Progressive Grocer Names the Best New Products of 2021
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09/17/2021

Progressive Grocer Names the Best New Products of 2021

This year’s slate of Editors’ Picks does more with less

Confirming a trend of some years’ standing, many of the products chosen as 2021 Editors’ Picks proudly touted their short ingredient lists, stressing their commitment to uncomplicated recipes and to quality over quantity. For some items, like Ark Foods Clean Label Salads, that brand proposition was in the name, while others contented themselves with providing their bona fides in their entry descriptions.

These products, which spanned a wide range of categories the frozen department, with Nubocha Dairy Free Gelato; the refrigerated case, with Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Egg Bites; the snack aisle, with Pipcorn Heirloom Snack Crunchies; the baking section, with LusOasis’ pancake and waffle mixes; and even the health, beauty and wellness offerings, with Topco’s TopCare Mineral Continuous Spray Sunscreen, to name just a few  received a big boost from consumers preoccupied with optimal health amid a lingering pandemic, but make no mistake: Simpler formulations, crafted with “real,” easy-to-pronounce ingredients, are here to stay.

The most popular of those ingredients was also in line with a huge trend of the past few years plant protein, as evidenced by the dozens of items boasting one or more types of this coveted attribute. Entries that won over our editorial judges included American Flatbread Meatless Evolution Plant-Based Pizza, Blount’s Family Kitchen Plant-Based Chili, Bubbies Vegan Mochi Ice Cream, plant milk products from Califia Farms and newcomer NotMilk, Eat the Change Organic Mushroom Jerky, Nasoya Plantspired Breakfast Scramble Superfood Skillet, PlantBoss Meatless Crumbles, RightRice Risotto, Seapoint Farms Mighty Lil’ Lentils, and more.

Meanwhile, keto- and Paleo-friendly products continued to provide lower-carb versions of such consumer favorites as ice cream, cookies, breakfast food, baking mixes, sweeteners, nutrition bars and meat snacks.

Another key ongoing trend noted by Progressive Grocer editors was the growing contingent of private-brand products from the likes of Lidl, Schnucks and, as mentioned earlier, Topco. As own-brand penetration rises in the United States, these items offer price-conscious shoppers affordable on-trend innovation across the store.

In 2021, PG’s editorial team sifted through a record number of submissions to arrive at 100-plus Editors’ Picks, which can be found below.

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1776 BBQ Sauce

$2.99 per 21-ounce bottle

After a successful launch of a restaurant and whiskey, country music star John Rich has turned his Redneck Riviera brand into a lifestyle of “work hard, play hard.” The latest product tied to the brand is 1776 BBQ Sauce, a condiment completely sourced in the USA (including the bottle). Unlike other barbecue sauces, the first ingredient is tomato purée, and the sauce is made with real sugar. Red Gold is donating a portion of the proceeds from every bottle to Folds of Honor, a charity that provides educational scholarships to families of fallen military members. Meanwhile, the company plans to continue growing the brand through upcoming line extensions, while using more marketing tactics to gain trial, including collaborating with influencers who are known for grilling. 

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a2 Milk Half and Half

$4.49 per 32-fluid-ounce carton

Following the successful launch of its a2 Milk line, the a2 Milk Co. recently introduced Half and Half made by cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein. These products are targeted at consumers who get stomach discomfort from the regular A1/A2 protein mix of dairy, or just prefer the taste of the A2 version. The Half and Half contains only real cows’ milk and cream, with no added sugar, additives or rBST growth hormone. The global market for milk containing only the A2 protein is forecast to expand at a 10.3% compound annual growth rate over the next decade, according to the company, which envisions the A2 market as a lucrative premium segment for grocers. It’s supporting its latest launch with an integrated marketing campaign.

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Airly Oat Clouds

$2.99-$3.69 per 7.5-ounce package

Airly Foods is pioneering what it claims is the first-ever climate-friendly snack developed to remove greenhouse gases from the air: Airly Oat Cloud crackers. The company farms in a way that its oats can remove carbon dioxide from the air by sequestering it into the soil. Then, to offset carbon dioxide during production and transportation, Airly invests in agricultural and forestry projects by purchasing carbon credits, which further benefits the land. Every box of Airly Oat Clouds has the carbon footprint printed on the back. To help further educate consumers, the brand is using such marketing efforts as content creation and social engagement. The crackers come in both sweet and savory options.

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Alex’s Awesome Sourdough Plant-Based Vegan Margherita

$8.99 per 13-ounce box

Alex’s Awesome Sourdough is the first frozen pizza made with naturally fermented sourdough, which makes it easier to digest and with a lower glycemic load, according to the company. The Vegan Margherita uses dairy-free cheese from Forager and other ingredients from carefully curated local suppliers, most of which are organic certified. Alex’s Awesome Sourdough is using a combination of aggressive trade support and consumer outreach to spread the word about its pizzas. In addition, the company has several new SKUs ready to launch in 2022. 

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American Flatbread Meatless Evolution Plant-Based Pizza

$8.99 per 11.2-ounce box

In response to the growing trend of flexitarian diets, American Flatbread developed what it says is its most requested line of frozen pizzas yet: Meatless Evolution. The plant-based products, which contributed to the brand’s nearly 30% growth in the conventional retail channel in 2020, include two vegan and two vegetarian options to cater to various lifestyles. American Flatbread sources 100% organically grown wheat, creating relationships with local New England farmers, and sources organic ingredients for sauces and toppings. Its plant-based meat toppings are powered by pea protein. The company has developed a successful direct-to-consumer business and is backing its retail launch with media outreach, including targeted advertising and social media platforms.

 

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Amy’s Kitchen Organic Tortilla Soup

$3.29 per 14.2-ounce can

The latest soup offering from Amy’s Kitchen was inspired by Mexican flavors and features organic sun-ripened tomatoes, corn masa, bell peppers, black beans and fire-roasted sweet potatoes. It also satisfies a number of dietary restrictions and preferences, including gluten-, dairy- and lactose-free; vegan; kosher; and plant-based. Amy’s Kitchen is promoting the soup via social media, primarily Instagram, to build awareness among its fan base and beyond. If consumers start repeating their stock-up shopping habits from last year, this zesty soup is a good one to have on hand.

