The products that caught the eye in the early days of 2021 included a “sports nutrition food box” from Post Holdings and a flurry of new ice-cream lines from Unilever in the US.

Tyson Foods takes meat brand into meat-free

The US meat giant, one of the world’s largest meat processors, is making another move in the meat-alternative sector.

Tyson is launching plant-based breakfast patties under its Jimmy Dean brand to meet demand for meat-free options at breakfast.

“Plant-based foods are revolutionising the way people eat across meal occasions, including breakfast,” Scott Glenn, senior director of marketing for the Jimmy Dean brand, said. “As the protein breakfast leader, expanding our portfolio to provide people with alternative choices was critical.”

Tyson has developed two sandwiches, both including a plant-based patty, as well as conventional cheese.

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The Jimmy Dean Plant-Based Patty, Egg & Cheese Croissant Sandwich – which is available now at Sam’s Club – comprises a patty made of soy protein and egg whites, along with American cheese and eggs, all between a croissant.

In the spring, Tyson will roll out a Jimmy Dean Delights Plant-Based Patty & Frittata Sandwich. The product is made up of a patty made with soy protein, black beans, brown rice, quinoa and egg white – topped with a spinach and egg white frittata and American cheese, all inside a muffin.

In December, the company announced it was making changes to the Raised & Rooted plant-based range it sells in the US – including pulling the hybrid burger on offer since the brand’s launch last year.

In November, Tyson took the Raised & Rooted brand to Europe, marketing a series of products to foodservice customers.

Bel adds probiotics, vitamins to new Babybel duo

Bel Group, a cheese producer headquartered in France, is taking up the health and wellness mantle in the shadow of Covid-19 by introducing two new products with probiotics and vitamins.

It will launch Babybel Plus+ Probiotic and Babybel Plus+ Vitamins, both free from artificial preservatives, colours or flavours, in retailers across the US in February at a suggested retail price of US$4.49 for a pack of six. 

Babybel Plus+ Probiotic contains “billions of live and active cultures of the LGG probiotics strain, with evidence to suggest immune health benefits when consumed as a part of balanced diet and healthy lifestyle”.

Babybel Plus+ Vitamins contains the vitamins A and B12.

Melanie Nemoy, the brand director for Babybel in the US, said: “We’re excited to plus up the goodness of Babybel with an extension that offers families an easy way to get the added nutrients they are looking for….Both variants also provide a good source of calcium and protein, contributing further to the small ways consumers can support their overall wellness this year.”

Conagra Brands launches Duncan Hines baking kits

The US manufacturer is rolling out a range of kits marketed under the sub-brand Epic.

Conagra said consumers have been “discovering the joy of baking like never before” during the pandemic.

There are five kits being launched, including one called a Fruity Pebbles Cake Kit, a tie-up with the Post Holdings cereal brand Pebbles.

Erin Tamm, senior brand manager for Duncan Hines, said the “fun new platform of offerings” were “inspired by the amazing sweet treats we see on social media and in our favorite bakeries”.

The kits will go on sale at “grocery stores and mass retailers, and at select online retailers” in early March. They have a suggested retail price of US$5.49 per box.

More vegan products from Kraft Heinz in UK

US food giant Kraft Heinz has launched additional plant-based products in the UK to coincide with Veganuary.

Its six new vegan varieties include a vegan version of its Heinz Salad Cream with a RRP of GBP2.89 (US$3.93).

Its other new products are Heinz Seriously Good Vegan Mayo, Heinz Seriously Good Vegan Chilli Mayo, Heinz Seriously Good Vegan Garlic Aioli Mayo and Heinz Beanz Burgerz, in Original and Texan variants.

The Beanz Burgers have a RRP of GBP3.00 while the mayo variants range from GBP1.89 to GBP2.89.

Heinz Beanz Protein Pot also joins the line-up, a microwaveable breakfast snack containing baked beans, spinach, sausage and scrambled egg. The 230-g pots are available in Tesco and Asda at GBP2.50.

María Pérez de Ayala, Heinz Sauces brand manager, said: “As more and more of the country is tucking into flexitarian, vegetarian, plant-based and vegan meals, and as we kick off Veganuary 2021, we wanted to make sure you can still enjoy the same great taste of Heinz you know and love, in new plant-based recipes.”

Post Holdings launches sport-nutrition bundle in UK

Post Holdings launches sport-nutrition bundle in UK

The US manufacturer has teamed up with UK grocer Morrisons to launch a “food box” of products aimed at consumers wanting products high in protein.

Available for GBP18 (US$24.42), Post’s box – which contains Premier Protein, PowerBar and Weetabix products – can be ordered from the Morrisons website and delivered to consumers.

Zoe Stroud, active nutrition brand manager at Post’s UK arm Weetabix, said: “Over recent years we’ve seen protein explode across categories and formats and by partnering with Morrisons and their successful food box format, we’re able to offer a sports nutrition box that delivers high in protein products, directly to your door. The great-value boxes also deliver against key trends emerging post Covid, with health and wellbeing at the forefront of people’s minds.”

The box contains four Premier Protein bars, four PowerBar Protein Nut bars and four Weetabix On The Go Protein drinks.

The Premier Protein bars are already on sale via UK online grocer Ocado, while Post had already been selling PowerBar through online sport and sport-nutrition retailers including Weetabix is the US group’s flagship breakfast brand in the UK.

Viennetta makes US return amid Unilever NPD push

1980s UK dessert Viennetta is to make a return to the US as part of an NPD push by Unilever’s ice-cream business across the Atlantic in 2021.

The multi-layered ice-cream cake has not been on sale in the US for 30 years but the product is being launched again in the US under local Unilever brand Good Humor.

Unilever is rolling out 25 new products across including Good Humor, Breyers, Klondike and Magnum.

Breyers, Unilever’s flagship ice-cream brand in the US, will see the addition of ten products to its range, including more lines being sold under the sub-brand CarbSmart.

Elsewhere, the company is offering Magnum Truffle Bars, additional flavours of Popsicles and a new Layers range under its Talenti Galeto brand.

Higgidy claims vegan first

The UK baked-goods company – which has a new majority shareholder – has launched what it says is the country’s first vegan quiche.

It’s the time of year when food manufacturers the world over will be falling over themselves to launch vegetarian and/or vegan fare. Higgidy has secured listings for the quiche at Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second-largest grocer by sales, plus upmarket food retailer Waitrose and pharmacist Boots.

At Boots, Higgidy is selling a 155g porcini mushroom and spinach Vegan quiche at a recommended price of GBP2.50. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are stocking a 380g spinach and roasted tomato vegan quiche, which has an RRP of GBP4.25.

Earlier this week, UK food group Samworth Brothers announced it had upped its stake in Higgidy to become the majority owner of the business.