 22 March in either chocolate or vanilla.

Michael Inpong, strategy and marketing director at Müller Yogurt & Desserts said: “When we looked at the data behind the protein trend, it became clear that almost a third of high-protein shoppers were looking for something which keeps them fuller for longer, but there are limited choices on the market. By introducing a hunger filler option like Müller Rice Protein, there is clear potential for category growth.”

Weetabix introduces Melts fortified with vitamins, iron

Weetabix, the UK-based breakfast cereal manufacturer, plans to launch Melts later in March fortified with vitamins and iron.

The company says Weetabix Melts are “non-HFSS” (high in fat, sugar or salt), although the product does contain “low” amounts of salt. They are high in fibre and have no red traffic light warning labels pertaining to health.

Gareth Turner, head of brands at Weetabix, said: “Taste is without a doubt the number one driver of purchase within cereals. Weetabix Melts allow us to appeal to shoppers looking for a more indulgent option at breakfast or for a snack, with the added reassurance of health and quality that consumers know and expect from the Weetabix brand.
“As Melts are classified as non-HFSS, we intend to support the launch with a significant through-the-line campaign, driving footfall and bringing much wanted excitement to the cereal aisle.”

Melts, available in either milk or white chocolate, will roll out in major retailers before the end of March at a RRP of GBP2.99 (US$4.14) for a 360-gram box.