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Andrew & Everett Rustic Thick Cut Shreds

$4.99-$5.99 per 8-ounce package

In the latest offering in its natural cheese portfolio, Andrew & Everett is introducing Rustic Thick Cut Shredded Cheese, a larger-cut shred that’s great for melting and maintains its flavor and cheesy texture when heated. Available in Sharp White Cheddar, Mozzarella and Fiesta Blend varieties, these cheeses start with high-quality milk from grass-fed cows that are raised humanely on family-owned farms throughout America’s heartland. The products contain no artificial hormones or preservatives. Since the launch occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrew & Everett joined forces with influencers across the nation to promote their favorite home-cooked recipes using the shreds. The company has observed that consumers are purchasing thick-cut cheeses to use in different ways, resulting in organic sales gains versus trade-off gains with regular-cut cheeses.

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Ark Foods Clean Label Salads

$4.99-$5.99 per 6.5- to 7-ounce bowl

Ark Foods is bringing plant-based innovation to the grab-and-go category with its new line of Clean Label Salads. While most salad bowls are filled with processed cheeses and dairy-laden dressings, these salads offer a ready-to-eat wholly vegan meal with a short list of ingredients. They also feature some unexpected veggie options: For example, Cashew Kale Caesar contains watermelon radishes and toasted chickpea croutons, while Crunchy Kale Ranch highlights sundried tomatoes and shredded Brussels sprouts. Other varieties include Ginger Sesame Greens and Bright Pesto Greens. Ark Foods hopes to encourage repeat purchases by keeping the price point accessible for many consumers. Meanwhile, the company will continue promoting its new line with an omnichannel approach, following up on National Salad Month promotions that it conducted in July.

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Aussie Select Lamb Pastrami

$23.99 per package (weights vary)

Billing its Lamb Pastrami as the only lamb charcuterie on the market, Aussie Select hopes to persuade consumers that lamb belongs in the deli. Its pasture-raised all-natural lamb offers an “intense, mouthwatering flavor,” according to the company. Aussie Select is backing its claims with a robust integrated marketing campaign focused on the retail and foodservice trade. The company plans to eventually expand the SKU set to other items like salami, pepperoni and mortadella, and is exploring the idea of seasonal offers for holidays including Christmas and Easter. Lamb Pastrami has performed well with consumers so far, with particular appeal for Muslim and Jewish communities, according to Aussie Select’s research.

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Babe 100 Rosé

$8.99 per 4-pack of 8-ounce cans

With just 100 calories and 0 grams of sugar per can, Babe 100 is the latest bubbly alcoholic beverage from Anheuser-Busch/Babe Wine that’s sure to appeal to the calorie- conscious consumer. Each can is equal to one full glass of wine, at 6.9% ABV. The product recently launched with support from social/digital media and has performed well in test locations, according to Anheuser-Busch. Varieties include rosé, red and white. In July, the brand launched a variety pack featuring all three flavors.

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Babybel plus+ Probiotic and Babybel plus+ Vitamins

$4.49 per 4.23-ounce 6-count package

Babybel plus+ offers the same cheesy taste of Mini Babybel that many consumers already love, but now with added probiotics or vitamins to appeal to those looking for functional benefits in their foods. Each Babybel plus+ Probiotic contains 1 billion live and active LGG probiotic cultures, while Babybel plus+ Vitamins provides vitamins A and B12, which are touted as supporting eye health and metabolism, respectively. When the products hit the shelves earlier this year, Babybel executed a 360-degree launch plan including video, social media and influencer tie-ins. To prompt trial and retail sell-through, the company rolled out national consumer promotions as well as retail-specific activations. Babybel says that it anticipates more functional dairy snacks like these in the future.

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Bio360 Probiotics Cognitive Support Formula

$24.98-$31.98 for 30 tablets

Bio360’s Cognitive Support Formula features eight strains of probiotics, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has been shown to reduce stress-induced anxiety, along with vitamins B5, B6 and B12 to help with memory, focus and neurotransmitter synthesis. It also features folic acid, which plays a role in the nervous system as a neuro-protectant. The supplement is manufactured in a GMP-certified, FDA-inspected facility to maintain quality standards and to ensure efficacy. Bio360 is conducting marketing, PR, social media and influencer campaigns to promote its message that its supplements are scientifically proven and targeted for specific health needs. 

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Bio360 Probiotics Kids’ Formula

$17.98-$23.98 for 30 tablets

Probiotics specifically formulated for children have become a growing trend, especially as parents look to keep their kids as healthy as possible during pandemic times. The new Bio360 Kids’ Formula is a multistrain probiotic that supports children’s digestive balance and contains the No. 1 pharmacist-recommended strain that has been extensively studied in kids, Lactobacilllus rhamnosus GG, according to the company. Another bonus: The supplement contains no syrup, cornstarch or added sugars, and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Each probiotic is packaged in on-the-go blister packs and doesn’t require refrigeration.

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Blount’s Family Kitchen Plant-Based Chili

$6.99 per 12-ounce bowl;

With 17 grams of protein per serving, Blount’s Family Kitchen Plant-Based Chili packs a powerful punch in the refrigerated meals sections of grocers’ delis. The company bills its new product as the first plant-based chili in the fresh meal segment. Featuring a “regal chili” taste with pinto beans, plant-based crumbles, mixed bell peppers and onions all simmered in a blend of tomatoes and spices, these microwaveable bowls are now being rolled out at top grocery retail accounts, according to the company. 

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Blue Circle Lemon and Herb Salmon Salad

$5.99 per 8-ounce package; $10.99 per 16-ounce package

Made with fresh Atlantic salmon that’s sustainably farmed in Norway, Blue Circle Lemon and Herb Salmon Salad is a great catch for retailers’ delis, offering an alternative to traditional tuna salad. The salmon is packed with omega-3s and free from antibiotics and mercury. Blue Circle is committed to “feel-good standards” in its farming and fishing practices: Its fish is 100% traceable, and the company is regularly audited by third-party organizations. This is the first deli product it has launched, and so far, the item has been well received at retail. Blue Circle has supported the salmon salad via social media and a paid influencer campaign. 

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Bonafide Provisions Organic Vegetable Broth Made from 10+ Nourishing Vegetables

$4.99 per 32-ounce container

Many vegetable broths that are currently on the shelf are made from powders and concentrates that are concocted miles from an actual field. Bonafide Provisions aims to change that with what it says is a first-of-its-kind certified Organic Vegetable Broth made from more than 10 whole vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, collard greens and fennel. The broth contains no powders, extracts, concentrates, “natural” flavors, added sugar, citric acid or canola oil. Created by a nutritionist and chef, the Vegetable Broth is being promoted by traditional marketing tactics such as digital coupons, trade promotions and retail displays, as well as a robust social media strategy including educational videos on TikTok. Bonafide Provisions anticipates that its product will elevate the shelf-stable broth category and stir up interest among new shoppers.

