KANSAS CITY — Food manufacturers are going nuts for innovation that includes ingredients such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts. Nuts are spreading into such categories as yogurts, hot cereals, snack mixes and bars.
Chobani is combining its Greek yogurt with nut butters in its new lineup. Varieties include chocolate Greek yogurt with hazelnut butter; honey Greek yogurt with almond butter; plain Greek yogurt with almond butter; vanilla Greek yogurt with almond butter; and vanilla Greek yogurt with cashew butter. The yogurts provide 11 to 12 grams of protein and 160 to 180 calories per cup.
Purely Elizabeth is harnessing the protein power of almonds in its new Cauli Hot Cereal. Made with a freeze-dried diced cauliflower base and almond protein powder, the grain-free, single-serve hot cereals mimic the look and mouthfeel of traditional oats, according to the company. Cauli Hot Cereal is paleo and keto friendly, certified gluten-free, Non-GMO Project verified, vegan and made with organic ingredients. Sweetened with coconut sugar, both varieties contain 8 grams of protein, 15 grams of net carbs and 190 to 200 calories.
Cinnamon Almond Cauli Hot Cereal is made with almond protein powder, coconut flakes, almonds, freeze-dried cauliflower, coconut sugar, freeze-dried banana, chia seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon and coconut milk powder.
Strawberry Hazelnut Cauli Hot Cereal contains almond protein powder, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, freeze-dried cauliflower, hazelnuts, freeze-dried strawberries, chia seeds and flax seeds.
Lehi Valley Trading Co. is launching a line of gourmet candied nuts in five varieties: maple bourbon pecans, vanilla cranberry cashews, cocoa roasted almonds, ginger citrus almonds and cocoa coconut almonds.
“We began experimenting with different nuts, textures and flavors like cocoa, coconut, cranberry and citrus, and we quickly realized we could take this to a whole new gourmet experience,” said Christie Frazier-Coleman, vice-president of marketing for Lehi Valley Trading Co. “This was truly a collaborative process between the Freeman family (company owners), our product innovation team and our manufacturing team. A lot of creative people came together to use Lehi Valley’s in-house capabilities and help produce some unexpected combinations for consumers looking to indulge in a unique snack with an upscale taste.”
Lehi Valley also is introducing Delicias Gloria Capirotada, a new Hispanic-inspired snack mix featuring a blend of salty peanuts, raw almonds and sweet and tart fruits.
Also innovating in the gourmet snack nut segment is Pear’s Gourmet, a brand of Marathon Ventures, Inc. Three new flavors are joining the brand’s portfolio: cocoa dusted truffle peanuts, salted caramel churro flavored almonds, and sugar cookie confetti cashews. Packaged in 7-oz resealable pouches, the nuts contain 130 to 160 calories per serving, and the cocoa dusted truffle peanuts and salted caramel churro flavored almonds are gluten-free.
“We keep an eye on consumer direction and trends and think about how we can apply that to good-for-you, plant-based nuts. We have so many great ideas in the pipeline that some consider us the Ben & Jerry’s of the snack nut world.” — John Larsen, Marathon Ventures
“Whether it be favorite restaurants, grocery retailers or online shopping venues, consumers are looking for ‘what’s new and what’s next’ in their culinary experience. Pear’s Gourmet is our answer to that,” said John Larsen, president of Marathon Ventures and brand owner of Pear’s Gourmet. “We keep an eye on consumer direction and trends and think about how we can apply that to good-for-you, plant-based nuts. We have so many great ideas in the pipeline that some consider us the Ben & Jerry’s of the snack nut world.”
Bars also are being bolstered with various nut varieties. Probar L.L.C. is adding two new flavors to its portfolio of meal on-the-go bars that include both nut butters and nuts. The new blueberry muffin and s’mores plant-based bars are blended, not baked, and also include seeds and fruits. The gluten-free bars contain 9 to 10 grams of protein per serving.
“We’ve always believed in providing natural, delicious and convenient foods that boost your everyday performance,” said Jeff Coleman, co-founder and c.e.o. of Probar. “We’re excited to introduce two new summer-inspired meal bars. Nothing says summer like fresh blueberry muffins or s’mores by a campfire, and our new flavors bring these delicious flavors to life in a way that doesn’t weigh you down and delivers sustained energy for the adventure ahead.”
New Quantum Energy Squares from Quantum are plant-based, coffee-infused energy bars made with almonds, peanuts, organic quinoa, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut. Containing caffeine from organic green unroasted coffee that is equal to one espresso shot, the bars provide 10 grams of protein and contain 200 to 210 calories. The certified gluten-free, non-G.M.O. bars come in three flavors: peanut butter dark chocolate, caffe mocha almond chip and coconut almond chip.