Beets, sprouted seeds and pouch products surging in the natural products segment.
A spate of chocolate spreads has emerged, each offering a better-for-you spin. The stevia-sweetened, nut- and dairy-free Smudge Cocoa Spread from Freedom Foods claims to have 40% less sugar than the category leader. An organic, vegan chocolate spread from Date Lady is sweetened with dates.
Hope Foods, a maker of hummus, has added a trio of sweet chickpea-based spreads in dark chocolate, dark chocolate coconut and dark chocolate chile varieties. Suzie’s is launching a line of reduced-fat chocolate spreads made with 50% olives in original, sweet orange and sour cherry flavors. Love Bean delivers cocoa-kissed creaminess with four ingredients: coconut palm sugar, extra virgin coconut oil, coconut milk and cacao powder. Go Lo offers a sugar-free dark hazelnut spread sweetened with stevia.
In coconut water’s wake, new sources of natural hydration are refreshing the ready-to-drink category. Kiki Maple Sweet Water beverages are made with 100% Canadian maple sap and include four flavors: maple, maple cranberry, maple blueberry and maple strawberry.
Another maple water line called Vertical Water is naturally filtered through maple trees in the Feronia Forests. Arty Water is made by extracting nutrients from fresh artichokes to create an artichoke water sweetened with monk fruit and flavored with hints of lemon and mint. DEO Barley Water is brewed from ancient grains and boasts functional benefits. Extra Virgin Olive Water, made with byproduct from pressed olive oil, is sweetened with stevia and erythitol and contains antioxidants.
Feeding a growing appetite for global flavors, companies are adding curry to a range of product types. Qrunch Quiona Burgers features a sweet curry with lentils variety. Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn has addedThai Coconut Curry flavor. Creamy sunflower spreads from Viana includes a papaya curry variety. Ella’s Kitchen, a Hain Celestial brand, features a Thai curry vegetables with rice variety for infants. Mary’s Gone Crackers offers gluten-free, vegan curry-flavored pretzel sticks.
Keen One Quinoa features a Thai curry flavor of quinoa. SuperSeedz, a line of gourmet pumpkin seeds with sweet and savory options, offers a Curious Curry variety. Additionally, a new line of organic simmer sauces from Hain Celestial’s Imagine brand includes Thai coconut curry.
Caveman-style eating is gaining mammoth attention in packaged foods, from buffalo jerkies to raw nut-based bars. Steve’s PaleoGoods offers a range of products that includes PaleoChef sauces and dressings, PaleoKit mixes of beef jerky, nuts and berries and PaleoKrunch grainless granolas.
Designed to meet the diet’s strict standards, a new line called Mammoth Bar contains sprouted nuts and dates with such ingredients as coconut flakes, flax seeds and goji berries. Tanka bites and bars feature buffalo meat and cranberries in apple orange peel, spicy pepper, and slow-smoked original varieties.
The coconut berry primal slice from Paleo Hero is a gluten-free bar made with almond meal, honey, coconut oil and berries. Deconstructed trail mixes from The New Primal feature individually wrapped grass-fed beef jerky, dried pineapple or mango and raw nuts.
Ancient grains may be old news, but food companies are introducing quinoa and its cousins with new applications. Keen-Wah has added a functional line of quinoa-based bars: Energy, with yerba mate and cacao; Glow, with turmeric, goldenberry and pecans; and Strong, featuring hemp, maca and goji berries. The company also has a Decadence line of dark chocolate-enrobed quinoa bars.
Udi’s Gluten Free offers an Ancient Grain Crisps line, made with amaranth, quinoa, flax, sesame, millet and black seeds in sea salt, aged cheddar and jalapeno cheddar flavors. Flap Jacked Protein Pancake mixes are made with quinoa flour. Keen One has introduced snack clusters made with all organic ingredients, including quinoa, dark chocolate, almond, cashew, agave, raisin and brown rice syrup. Quinoa even serves as a dairy alternative in a quinoa milk with chia product from Freedom Foods.
Squeezable snacks are surging among children and adults alike, with new applesauce- and yogurt-based products debuting from big brands. Stonyfield and Happy Family, a Danone brand, have partnered to debut organic yogurt and fruit blends in convenient pouches. Mamma Chia added a pair of flavors to the Chia Squeeze line of chia seed-spiked fruit purees: raspberry and mango coconut. For toddlers, a new line of goat milk yogurt and fruit blends has launched from Kabrita.