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Brazi Bites Homestyle Breakfast Sandwiches

$4.49 per sandwich

Brazi Bites Homestyle Breakfast Sandwiches are the first single-serve better-for-you breakfast sandwiches inspired by Brazil’s popular version of grilled cheese, queijo-quente. Available in four varieties, including Turkey Bacon, Turkey Sausage, and Double Egg and Bacon, each sandwich is packed with 16 to 19 grams of protein. They’re also gluten-free and feature “clean” ingredients like nitrate-free bacon and cage-free eggs. Another compelling attribute is the packaging, which uses an innovative Micro-Grill sleeve to crisp the bread, essentially turning consumers’ microwaves into a panini grill. Brazi Bites launched the Breakfast Sandwiches in frozen departments earlier this year at Target and has been actively supporting its rollout with both national and regional retailers.

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Bubbies Individually Wrapped Vegan Mochi Ice Cream

$1.49-$2.00 per 1.25-ounce package

Taking the mochi ice cream trend to a new level is category leader Bubbies with its individually wrapped vegan mochi ice cream in strawberry and chocolate flavors. The mindfully indulgent treats bring a plant-based option to the mochi category at a time when plant-based is among the most desirable attributes a product can have. Bubbies took super-premium coconut milk-based ice cream and wrapped it in sweet and delicate mochi dough to provide consumers with an 80-calorie on-the-go indulgent snacking experience that’s certified vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO. To top it off, the packaging uses 75% less plastic than competitors, according to Bubbies.

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Califia Farms Hemp Barista Blend and Mushroom Oat Barista Blend

$5.99 per 32-fluid-ounce carton

At-home baristas have a new friend in Califia Farms Mushroom Oat Barista Blend, the only ready-to-use oat milk and creamer blended with certified organic cordyceps and lion’s mane mushrooms. The product steams, stretches and foams to make the barista experience delicious, easy and accessible. Tapping into the trends of increased at-home coffee consumption, growth of oat milk and demand for functional mushrooms, Califia Farms Mushroom Oat Barista Blend, launched at leading natural and national retailers, including Whole Foods Market and Kroger. The product is shelf-stable, allergen-free and low-sugar. Meanwhile, shelf-stable Hemp Barista Blend, a smooth, delicious hemp milk and creamer with a mild, nutty flavor, is an excellent source of calcium and contains omega-3 ALA fatty acids with no added sugar. To help drive demand, Califia Farms partnered with influencers to create social and video content to showcase the products.

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Califia Farms Protein Oat

$5.99 per 48-fluid-ounce bottle

Boasting a nutrition profile that it contends is superior to conventional dairy milk, Califia Farms Protein Oat is a one-of-a-kind protein-packed oat milk that provides consumers with a low-sugar option -- just 8 grams of protein. Consumers want more protein in their diets, often from plant-based sources, and Califia Farms Protein Oat delivers, with as much protein as dairy milk from high-quality plant-based ingredients such as sunflower oil, sunflower butter and pea protein, while outperforming dairy milk’s nutritional values with all nine essential amino acids; complete omega-3, -6 and -9; vitamin D; potassium; and 45% of the daily value of calcium per serving. Protein Oat stands out in the plant-based milk category with higher protein levels than competitive offerings, which helped it to secure distribution at Whole Foods Market, Target, Kroger and Sprouts Farmers Market.

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Cappello’s Almond Flour Ravioli

$9.99-$11 per 9.9-ounce package

Tapping into the trends of clean label and free-from, Cappello’s Almond Flour Ravioli is made with simple, real food ingredients, including cage-free eggs and almond flour. These tasty packages of pasta come in three frozen-fresh, restaurant-quality choices: Five Cheese, Spinach and Cheese, and Butternut Squash. The product sought to stand out from others in the category by blending thoughtful nutrition and best-in-class gourmet flavors. The nutrient-dense product is packed with protein and healthy fats, and gives those with an aversion to grains a flavorful option. The Cappello’s team took a multipronged approach to the product launch, employing classic marketing techniques with a heavy dose of digital to generate awareness, trial and repeat purchase to secure increased distribution.

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Captain Omega Cod Pearls

$6.99 per 16-ounce package

Making fish fun for kids is how Captain Omega Cod Pearls has endeared itself to parents who want to feed their children nutritious protein. The MSC-certified product can be ready in 15 minutes or less, and is distinctive in the frozen aisle because it’s the only Cod Pearl product for children with a hero character starring a YouTube animated series introducing kids to seafood at an early age. In addition to the YouTube series, the product was supported with influencer campaigns, radio spots, programmatic digital advertising, Google ads, social media and merchandising product placement. The strategy worked, and looking ahead, a gluten-free option is due in 2022, with season two of “Captain Omega” set for the fourth quarter.

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Carbone Fine Food Sauces 

$8.99 per 24-ounce jar

It’s all about authenticity for Carbone Fine Food, which made a splash with the introduction of its Arrabbiata, Marinara and Tomato Basil sauces. The super-premium sauces were created by master chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi using traditional home-made processes in small batches with fresh Italian-grown tomatoes, whole onion and garlic. They also boast many of the attributes that have become key drivers of shoppers’ purchase decisions, such as vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher and  no added sugar. There are plenty of sauces claiming Italian authenticity, but to deliver on that value proposition Carbone shuns the practice of creating sauces by mixing tomato paste with dehydrated ingredients in a process that typically lasts eight minutes. Instead, the company employs an hour-long process that relies on fresh ingredients. The trio of sauces launched in March 2021, and to generate awareness, the company placed a heavy emphasis on social media, garnering more than 875,000 impressions, in addition to more than 1 billion media impressions. It’s still early days to determine the brand’s impact on the category, but additional SKUs are in the works, including a Roasted Garlic variety.

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Catalina Crunch Keto-Friendly Cereals

$8.99 per 8- or 9-ounce pouch

Consumers are crazy about Keto, and Catalina Crunch taps into that trend with its line of low-carbohydrate cereals made with 11 grams of plant proteins. Catalina Crunch Keto-Friendly Cereals’ blend of seven plant proteins and fibers is designed for optimal nutrition and to help consumers feel full longer. They don’t contain artificial ingredients, flavors or colors, and are non-GMO. With studies showing that more than 57% of Americans are reducing their sugar intake and an estimated 30 million reporting food allergies, Catalina Crunch makes it possible to enjoy cereal again. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tik Tok were leveraged to drive awareness and promote sales.

