It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as the next batch of retailers have unwrapped their festive NPD.
Last week Asda, Tesco and Ocado’s festive bakery plans were revealed, with menu items including sloe gin mince pies, black forest cheesecake and a Yorkshire pudding wrap.
Waitrose, Co-op and Fortnum & Mason were next in line to wave the festive flag, with each offering a unique take on Christmas bakery produce with innovation in the vegan and gluten-free categories, as well as party food and indulgent desserts.
Salted caramel gets a makeover at the Co-op this year, as it gives festive fare a subtle spice with the additions of ginger, cinnamon and star anise. This takes form in its Irresistible Spiced Salted Caramel Roulade (rsp £4.00, main image, centre) and its Irresistible Luxury Collection of chocolates, which includes a spiced salted caramel filled variant.
The convenience retailer has also reinvented its entire range of mince pies with new recipes, making the pastry thinner and the filling denser. It also added the Irresistible Winter Eve’s Pudding Tarts, which take inspiration from the old-style Victorian pudding and is based on a classic recipe from Mrs Beeton’s 1841 cookbook. The tartswill sit alongside the category as an alternative to the traditional option. These are sold in packs of four and priced at £2.00.
Sticking with sweet treats, Co-op has also launched Clemen-thyme Profiteroles (rsp £5.00/12 pack), which are filled with a clementine cream and feature an orange-coloured top, complete with a leaf decoration.
Ruby the Reindeer is back and has brought with her some friends in the form of Ruby the Reindeer Cupcakes (£2.50/two-pack). There are also new packs of biscuits in Mince Pie Shortbread, Spiced Salted Caramel Shortbread with Chocolate Coating, Irish Cream & White Chocolate Cookie and Chocolate, Orange & Rum Cookie (rsp £2.00/200g pack).
In the party food category, the retailer has added vegan options, including the Asian Sharing Selection and Indian Sharing Selection (rsp £2.25 each or two for £4.00), as well as a vegetarian Three Cheese Fondue Sharing Bread (rsp £4.00, main image, right).
Fortnum & Mason
In the biscuit category, Fortnum’s has added Speculaas Sandwich Biscuits (main image, right), which are made up of dark chocolate encased between two nutmeg, clove and cinnamon spiced biscuits. It also has the Christmas Merrilossus Biscuits (main image, left), which are packed with fruit, nuts and spice and enrobed in thick chocolate, and the Gluten-Free Nutcracker Biscuits, which contain pistachios, almonds, cranberries and oats.
For novelty options, it has launched the Mini Musical Tin (pictured right) – an all-spinning, all-singing tin that houses Fortnum’s Chocolate and Caramel Shortbread and plays Jingle Bells. Fortnum’s recommends it as the ideal gift for any host. It’s Iced biscuits will be given a seasonal twist and be available in Nutcracker, Mr & Mrs Claus and Nativity Scene variants (priced from £16.95-£38.95).
Elsewhere, it has added the Figgy Christmas Pudding (rsp £12.95, main image, centre) as an alternative for those who don’t want the traditional option, and launched a 3kg version of its Fortnum’s Panettone, priced at £100.
This year, Waitrose has developed a new signature flavour – Plum, Ginger & Honey. This can be found across its range in items such as the Plum, Spiced Ginger & Honey Mince Pies (rsp £2/four-pack) as well as a glaze on several of its meat mains.
In the Heston From Waitrose range, the retailer has launched the Fig & Port Cheese Cake (rsp £12) – a baked sour cream cheesecake with a tangy fig and port caramel centre, sitting on a buttery lemon shortbread ‘cheeseboard base’. It has also developed a new Heston From Waitrose Pistachio Stollen Loaf (rsp £7), which will also be available in bites (price TBC) for food to go. The loaf product contains a pistachio marzipan, topped with apricot jam, sweetened cherries, pistachio and almond flakes and a dusting of sugar.
A key focus for the retailer’s festive NPD this year is vegan foods, and it has developed several new products with the aim of offering a full vegan Christmas dinner. One of the main course options is the Root En Croute (£5.99/two-pack, main image, centre) which entails roasted carrots marinated with smoky paprika and dill in a spinach sauce, encased in a lattice of puff pastry. In the party food category, it has added the Vegan Moroccan Mushroom & Chickpea Pittas (rsp £6/12-pack) and the Vegan Mini Beet Wellingtons (rsp £7/9-pack).
As an alternative Christmas main for meat-eaters or something for Boxing Day, there is the new Waitrose 1 Pork & Pancetta Christmas Cracker (rsp £6.99). This giant sausage roll is filled with pork, pancetta, cranberries and sage & onion stuffing.
Finally, in desserts, Waitrose has launched what it describes as ‘an éclair to share’ in the form of the Chocolate, Caramel & Vanilla Choux Wreath (rsp £13, main image, right). It also added the Bellini Bubble, which comprises a vanilla sponge topped with peach compote, covered with a white chocolate mousse with a splash of prosecco (rsp £13.50, main image, left).
Here’s what other retailers have planned for Christmas:
- Aldi and Booths
- Asda, Ocado and Tesco
- Iceland, Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons
- Bakery brands including Biscuiteers, Central Foods and Mindful Bites
- Bakery brands including Aryzta, Burton’s Biscuits and McVitie’s
- Food-to-go specialists including Pret A Manger, Costa and Starbucks
- Bakery brands including Paul UK, Maître Choux, Hummingbird Bakery and Paul Rhodes