Earth’s Best Organic includes several pouched purees for children with savory sophistication: chicken risotto and portabella mushrooms; turkey, red beans and brown rice; ratatouille zucchini, tomato and roasted red peppers; and eggplant, spinach, carrot and lentil. Plum Organics, a business unit of the Campbell Soup Co., also offers several pouch products for children.
Sprout has supplemented its family of children’s pouch products with new all-ages varieties of pouch smoothies and fruit and vegetable blends. Sprout Rise organic morning smoothies are made with such ingredients as whole grain oats, yogurt, coconut milk, ancient grains and tropical fruits. And debuting in resealable pouch form from Yumbutter are organic nut butters made with chia, hemp seeds and goji.
Snack makers are seeing red, as beet takes root in recently launched products. Lifeway is debuting a line of veggie kefirs that includes a beet variety. A beet vinaigrette is among a new line of dressings and marinades from Victoria’s Garden Grown.
Additionally, beet is a flavor included within a new line of savory yogurts from Blue Hill. Cinnamon Spiced Beet is among the flavors of chewy fruit and vegetable strips from Veggie-Go’s. Happy Monkey Hummus features a new beet variety with a hint of cucumber. Love Beets, a maker of beet snacks, has debuted a beet juice product with added sweetness from cherries and berries.
Other snacks include Veggie Evolution's beet-flavored vegetable crisps and a beets and shallots gourmet wafer cracker from Crunchy Foods. Debuting as part of the Fruigees line of creamy fruit snack pouches is a beet and cherry variety.
Kale continues to hail in snack chips and frozen meals, including a new broccoli and kale lasagna from Udi’s Gluten Free. But now the crop has popped up in new ways. Naked Juice’s latest flavor, Kale Blazer, features the dark leafy green in a blend with cucumber, spinach, celery and ginger.
Veggie-Go’s TropiKale chewy fruit and vegetable snack is made with mango, kiwi, kale, sweet potato, apples and guava. A new line of dressings from Victoria’s Garden Grown includes two kale varieties: Kale Lemon Herb and Sweet Kale. The superfood plays a starring role in the Kalenola line from Just Pure Foods, which has a granola crunch and consistency. A new variety of ready-to-eat popcorn from Quinn Popcorn is Kale and Sea Salt.
Snack bar makers are unwrapping savory and spicy surprises in a category dominated by chocolate and fruit flavors. Kind Healthy Snacks is debuting a new line of high-protein almond bars called Strong & Kind in such bold and spicy varieties as honey mustard, honey smoked barbecue, Thai sweet chili, hickory smoked and roasted jalapeno. Simple Squares organic snack bars include rosemary, sage and cinnamon clove varieties.
Sprouted seeds and grains tout such benefits as ease of digestion, higher fiber content and more nutrients. Brad’s Raw Foods has debuted a Sprouted Seeds line, made with pumpkin seeds that are soaked and germinated in triple filtered water. The process activates the enzymes in the seed, making it more nutritious and easier to digest, according to the company. The organic, gluten-free products include sour supreme, smoky chipotle and Brooklyn pizza flavors.
The Hain Celestial Group is launching organic Sprouted Rice Dream rice drink in its lineup of dairy alternatives. Better 4 U! has added a Mediterranean-style frozen pizza made with a sprouted grain crust. Pretzel twists from Shiloh Farms are made with sprouted whole wheat flour and chia seeds.
Sea salt and caramel are sharing the spotlight in a number of new baked foods and frozen dessert products. Yasso has added to its line of frozen Greek yogurt bars a sea salt caramel variety with 100 calories and 6 grams of protein. New soft-baked cookies from Udi’s Gluten Free includes a salted caramel cashew variety. Arctic Zero added a sea salt caramel flavor to its line of lower-calorie frozen desserts.
Sea salt caramel is among several new additions to the elli Quark brand of creamy German-style yogurts. Kind Healthy Snacks is adding to its nuts and spices line of bars a caramel almond and sea salt flavor with 7 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. A sea salt caramel flavor also debuted from a new line of Dream non-dairy almond-based gelato desserts from Hain Celestial.