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Catalina Crunch Keto-Friendly Sandwich Cookies

$7.99 per 6.8-ounce package

To deliver a tasty treat that doesn’t sacrifice health was the mission behind the introduction of Catalina Crunch Keto-Friendly Sandwich Cookies. Available in chocolate vanilla, peanut butter, vanilla crème and chocolate mint, the cookies bridge the gap between a satisfying treat that’s plant-based, low-sugar and low-carb, yet deliciously delightful. They enable consumers to eat cookies and have their keto, too. As consumers do so, they will ingest pea protein and prebiotic fiber for a combination of 4 grams of plant protein, 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of net carbs and only 1 gram of sugar in the form of allulose.

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Cheeky Panda Plastic Free 100% FSC Certified Bamboo Bath Tissue

$8.09 per 9-pack

The Cheeky Panda brand has combined the sustainability attributes of bamboo into a bath tissue product in a unique pack size with distinctive branding elements. Doing so helped the brand break through in the tissue aisle, with shoppers looking for a highly sustainable product made from the fastest-growing plant in the world. Already available in 30 countries, Cheeky Panda is gaining distribution in the United States among retailers eager to offer a brand made from a renewable resource that doesn’t rely on plastic packaging. In addition to tissue, the brand also offers baby wipes, makeup wipes, diapers and facial tissue.

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Chomps Pepperoni Turkey

$1.99 per 1.15-ounce stick

The meat snack category has become crowded, but Chomps Pepperoni Turkey stands out with a unique blend of attributes to connect with consumers. The product uses a beef collagen casing and sources only domestic, free-range and antibiotic-free turkey that’s also 100% Non-GMO Project Verified. Chomps contains no added sugar and is free from the top nine food allergens. In addition, the brand uses sea salt and celery juice to achieve 13 months of shelf stability and clearly communicates its value proposition through transparency in its packaging and on its website.

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Clio Granola & Yogurt Parfait Bar

$2.49 per 1.94-ounce package

Guilt-free indulgence comes to life in the Clio Granola & Yogurt Parfait Bar. The product combines a core of creamy Greek yogurt and a layer of crunchy granola made from gluten-free oats, slivered almonds and dried fruit, all wrapped in a decadent chocolate or yogurt coating. It’s a better-for-you indulgent snack that tastes like a sweet treat but contains 10 grams of protein and probiotics. The product is unique in that it’s the first to take Greek yogurt and turn it into a bar by solving the manufacturing challenge of combining a layer of granola and an exterior coating.

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Clio Less Sugar Yogurt Bars

$1.89 per 1.59-ounce or 1.76-ounce package

As the name indicates, the key attribute of the Clio Less Sugar Yogurt Bar is what’s not in it. The product offers guilt-free indulgence with strained Greek yogurt that imparts a cheesecake-like texture within a chocolate coating. The product contains almost no sugar only 1 gram per bar along with 8 grams of protein, which makes Clio’s Less Sugar Yogurt Bars a keto-friendly treat option. The product was launched online and at Walmart, and supported by an extensive influencer and PR campaign, in addition to a heavy social media push that resulted in roughly 308 million impressions.

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Coca-Cola with Coffee

$2.32 per 12-fluid-ounce can

Coca-Cola pioneered a new refreshment category with the introduction of Coca-Cola with Coffee. The innovative beverage provides an option to those faced with choosing between a Coke or a cup of coffee. In development for two years, this “refreshment coffee” is infused with Brazilian coffee and available in three flavors: dark blend, vanilla, and caramel. Additionally Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar is available in dark blend and vanilla varieties. The United States was the 50th market to receive the product with the support of a fully integrated marketing campaign, including a clever component that involved the drone delivery of the product to a community in Coffee County, Ga.

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Compostic Cling Wrap

$8-$11.30 per package containing 150 square feet of wrap

Compostic is looking to disrupt the consumer products industry by eradicating single-use plastic from consumers’ lives while providing convenient alternatives. This is the case with Compostic Cling Wrap, which relies on a compound of biopolymers that are designed to mimic traditional plastics in functionality, but actually break down in less than 24 weeks less time than an orange peel. Compostic maintains that its product performs as well as traditional plastic cling wraps, which is important, because the company’s research also shows that consumers won’t sacrifice performance, even though they desire sustainable alternatives to plastic.

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Country Archer Provisions Zero Sugar Beef Jerky

$5.99-$6.99 per 2-ounce pouch

Crafting real food for a better world is the mission behind Country Archer Provisions Zero Sugar Beef Jerky. That process starts with a focus on clean ingredients, such as grass-fed and -finished, pasture-raised beef, and by using ingredients such as chickpea miso in place of soy, to ensure the avoidance of allergens. The product was crafted in partnership with New York City chef Will Horowitz, who helped develop unique flavor profiles. This approach helped the brand stand out in the meat snack category, where added sugars are common. Country Archer launched the new line as part of an overall rebranding that drew additional interest to the line.

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Culinaria Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream

$5.49 per 48-fluid-ounce tub

Schnucks and Perry’s Ice Cream worked together to create an own-brand Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream. Regarded as a favorite in Schnucks’ hometown of St. Louis the product, sold under the Schnucks Culinaria brand, is loaded with gooey butter cake pieces and buttery crumb swirls. To drive sales, the grocer featured the Culinaria brand as part of its regular promotional schedule and on end caps, which helped Gooey Butter Cake Ice Cream become the second-highest ranked flavor in the category. Further growth is expected as promotions continue, and the local-themed product is tied into social media efforts.

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Culinaria Raspberry Lemon Italian Soda

$2.99 per 25.4-ounce bottle

Offering a unique variety created with all-natural flavors and colors and no preservatives, Schnucks’ Culinaria Raspberry Lemon Italian Soda comes in an elegantly shaped bottle with attractive label art that helps the product stand out on the shelf. To promote the item, Schnucks runs regular promotions year-round, with secondary displays during the heat of summer and also in the fourth quarter. These efforts have paid off, as in this section, Schnucks’ Own Brand sales and tonnage have grown 18.5% and 19.5%, respectively. The grocer plans to expand its private-brand soda assortment and continue support for the products via promos, displays and social media.

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Culinary Tours Gruyere Cheese

$5.99 per 6-ounce package

Made according to strict specifications and aged for the appropriate amount of time, Culinary Tours Gruyere delivers a flavorful cheese in distinctive packaging at an affordable price. Topco members have promoted the item prominently in their cheese shop displays, in advertisements featuring complementary products and in seasonal picnic-themed advertisements to encourage trial. The product is also supported via marketing tools and online presence, as part of Topco’s Culinary Tours program. Generating new dollars and increased own-brand assortment for retailers, Culinary Tours Gruyere Cheese offers a competitive option for own-brand sales growth.

