NPD Trend Tracker: From Quality Street-flavoured coffee to vegan Nutella

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Chocolate's on our radar this week, with confirmation that a plant-based version of Nutella will be launching in the autumn. GettyImages/mpephotos
Chocolate's on our radar this week, with confirmation that a plant-based version of Nutella will be launching in the autumn. GettyImages/mpephotos

Related tags Npd Nestlé Kitkat Nutella Ferrero

Chocolate’s on our radar this week, in a myriad of forms: from spreads to KitKats, and even in coffee. Check out the latest in new product development here.

Plant-based Nutella: What we know so far

Ferrero has confirmed its famed chocolate hazelnut spread range is expanding. Enter: plant-based Nutella.

Nutella has a long and rich history. After World War II, when cocoa was scarce and costly, chocolate makers sought to bulk up their products with alternative ingredients. In Piedmont in Italy, hazelnut was an obvious choice.

After a few iterations of different chocolate and hazelnut products, the first jar of hazelnut and cocoa cream came onto the scene in 1964. The following year, Nutella’s iconic jar design was created, and sales expanded from Italy to Germany, followed by France and Australia in the years to come.

In this year, 2024, Ferrero is celebrating Nutella’s 60th​ anniversary. And with that, has announced the brand is expanding into plant-based. A vegan offering is on the horizon, with a launch planned for Autumn.

“At Ferrero, we are always scouting and exploring new categories and emerging food trends. By leveraging innovative spirit and decades of expertise of our beloved global brands, we are now preparing to launch Nutella Plant-Based (in a few European countries)…” a company spokesperson told FoodNavigator.

Ferrero is remaining tight-lipped about the final recipe’s ingredients, said the new formulation will ‘deliver the same unmistakable experience’ when it replaces milk with plant-based ingredients.

The company wants to deliver a new choice that’s able to bring ‘even more’ people to the brand.

Banoffee Pie, but good for the gut

biotiful
Image credit: Biotiful

A mashup of banoffee pie flavours with gut health-supporting probiotics has been bottled by Biotiful Gut Health.

The UK brand is describing its new line drinks as ‘dessert-inspired kefir’. Flavours include Banoffee Pie, Caramelised Biscuit, and Lemon Drizzle. The range aims to ‘democratise’ gut health, offering a drink that combines mainstream dessert-inspired flavours with a kefir drink full of live cultures.

All three SKUs are a source of calcium and vitamin B12.

“I’m excited to see how consumers respond to this Delightful Kefir Drinks launch – combining health and taste in one truly accessible and naturally delicious proposition,” said Biotiful Gut Health founder Natasha Bowes.

The products are now available in all major UK retailers.

Nescafé teams up with Aero and Quality Street

NEW Nescafé Collaborations
Image credit: Nescafé

Nescafé is teaming up with two of its parent company’s chocolate brands – Aero and Quality Street – on a new line of instant coffee sachets.

The limited-edition range includes two new frothy coffee SKUs: one is Aero Peppermint-flavoured, and the other Quality Street Green Triangle-flavoured. They join Nescafé’s Aero Golden Honeycomb Mocha product.

Both new offerings are made with fresh milk, drinking chocolate, and notes of either peppermint or hazelnut, at 78kcal per mug. They are also compliant with the UK’s high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) laws, meaning they can be displayed anywhere in stores.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with two of our iconic Nestlé chocolate brands,” said Ingrid Hayes, marketing director of Nescafé Soluble Coffee at Nescafé UK & Ireland.

“These coffees combine the beloved flavours of Nescafé with the classic taste of Aero Peppermint and Quality Street Green Triangle. We are excited to bring these indulgent and unique experiences to coffee lovers.”

Sparkling water made with cocoa fruit juice

FIZZ range
Image credit: Sweet Freedom

A new line of functional flavoured sparkling water sweetened with cocoa fruit juice is coming to market. Sold under the Sweet Freedom Fizz brand, the new offering comes with a ‘unique taste profile’, whilst avoiding artificial sweeteners and refined sugar.

The range includes four flavours: Lime & Mint, Raspberry & Cranberry, Mango & Mandarin, and Pineapple & Coconut.

The cocoa fruit juice comes from an often-overlooked part of the cocoa fruit, which not only embraces the concept of upcycling but helps support cocoa farmers with additional income.  

“As consumer concerns around artificial sweeteners grow, transitioning into the functional drinks space felt like a logical progression for us,” said Deborah Pynder, co-founder of Sweet Freedom.

“When we discovered Koa and the potential for sustainable cocoa juice as a natural sweetener, we were eager to use it in our new drinks. We can’t wait for our customers to enjoy a cold can of Sweet Freedom Fizz, especially with summer and BBQ/picnic season on the way.”

Golden syrup-flavoured flapjacks

Multipack-Mock-Up 1 (1)
Image credit: Lyle's Golden Syrup

UK golden syrup brand Lyle’s is expanding into the ambient snack category with the launch of ready-to-eat flapjacks. The offering combines Lyle’s Golden Syrup and rolled oats.

The company is describing the new snacks as ‘gloriously gooey and generous’, which it hopes will align with the British consumer’s on-the-go purchase habits.

“For a century and a half, Lyle’s has added fun and flavour to the kitchen cupboards of households across the UK. Now we’re making it easier for consumers to enjoy Lyle’s on the go, with a major launch for the brand in the ambient snacks category,” said Nick James, marketing director for Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

“We’re sure that our launch…can simultaneously provide a great tasting product for these consumers, and that bringing the power of the Lyle’s brand to a segment that doesn’t have a clear brand lead with drive incremental value for retailers.

“Lyle’s Golden Syrup Original Flapjacks is a grand step forward in the Lyle’s journey…” said James.

The product is available in multipacks from Sainsbury’s and Ocado at an RRP of £2.50.

KitKat Chunky with double the choc

kitkat-chunky-crunchy-double-chocolate-feed
Image credit: Nestlé

A brand-new KitKat Chunky is hitting stores: KitKat Chunky Double Chocolate.

For those wondering how a chocolate bar can get even more chocolatey, the new offering is made from a chocolate crispy wafer, and coated with milk chocolate.

Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland says the new bar aims to impress ‘even the most discerning’ of chocolate lovers.

“We’re super excited about this new limited edition KitKat Chunky bar because it does such a good job of combining a delicious taste with an exciting texture,” said Torin Zieboll, assistant brand manager for KitKat.

“With double the chocolate and tasty crunch, we think the KitKat Chunky Crunchy Double Chocolate will become an instant favourite among Chunky fans.”

The 42g bar (RRP 75p) comes in a wrapper that is recyclable if taken back to most UK supermarkets.

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