just-food publishes the most notable product development from the international food sector, presented in bitesize format to give you a flavour of the innovation from your peers and competitors announced this week.

Wessanen launches vegetable-based desserts in France

Dutch healthy food group Wessanen has launched a range of organic, plant-based desserts into the French market under its Bjorg brand.

The company stresses the desserts are 100% vegetable and sourced from organic products only. They are certified lactose-free and low in sugar, acids and saturated fats.

They are a source of protein, without added salt, it said.

Bjorg vegetable sweets are available in seven varieties, three of which are almond-based (chocolate, vanilla and caramel) and four of which are soya-based (natural, lemon juice, chocolate and apricot). 
 

Asda grows vegan offering with food to go range

UK ‘big four’ supermarket Asda has launched an “affordable” vegan food-to-go range registered with The Vegan Society .

With each product priced at GBP2.50 (US$3.45), Asda suggests the range is one of the cheapest vegan food-to-go options available on the UK market.

Its new range of vegan products includes Onion Bhaji Wrap, Falafel and Houmous Sandwich and Mexican Bean & Rice Salad.

Asda has also further expanded its plant-based repertoire with the introduction of its first Vegan Cheddar Cheese (GBP2.00).

Aldi launches vegan range in US

German supermarket group Aldi has launched a vegan line of foods called Earth Grown in the US. 

The Earth Grown products are all meat-free and do not contain animal by-products such as eggs, honey and dairy.

The range, which varies in price from US$2.49 to $3.89 and includes chilled and frozen items, encompasses Kale/Quinoa Crunch Veggie Burgers, Vegan Shredded Cheese, Meatless Jumbo Hot Dogs or Italian sausage, Chickenless Patties or Tenders, Soy Protein Burgers and Meatless Meatballs.

All, apart from the veggie burgers, are available for a limited period.

Kind launches protein bars

US healthy snacks business Kind has launched its first protein bar.

It has launched Kind Protein From Real Food bars, which contain 12 grams of protein and no “genetically-engineered” ingredients.

Kind suggests protein bars in the US have traditionally included artificial sweeteners, which the company said tends to lead to products with an unsatisfying taste. 

“We tried to think differently about what we would want in a protein bar,” Kind’s founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky said.

The bars will be widely available from retailers with a RRP of US$1.99 per bar.

In November, Kind announced it had sold a minority stake in the business to Mars Inc.

Unilever brand Ben & Jerry’s launches vegan ice cream in UK

Unilever is spending GBP1m (US$1.4m) on a marketing campaign to promote the launch of non-dairy ice cream in the UK under its Ben & Jerry’s brand.

It suggests the range will appeal to the growing number of consumers seeking non-dairy and vegan-friendly choices. 

The line comprises three variants: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey and Peanut Butter & Cookies. They are Fairtrade-certified – an industry first for non-dairy ice creams in the UK, Unilever claims.

The Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy range has an RRP of GBP5.99. 

PepsiCo’s Walkers brand unveils Max Strong crisps

PepsiCo has launched another range of Walkers crisps in the UK.

ridged crisps in spicy flavours: Max Strong .

Intended to taste good alongside beer, the Max Strong ridged crisps will be available this month in three flavours across a heat spectrum ranging from medium to extra hot – ‘Chilli & Lime’, ‘Hot Chicken Wings’ and ‘Jalapeño & Cheese’.

All flavours will be available in a 150g sharing bag with an RRP of GBP1.99 (US$2.74) and 50g grab bag format with an RRP of GBP0.80.

There will also be one 90g Jalapeño & Cheese clip strip bag with an RRP of GBP1.00), which will launch from mid-March.

Rachel Holms, senior marketing director for Walkers at PepsiCo, said: “We saw this as an untapped opportunity in the market and have created Walkers Max Strong to complement beer, to answer this demand for a perfect snack to accompany a pint.”

Danone launches Alpro chilled coffees

Danone is launching a range of chilled coffees under the Alpro brand into the UK market.

