Caffe Nero Maritozzi Buns  2100x1400

Source: Caffé Nero

Maritozzi Buns

Independent coffee house Caffè Nero has rolled out its summer menu for 2024 at stores nationwide, aimed at bringing a slice of Italian decadence to UK shores.

Headlining the trio of bakery sweet treats in the line-up is the Maritozzi Bun, described as the ‘star of Italian breakfasts’ and something that ‘tantalises the tastebuds with an instant hit of Italian sunshine’.

The bun, which takes its name from the Italian for “almost-husband” as men would traditionally gift them to their fiancés, is one of the UK’s latest viral food trends with videos on TikTok showing Londoners enjoying them from local Italian bakeries. Google searches for ‘Italian Cream Buns’ have leapt 450% over the past 12 months, according to Google Trends data recorded on 8 May 2024.

Caffé Nero’s version of the Rome delicacy consists of soft sourdough brioche – made using a sourdough that is over 35 years old and proved for more than eight hours – infused with lemon and orange. The bun is then filled with a light sweetened cream and finished with a dusting of icing sugar.

The company noted the indulgent but light bun was typically eaten for breakfast, and pairs beautifully with a coffee for a morning or mid-afternoon burst of energy.

Another newcomer to the menu is the Italian Blueberry Mousse Cake, which features ‘zingy sponge’ sandwiched between layers of light blueberry mousse and white chocolate crispy balls, topped with fruity jelly and blueberries.

Rounding out the sweet trio is the Sicilian Lemon Meringue Cheesecake comprising layers of creamy lemon cheesecake with a zesty tier of Sicilian lemon curd on a crunchy biscuit base, topped with fluffy Italian meringue.

“The launch of our Italian inspired menu really does signal the launch of summer in the UK,” commented Will Stratton-Morris, CEO at Caffè Nero UK, adding: “You won’t believe how light and delicious the Maritozzi Bun is”.

In February, the Nero Group (which also owns coffee shop brands Coffee#1 and Harris+Hoole) reported 17% sales growth for the first half of its financial year, with group revenue hitting £265m. This followed news that Caffé Nero was set to open its first drive-thru store at Stanstead Airport.

With 762 stores nationwide as of the start of the year, the Nero Group came fifth in the Top 75 list of out-of-home businesses in our Bakery Market Report 2024, behind Costa, Greggs, Subway, and Starbucks, respectively. 

The continued rise of flatbreads as a snadwich carrier has seen both Greggs and Costa unveil filled flatbread recipes on their new summer menus recently, among other savoury and sweet bakery NPD.