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DeIorio’s Rectangle Pizza Kit

$14.99 per 42-ounce kit making two pizzas

While frozen pizza sections are full of par-baked topped pizzas or whole dough balls, there’s never been anything in between — until now. DeIorio’s rectangle pizza kits fill this gap, providing a foundation for customers to create fresh homemade pizza without having to make the dough from scratch. DeIorio’s initial efforts to drive consumer awareness focused on social media, email drip campaigns, digital ads and sponsorships to drive consumer awareness and interest. Shelf talkers and end cap introductory placement, along with cross-promotions with topping components, are in place to celebrate Frozen Food Month in 2022. In the near future, the kit will boast enhanced packaging and offer pizza shells made with more than 30% superfood vegetables.

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Diestel Family Ranch Ultimate Turkey Burgers with Uncured Bacon

$7.99 per 16-ounce box of four patties

Diestel is one of the only frozen turkey burger brands to add premium ground pork bacon to its grind, which, according to the company, significantly elevates the flavor while still keeping the fat content down compared with beef patties. The result is lower sodium, fewer calories and 20 grams of protein in each 4-ounce turkey burger. Leveraging its relationships with longtime customers, the company introduced a range of promotional offers, some of which are still ongoing, and used digital platforms to help get the word out about the product, with a particular focus on social media and Diestel’s blog. Feedback from customers and consumers will help guide the development of new products and enhancements.

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Dry Botanicals Bitters & Soda

$8.99 per 4-pack of 8.45-fluid-ounce bottles

Dry Botanical Bitters & Soda deconstructs the essence of conventional bitters by blending notes of botanicals, herbs and citrus for a complex, multilayered nonalcoholic drinking experience. Crafted with zero sugar and natural flavors and extracts, the zero-proof, non-GMO, gluten-free line provides three distinct flavors – Aromatic, Bright/Herbal and Sweet/Spicy – inspired by the ritual of craft mixology. The product was supported through social media partnerships and giveaways highlighting its attributes, and through targeted broadcast promotion. Dry Botanical Bitters & Soda is one of the first ready-to-drink zero-proof craft cocktails on the market and is actively leading both brands and consumers in creating a space where nonalcoholic ready-to-drink cocktails are as accessible and accepted as traditional spirit-based cocktails.

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Eat the Change Organic Mushroom Jerky

$5.99 per 2-ounce pouch

Eat the Change uses what it calls “perfectly imperfect” portobello and crimini mushrooms – ones that wouldn’t otherwise make it to grocery stores – to make its organic jerky, which is marinated and smoked with real hickory wood, like a traditional animal-based jerky, for a rich, savory taste. The company has promoted the line’s approachable but elevated flavor profiles through consumer promotions; digital ads; organic social, email and influencer marketing; press; field marketing; websites; and blogs. Galvanized by the jerky’s success, Eat the Change plans to expand into other categories with plant-friendly snacks, including a kids-oriented product this fall.

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Egglife Everything Bagel Egg White Wraps

$5.99 per 6-ounce pouch of 6 wraps

Compatible with low-carb diets, gluten-, grain- and soy-free Egglife Everything Bagel Egg White Wraps provide just 1 gram of carbs per serving, as well as high-quality, easy-to-digest clean protein and on-trend flavor. Employing media outreach, social and paid media, and customer relationship management, Egglife Foods shared news of the line extension; held a teaser campaign across its owned channels for consumers to guess the new flavor; and hosted such activities ahead of the launch as product giveaways of a year’s supply of wraps. The company is now busily developing additional innovative flavors for the product line, which is made using patented technology that converts liquid egg to solid matter.

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Food Club Monk Fruit and Food Club Erythritol 

$4.49-$5.99 per 16-ounce pouch of either

As consumers seek better-for-you alternatives, sugar continues to be a concern, while traditional sugar substitutes often contain chemicals that shoppers wish to avoid. In contrast to national-brand plant-based, keto-friendly, 100% natural sugar substitute options, Food Club Monk Fruit and Food Club Erythritol offer two own-brand options in this emerging sweetener category at a much more reasonable price. Topco supported the products through Food Club’s marketing tools, online presence and in-store advertisements. The sweeteners have enabled Topco members to capitalize on the category’s largest growth segment while delivering unique and differentiated own-brand offerings. Topco aims to continue educating consumers about the line’s benefits, expanding both shopper knowledge and purchase intent.

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Fresh Cravings Hummus

$3.99 per 10-ounce tub

Fresh Cravings hummus contains clean high-quality ingredients, including Chilean extra-virgin olive oil, giving the spread a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Available in such varieties as Classic, Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper, the tubs sport a clear top window so consumers can see the product within. Further, the vegan, plant-based, kosher, and dairy- and gluten-free hummus is sold at an affordable price point in the produce section, separately from other brands, where it attracts a healthier consumer. Fresh Cravings partnered with Duda Produce for a cross-promotional Olympics-themed sweepstakes pairing the hummus with Duda’s Dandy celery and carrot sticks, with 360 degrees of digital extensions, among other campaigns. Throughout the fall, more SKUs are slated to roll out to new and existing retail partners.

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Fresh Cravings Pico de Gallo Salsa

$$2.98 per 14-ounce tub; $4.99 per 32-ounce tub (Costco only)

Fresh Cravings Pico de Gallo Salsa boasts a unique recipe and a competitive price point. Made with fresh Roma tomatoes that are never cooked or pasteurized, the refrigerated item features the larger chunks of tomatoes and peppers of traditional Pico de Gallo, in Mild and Medium Crave varieties. Further, the vegan and gluten- and additive-free product is sold in the produce section, making it stand out even more. The brand focused on Millennial and Gen Z targeted digital platforms and used key social influencers to activate content for Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Fresh Cravings is currently exploring different heats and sizes of the salsa, based on the success of the 32-ounce tubs at Costco. 

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Full Circle Market Global Spices

$2.99 per jar (various sizes)

In response to the pandemic-driven trend of at-home chefs’ greater experimentation with restaurant flavors, Topco’s Full Circle Market brand created nine premium exotic spices that are both accessible and affordable. A first-to-market own-brand offering, Full Circle Market Global Spices are inspired by the cuisine and flavors of the Middle East, Asia, North Africa and Central America. This collection allows Topco members to grow their own-brand share by differentiating their own-brand assortment from the competitive set. Topco hopes to extend the Full Circle Market Global Spice line, providing more world-flavor offerings within the spice category.

