It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The festivities are often accompanied by a hefty dose of seasonal NPD, from Rudolph cakes to mincemeat pasties and of course the highly-anticipated Christmas sandwiches.
Here British Baker rounds up some of our favourites from the nation’s food-to-go retailers.
Pret A Manger
Move over turkey; veggie and vegan-friendly NPD is a hot trend this year, with meat- and dairy-free offerings from a number of big names. For the first time this year, Pret rolled out a vegan Very Merry Christmas Lunch Sandwich (pictured). It combines grilled carrots, spinach and vegan stuffing finished with a port & orange cranberry sauce and a caramelised pecans and crispy onions.
Pret’s Veggie Christmas Lunch Sandwich, with butternut squash and Christmas pesto, also returned alongside the introduction of a veggie Festive Winter Salad, complete with sprout & apple slaw, and a Smoked Salmon, Soft Cheese & Dill Baguette.
Sleigh Girl, Sleigh! If Christmas weren’t sassy enough, Doughnut Time has rolled out a six-strong range of Christmas specials at its London store. The list includes Treat yo’ Elves – a Nutella-filled chocolate glazed doughnut topped with dark chocolate flake, holiday sprinkle mix, miniature chocolate chip cookies and a milk bottle lolly – and the aforementioned Sleigh Girl, Sleigh, topped with snowflake sprinkles, silver leaf and silver balls.
Coconut-themed Snow Money Snow Problems and chocolate orange A Very Terry Christmas also join the range, along with two vegan offerings: All the Jingle Ladies (a red velvet doughnut with vegan buttercream and a candy cane); plus Jolly AF, chocolate & coconut cream glaze topped with sprinkles and a cookie.
The festive drinks, from Billionaire’s Latte to Black Forest Hot Chocolate, stole the show on Costa’s 2017 Christmas menu, but there were a few gems on the bakery side as well.
Notably, the Rudolph Mini Cake (pictured). This individually-sized cake is made from a sticky toffee sponge complete with salted caramel frosting and glacier cherry nose and pretzel antlers offering big kids a nostalgic treat alongside their caffeine hit.
Christmas breakfast on-the-go – that’s what Starbucks’ Poached Egg & Hollandaise Croissant Roll (pictured) reminds us of. The vegetarian ‘croll’ is filled with a soft poached egg and tomato & chipotle ketchup, along with Emmental cheese, mature Cheddar and spinach.
It’s joined by the Three Cheeses & Cranberry Panini – filled with brie, Cheddar and mozzarella alongside a béchamel and cranberry sauce – and the Turkey Feast Panini which offers a twist on the traditional turkey Christmas sandwich. It features pulled turkey, maple-cured bacon and stuffing.
The controversy around the Greggs advent calendar, which featured a sausage roll in a manger, plus the return of the Festive Bake stole the limelight this year. Nevertheless, there was some interesting NPD on the Greggs menu, including the Gingerbread muffin (pictured). This twist on the festive classic comes complete with a vanilla crème centre, caramel topping and sugar star decoration.
A chocolate-covered ginger tree-shaped biscuit, Christmas cake slice and Turkey, Bacon & Cranberry Roll also joined Greggs’ seasonal menu.
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Doughnut – that’s just one of Krispy Kreme’s festive trio. The ring doughnut (pictured) is dipped in caramel icing, decorated with chocolate covered pretzels and finished with Rudolf’s red nose.
The Santa Belly, which is making a comeback this year, is filled with the signature Kreme and topped with raspberry icing and chocolate buttons. Festive Sprinkles, topped with red, white and green sprinkles and chocolate icing, has also been rolled out.
Belgian buns just got better. Warrens Bakery gave these classic creations a Yuletide twist with brandied mincemeat and rum-flavoured icing to create the Boozy Woozy Belgian Bun (pictured).
These weren’t the only items to get some Christmas sparkle – Candy Cane Sparkle Meringues were also rolled out as part of Warrens’ raft of seasonal NPD, alongside a Vegan Winter Root Pasty and Turkey Feast Pasty.
Muffin Break took traditional Christmas flavours and put them in muffins. After Eight and Cranberry & Orange variants (pictured) were rolled out along with the returning Gingerbread and Christmas Spice muffins and mince pies.
There were also savoury options in the range including a Xmas Feast Panini and Xmas Brie with Plum & Apple Chutney one.