The Co-op has unveiled its spring bakery NPD, including an Easter doughnut, lemon meringue iced fingers and hot cross bun-flavoured flapjacks.
Rolling into stores from 14 February, the five new bakery products draw on traditional Easter flavours, such as spices and dried fruit, alongside more indulgent ones including chocolate.
“Easter is all about chocolate or fruit,” Laurel Gilbert, product developer at The Co-op, told British Baker. “Shoppers still want something traditional at Easter. They’re looking for that familiarity in products – something they know they’re going to like.”
The NPD joins repeat lines – Irresistible Brioche Cranberry & Orange Hot Cross Buns and standard ones available pre-packed or from the in-store bakery – which are already in-store.
Here’s a run-down of Co-op’s new Easter lines:
This chocolate-coated Easter doughnut represents The Co-op’s first foray into premium doughnuts, but at the everyday price of 89p.
“It’s all about visual appeal at Easter – for example, the front-loaded Easter eggs that move away from the well-packaged egg to clear packaging that really showcases the egg. We’ve drawn on this visual appeal in in-store bakery for our Easter egg doughnut.”
The base of this Easter treat is a chocolate-glazed ring doughnut, in which the middle has not been entirely popped out, with three mini chocolate eggs in the middle and chocolate sprinkles. “It has that Easter nest appearance,” Gilbert explained.
Joining the Easter doughnut in-store is the Easter Egg Muffin, a repeat from last year’s range, which comprises a chocolate muffin with chocolate injection and half an Easter egg on top.
Lemon Meringue Finger Buns
There’s little explanation needed for these bright iced buns.
“Lemon is a classic flavour at Easter and spring,” Gilbert said. “These iced fingers have lemon icing and meringue pieces on top of them.”
They also showcase Co-op’s Easter packaging which, like many of the products, draws on traditional themes and colours including Easter egg detail at the sides and colours of green, blue, pink and purple across the various lines.
Chocolate & Fudge Hot Cross Buns and Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns showcase the key trends of chocolate and fruit arguably better than any other bakery format. The Co-op has tapped both of these with its latest NPD.
“The Chocolate & Fudge Hot Cross Buns are non-spiced and they’re mini, so really handy to eat on-the-go – you can have one and it doesn’t necessarily need to be buttered,” Gilbert said. “Co-op is all about convenience, so the mini option was a really obvious gap for us as we haven’t done it before.”
For those in search of more traditional fare, Co-op is launching Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns. “Last year we did a sourdough hot cross bun, but this year we wanted to keep it really simple, really fruited, so it had as much fruit as possible and also a bit of honey to add that bit of sweetness.”
Hot Cross Bun Spiced Flapjacks
Available in grab bags of eight for £1, these Hot Cross Bun Spiced Flapjacks see the traditional flavours of Easter expanded into a new format. The mini flapjacks include raisins alongside traditional spices found in hot cross buns.
“It’s not just a generic spice or a Christmas cake spice; we’ve really worked hard to deliver that hot cross bun flavour,” added Gilbert. “With the butter you get from the flapjack, you feel like you are eating a hot cross bun in a flapjack format.”
Also tapping into the key trends of fruit and chocolate are mini Raspberry Chocolate Brownies in a grab bag format. They feature pieces of raspberry, as well as raspberry flavour, in a brownie.