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Full Circle Market Gluten Free Baking Mixes

$3.49-$4.99 per 11.36-ounce to 18.2-ounce package

Knowing that gluten-free offerings can often be bland and uninspired, Topco’s Full Circle Market brand set out to create a line of gluten-free baking mixes with restaurant-inspired flavors in the following varieties: Cheddar Biscuits, Cornbread, Cinnamon Streusel Cake and Oatmeal Cookies. Full Circle Market Gluten Free Baking Mixes has brought flavor innovation to the gluten-free category, providing a destination for Topco members’ specialty diet shoppers with products that not only offer a clear own-brand value proposition, but also innovative flavor options previously unavailable in the category. Topco intends to continue expanding on offerings within the specialty diet category with such products as protein pancake mixes and keto options. 

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Full Circle Market Meatless Burger

$3.49 per 10-ounce box of four 2.5-ounce patties

Offering taste profiles unique to the category, Full Circle Market California Style Meatless burgers, Southwestern Style Black Bean Chipotle burgers and island-inspired Caribbean Style Plantain burgers offer consumers a variety of own-brand frozen options containing 5 to 7 grams of certified vegan protein per serving, with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Topco members have promoted the burgers in ads featuring complementary Crav’n Flavor/Full Circle Market items or with national brands to encourage trial and meal deal solutions. Generating new dollars and increased own-brand assortment for retailers, Full Circle Market Meatless burgers provide a competitive solution to grow own-brand sales by meeting in-demand trends at an affordable price.

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Full Circle Market MSC-Certified Sustainable Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

$12.99 per 12-ounce package

Full Circle Market MSC-Certified Sustainable Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon delivers a safe eating experience at a reasonable price. Freezing the fish whole protects it from environmental impacts, helps preserve the ocean-fresh flavor, reduces food waste, and aids in dramatically reducing emissions across the supply chain. In response to Full Circle Market’s leading-edge category innovation, which yielded a higher margin rate compared with competing items, the salmon has quickly become the top seller in the brand’s traceable seafood program. To further increase own-brand penetration and sales, Topco continues to encourage its member retailers to feature the product in end cap and brand block displays of frozen Full Circle Market traceable seafood items. 

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Full Circle Market Plant-Based Breaded Chickenless Nuggets

$2.99 per 9-ounce package

Offering parents an affordable better-for-you own-brand option while providing even the pickiest kids with a flavor they love in a familiar format, Full Circle Market Plant-Based Breaded Chickenless Nuggets are certified plant-based and certified vegan, with a single serving of nuggets delivering a whopping 15 grams of protein. To enhance sales performance, Topco will continue communicating to its membership the superior attributes and profitability/margin rates of Full Circle Market Plant-based Breaded Chickenless Nuggets versus the national brands. Plans are also underway to promote complementary items and meal deal solutions during the key back-to-school season.

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Full Circle Market Power Bowls

$2.99 per 9.24-ounce bowl

Full Circle Market Power Bowls provide quick, convenient, vegan-certified, restaurant-quality world flavors in the frozen aisle, with 10 to 12 grams of plant protein per serving. Consumers seeking better-for-you vegetarian and vegan meal options can choose from Mediterranean Style Power Bowl with Falafel, Korean Style Power Bowl with Tofu, or Moroccan Style Power Bowl with Chickpea and Cauliflower, all conveniently sold in a disposable, ready-to-microwave bowl. Shoppers have expressed strong repeat purchase intent with regard to these globally inspired offerings, and the affordably priced bowls have generated new dollars and boosted own-brand assortment for Topco’s member retailers.

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Gelatelli Crème Brûlée Gelato

$2.99 per 23.6-fluid-ounce tub

Created in France, Gelatelli Crème Brûlée Gelato from Lidl features the flavors of sweet custard and caramelized sugar, and is made with milk from cows not treated with rBST. Offering a high-quality product at such a low price point may be uncommon, but Lidl forged ahead, launching the gelato with in-store signage and featuring the item on the deep discounter’s website. The release of the Crème Brûlée flavor helped bring more awareness to Lidl’s own-brand ice cream line. The retailer intends to take feedback from this year’s launch to help build upon next year’s product introductions in the Gelatelli line.

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Gilbert’s Craft Sausages Tuscan Recipe Chicken Sausage

$5.99 per 10-ounce package

Gilbert’s Tuscan Recipe Chicken Sausage offers an easy and sophisticated way for consumers to add their favorite flavors to mealtime. The brand uses a distinctive low-temperature sous-vide process that results in a higher-quality, better-tasting sausage as well as individually sealed links that ensure freshness and limit mess. Additionally, the all-natural sausage provides 13 grams of protein per link. In tandem with the launch of Tuscan Recipe Chicken Sausage, the company also launched a fun brand campaign, For Friendlier Taste, featuring custom-made puppets and colorful storytelling. A lighter option that comes in no-mess packaging, the once seasonal and now permanent product is an appealing option to bolster the sausage category.

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The Good Crisp Co. Potato Crisps

$3.49 per 5.6-ounce canister

A stacked chip that evokes memories of a popular mainstream brand but adds a clean-ingredient twist, The Good Crisp is free of gluten, MSG, artificial flavors and colors, and many of the most common allergens. The company actively posts on social media channels and supports local events such as sponsored drive-in movie theaters, soccer games, and other family-focused activities, receiving what it calls “a ton of content” from enthusiastic consumers. As a result, The Good Crisp has enjoyed fast growth, particularly during the pandemic, during which it rebranded and added new flavors. The brand plans to continue to increase distribution nationally as well as provide consumers with exciting snack  innovations. 

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Herdez Avocado Hot Sauce

$3.39 per 5-ounce bottle; $6.49 per 12-ounce bottle

What’s hot, smooth and shaped like an avocado? It’s Herdez Avocado Hot Sauce from Hormel Foods’ Mexican food brand Herdez. The product’s flavor is unique, tangy and well balanced, and its texture is creamy and smooth, thanks in part to its base of real avocados, according to Herdez. Its unique bottle shape cleverly resembles an avocado, and the cap mimics the volcanic rock used in molcajete recipes, bringing more authenticity to the product. It was introduced in June with a campaign called “Avocado Found its Fire.” The Herdez team was also planning to reach more consumers this summer with a sampling activation. Retail support will include custom plans for in-store displays, banner ads and push notifications. 

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High Road Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

$5.99 per 9.52-ounce package (makes nine stuffed cookies)

High Road Craft Ice Cream took two of its favorite cookie doughs and rolled them into one tasty treat to make High Road Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Sold in the refrigerated dough section, this pop-and-bake dessert was honored with a 2021 Sofi Award for its innovation. The dough contains no artificial colors, flavors or hydrogenated oils. High Road is using in-store promotions, digital marketing strategies and other tactics to build product awareness and drive retail sales. The company also makes a Peanut Butter version of its Brownie Stuffed Dough and plans to continue adding flavors to the line. 