It is rolling out two ready-to-drink one litre chilled coffees – Coffee and Soya Caramel and Coffee and Hazelnu – that are branded Alpro Caffè.

The products contain 30% less sugars than the market average, the company said, and are made with Rainforest Alliance certified coffee beans.

The packs have an RRP of GBP2.50 (US$3.43). They will debut in chillers in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide from 21 January and will be listed at other retailers from February onwards.

Haribo’s reduced-sugar Fruitilicious about to hit UK shelves

UK consumers will be able to buy reduced sugar Fruitilicious from German confectioner Haribo this month.

The new, fruit-shaped, smiley-faced sweets have 30% less sugar than regular fruit gums and come in strawberry, raspberry, pineapple, orange, apple and lemon flavours.

They are expected to arrive in UK stores in mid-January in bag sizes of 165 grams, 155g and 120g.

“Within the category’s top 25 selling hanging bags, Fruitilicious currently delivers the lowest sugar content per 100g,” Haribo said, quoting data from IRI Marketplace in the year to 3 December. “In recent blind taste tests with Haribo fans, 98% loved or liked this latest edition – enjoying the fruity flavours and the smiley faced pieces.”

Graham’s the Family Dairy launches Skyr yogurt range

Scotland-based Graham ‘s the Family Dairy has launched its Skyr Icelandic-style yogurt range in Sainsbury’s and Aldi stores.

The cultured dairy product is made from Scottish skimmed milk sourced from the company’s 100 farming partners and has nutritional benefits similar to Greek yogurt. It is high in protein, fat-free and has 30% less sugar than other flavoured yogurts.

Graham’s Skyr is available now in Sainsbury’s Scotland in natural, strawberry and passion fruit, and mango and papaya.

And in Aldi Scotland, the range is complemented by a lemon flavoured version. 

“With our new listings in Scotland, we plan to expand our reach throughout the UK in the coming months and I’m excited to hear feedback from our customers across the country,”  said managing director Robert Graham.

Wessanen launches Kallø Pop-Crisps

Dutch rice cake and healthy snack firm Wessanen has launched a bagged version of its Kallo natural food brand in the UK.

Pop-Crisps are described as a new on-the-go snacking range featuring four “premium, innovative and surprising flavours” – Himalayan Pink Salt & Hint of Black Pepper , Sea Salt & Sicilian Lemon Vinegar, Sour Cream & Dill, and Wasabi & Soy Sauce.

They are available in two pack formats; a single snack bag with an RRP of GBP0.75p for 20g and a sharing bag with an RRP of GBP1.95 for 85g.

Wessanen said Kallø Pop-Crisps are made from quality ingredients and nutritious popped corn pieces including green split pea, yellow split pea and purple corn.

They contain around only 85 calories per 20g serving.

Multiple product launches from Jack Link’s 

US meat snacks group Jack Link’s has launched five new “protein-packed” products.

They are: Lorissa’s Kitchen Beef Sticks, a one ounce meat stick in three flavours with a suggested RRP of US1.99 per stick; Jack Link’s Cold Crafted, made with beef and Wisconsin cheese and available in three flavours with beef only and three with beef and cheese with a RRP of $3.49 per pack; Jack Link’s Pork Rinds, an expansion into the chips aisle available in two flavours with a RRP of $1.99 per pack; Jack Link’s Multi-Packs featuring ten individually wrapped meat sticks in three flavour choices, with a RRP of $3.99 per pack and Jack Link’s Steak Strips, available in two flavours with a RRP of under $2.

T.D. Dixon, the company’s chief marketing officer, said: “Our teams are dedicated to bringing new consumers to the category through innovative thinking across our portfolio of brands.”

Unilever launches Magnum ice-cream tubs in US

The world’s largest ice-cream maker has rolled out its Magnum ice cream in tubs in the US.

The product, already available in markets including the UK, is available in four flavours in the US: milk chocolate vanilla; dark chocolate raspberry; milk chocolate hazelnut; and white chocolate vanilla.

Unilever has issued a suggested retail price of US$5.49.