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Honest Earth Mashed Sweet Potatoes Brought to You by Idahoan Foods

$2.99 per 9.9-ounce pouch

This new “heat and eat” sweet potato offering will save consumers time on preparation, cooking and cleanup, while also providing a great source of vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants and minerals. Each pouch is ready to eat after being heated in the microwave for just 60 seconds. The sweet potatoes, which can be eaten as a side dish or used as an ingredient in sweet and savory recipes, offer a new alternative to canned sweet potatoes. Idahoan Foods developed the product after observing growing sales in heat-and-eat pouches, along with an over-indexing among Millennials and young families. The company is backing its launch with a robust public relations program that includes a partnership with a registered dietitian and in-store marketing plans.

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Hope & Sesame Chocolate Hazelnut Sesamemilk

$4.99-$5.99 per 33.8-ounce carton

Described by Hope & Sesame as tasting like “drinkable chocolate hazelnut spread,” it’s hard to pass up this Chocolate Hazelnut Sesamemilk, which is also produced in a decidedly sustainable way that will appeal to many consumers. Sesame is naturally pest-resistant and can self-pollinate, thereby helping to conserve bee populations. Additionally, Hope & Sesame’s core sesame protein comes from the production of sesame oil, so it’s “upcycling” the sesame seeds for this beverage. Sesamemilk contains 8 grams of complete plant-based protein, including all nine essential amino acids, and features vitamin D and calcium, yet the Chocolate Hazelnut flavor contains half the sugar of traditional chocolate dairy milk, according to the company. The beverage has already rolled out to Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and Kroger, and is on target to expand to additional retailers in 2022.

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Hormel Black Label Bacon Thick Cut Ranch

$5.99 per 12-ounce package

Bacon lovers will appreciate this innovation from Hormel Foods: Black Label Bacon Thick Cut Ranch, a thick-cut hardwood-smoked bacon that’s hand-rubbed with a proprietary blend of seasonings resulting in a rich, complex ranch flavor. The company suggests trying it on sandwiches, salads and baked potatoes. To drive in-store trial and conversion at shelf, Hormel placed “New” on-pack stickers and instant redeemable coupons on the package. The company also rolled out a multichannel media campaign that included print magazine ads, outdoor billboards, national TV ads and in-store cart signage. Retailer-specific omnichannel campaigns were used to integrate both the digital shelf and in-store shelf. Since launching the product last fall, Hormel estimates that it has already driven nearly $500,000 in incremental dollars for the category. 

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Hormel Black Label Breakfast Combos

$2.99 per 2.83-ounce or 4.33-ounce package

These ready-to-heat breakfast combinations will make mornings happier for busy consumers who enjoy traditional breakfast offerings. Packaged in refrigerated microwavable trays, the entrées heat more quickly than frozen products. Hormel says that it developed the products to have “superior flavor and texture,” along with a longer shelf life. New offerings include Pancakes with Sausage and Syrup, and Pancakes with Bacon and Syrup (both sold with syrup on the side). The percentage of shoppers who have tried the Breakfast Combos has tripled over the past nine months, while the percentage of repeat purchases has doubled, according to Hormel. The company is looking to build on this success with more flavor varieties planned for the future. 

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Hormel Pretzel Bites and Cheese Tray

$5.99-$6.99 per 8.1-ounce package

Building on its Hormel Gatherings line, Hormel launched the Pretzel Bites and Cheese Tray earlier this year to capitalize on the growing snack trend, an increase in home-based work and school, and the move toward smaller get-togethers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each tray comes with 4 ounces of soft pretzel bites, 4 ounces of cheddar cheese sauce and a packet of sea salt. Ideal for up to four people, it can go from the refrigerator to the microwave to the table in just a few minutes. Hormel is promoting the trays as a perfect addition to retailers’ delis, and has already executed successful retailer-specific promotions during the Super Bowl, March Madness and graduation season.

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Hungry Buddha Keto Bars

$2.49 per 1.4-ounce bar

Buddha Brands bills its Hungry Buddha Keto Bars as the first keto bars on the market made without the use of palm oils, sugar alcohols, dairy or soy. They’re also peanut- and gluten-free. What they do contain is MCT oil and sunflower seed butter as sources of healthy fats, pea protein for plant-powered fuel, and monk fruit for a touch of sweetness. The company is using social media platforms and traditional public relations, while partnering with like-minded brands and influencers, to get the word out about its products. This summer, it worked with Sprouts Farmers Market on a fun giveaway tied to the bars.

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Hungry Planet Chicken Crispy & Fried

$4.49 per 8-ounce bag of two patties

These chef-crafted plant-based chicken patties were designed to be true to the natural taste and texture of conventional chicken, according to Hungry Planet Foods. They’re packed with protein and fiber, but are lower in fat and have fewer calories than conventional chicken, and contain zero antibiotics or hormones. Hungry Planet began a partnership with Post Holdings in early 2021 and is now releasing multiple heat-and-eat plant-based meats. With a robust digital marketing strategy, Hungry Planet is drawing traffic to retail via geo-targeted ads, custom creative marketing and a dedicated sales team.

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Justin’s Refrigerated Protein Bars

$2.29 per 1.4-ounce bar

Justin’s is bringing its beloved nut butters into a new category with the introduction of Refrigerated Almond Butter Protein Bars. Each vegan-friendly bar has 10 grams of plant-based protein and just 5 to 7 grams of sugar, which is 40% less than the leading refrigerated bars, according to the Hormel-owned brand. The flavors in the protein bar line are Almond Butter, Honey Almond Butter and Dark Chocolate Chip Almond Butter. Justin’s has employed both digital and in-store shopper marketing initiatives to drive purchase at the shelf and create awareness about its new products. Looking ahead, the brand is focused on product line extensions and new pack sizes to align with how customers are shopping the category.

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Kashi Go Keto-Friendly Cereal 

$4.99 per 7-ounce box

Kashi launched its first keto-friendly offering, Kashi Go Keto-Friendly Cereal, in January to reach consumers who are looking to limit their sugar intake, increase protein and avoid grains. Kashi’s cereal is set at a more affordable price point than other keto-friendly offerings, according to the company, and is also Non-GMO Project Verified. The cereal comes in two flavors: Cinnamon Vanilla and Dark Cocoa (made with cocoa that’s Fair Trade Certified). Each version is made with 12 grams of plant-based protein and contains just 1 gram of sugar (the cereal is sweetened with allulose and monk fruit). The cereal’s launch has been supported by earned media strategy, influencer gifting, shopper marketer promotions and paid social media.

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Kidfresh Real Fruit Pops

$3.99 per 12.8-ounce package of eight ice pops

Kidfresh, known for its frozen entrées, is making its debut in the frozen novelty category with Real Fruit Pops. The company is taking a parent-friendly approach with popsicles that are made from real fruit, including strawberries, raspberries and apples; 100% juice; and only 4 to 5 grams of sugar per bar. When Real Fruit Pops launched, they were promoted across Kidfresh’s social media channels, and the company provided free samples to drive awareness and trial. It has pledged to continue promoting the products on its digital channels and through shopper marketing tactics.

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The Laughing Cow Blends

$3.29 per 4.9-ounce container of eight wedges

There’s nothing funny about The Laughing Cow brand’s latest foray into plant-based dairy trends. On the contrary, these new hybrid cheeses offer the same spreadable, smooth goodness of the brand’s beloved creamy cheese, but with ingredients including beans, chickpeas and lentils. Each wedge is also infused with bold spices and/or herbs to complement the flavors. The line’s varieties are Chickpea & Cheese with Herb, Lentil & Cheese with Curry, and Red Bean & Cheese with Paprika. Edible Inc., the company behind the Laughing Cow brand, has launched a broad campaign targeting both consumers and the trade, including a collaboration with TikTok’s Corporate Natalie.

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Litehouse Purely Balanced Greek Yogurt Dressings

$3.49 per 9-fluid-ounce bottle

Do we need another Greek yogurt dressing? Why, yes we do, and Litehouse Purely Balanced Greek Yogurt Dressings hit all of the attributes that consumers are looking for: no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners; five thick and creamy flavors; and all for 45 calories per serving. The pandemic accelerated demand for products that address a variety of dietary and health concerns, and this line of Greek yogurt dressings is available in five flavor-forward varieties Garden Ranch, Tzatziki Ranch, Garlic Caesar, Cilantro Lime and Lemon Basil that are ideal for salads, dips and marinades.

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Little Northern Bakehouse Organic Gluten-Free Loaves

$6.99 per 455- to 494-gram loaf

Gluten-free consumers often feel that they need to make sacrifices when it comes to the taste, texture and nutrition of their food. Today, as consumers are also prioritizing organic products more than ever before, the hurdle to find a product that “has it all” is even greater. Little Northern Bakehouse’s new Organic Gluten-Free Loaves meet this need, offering a flavor that tastes like the “real thing,” and a soft texture using only organic, non-GMO and third-party-verified glyphosate-free ingredients. Little Northern Bakehouse launched a two-tier influencer program to share news of the new organic loaves and a unique recipe featuring the brand, which led to more awareness of the products.  

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LusOasis Pancake & Waffle Mix

$9.99 per 9.8-ounce package

LusOasis offers triple value to consumers looking for the three most sought-after healthy food attributes  gluten-free, keto-friendly and vegan  which no other brand in the pancake/waffle mix category offers. The product doesn’t just aim to be better-for-you, it aims to be best-for-you. The pancake/waffle mixes come in four unique flavors that redefine pancakes and waffles: Raw Chocolatey, Sweet Savory, Tomato Basil and Gourmet Spicy. Unlike other keto products, the mixes have no added sugar or sweeteners that would result in more sugar cravings and hormonal disruption. Consumers are also empowered with LusOasis recipe ideas to create other delicious bakery foods (waffle sandwiches, churros, doughnuts, scones, pizza, peach cobbler, etc.) from the mixes for meals beyond breakfast.

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Melinda’s Black Truffle Hot Sauce

$4.99 per 12-fluid-ounce bottle

Melinda’s is known for bringing the habanero pepper to the United States more than 25 years ago, and now the brand is embracing the super-hot black truffle trend to create a perfect  balance of heat and flavor in a hot sauce. Its newest offering, Black Truffle Hot Sauce, combines red cayenne peppers, black truffles from Italy, and a touch of fine Colombian honey to create a sauce with rich and complex flavors and fragrance, along with a hint of sweetness that helps to offset the cayenne peppers to create something that’s truly irresistible on food. The product is the most affordable truffle hot sauce on the market and twice the size of any other truffle sauce option. Within the first week of launching the product, the company sold 700 bottles through e-commerce sales alone, outselling its best-selling Reserve Pepper Sauce five to one. 

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MelloSweet

$3.49 per pound

MelloSweet is unique to the melon category due to its super-sweet honey flavor. The fruit also offers a higher-than-average sugar content and softer, juicier flesh than others in the category. In addition to being refreshingly juicy, loaded with fiber and a great source of vitamin C, MelloSweet melons are naturally moisture resistant, resulting in a longer shelf life a big plus for grocers and shoppers alike. MelloSweet is supported through a comprehensive turnkey retail playbook including associate/manager education, information on target consumers, ordering information, retail planning and promotion calendars, point-of-sale material, retail mockups, in-store announcements, press releases, logo guidelines, color palettes, typography, writing guides, recipes and social media support. Next up from Topco: a proprietary, exclusive- brand mini watermelon.

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Milo’s Extra Sweet Tea and Famous Sweet Tea 6-Pack

$1.39 per 20-fluid-ounce bottle of Sweet Tea/$4.99 per 6-pack

Milo’s Tea is already a leading brand in the category, but the Milo’s marketing team developed and executed a multipronged strategy for two new products: Milo’s Extra Sweet 20-fluid-ounce product and Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea 6-Pack. Milo’s Extra Sweet Tea gives tea drinkers who think store-bought tea “just isn’t sweet enough” a product they love, while Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea 6-Pack offers consumers’ favorite refrigerated tea product in an on-the-go format. Category consumers enjoyed and shared Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea as they brought the 6-pack to work, gatherings with family and friends, and the refrigerator at home. Milo’s multipack also started its own category of multipack refrigerated tea, as there are no others like it in the category. 

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Moocho Dairy-Free Shreds

$4.99 per 8-ounce bag

Moocho’s new collection of shreds aims to change the game for consumers looking to make a seamless switch to dairy-free cheese. Moocho cheeses use fermented cultures in the recipe and aging to create complex, rich flavors. Cheddar and Mozzarella’s melty texture complements a perfect pizza or grilled cheese, while the Fiesta blend takes tacos over the top. Further, unlike other vegan cheeses on the market, Moocho products don’t require heat to deliver rich, tangy flavors. In fact, many consumers report that their preferred way to eat them is chilled, straight from the bag. Moocho cheeses taste delicious and are offered at an accessible price point, with an intention of bringing as many people as possible into the category.

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Mtn Ops Slumber

$1.99 per single-serve packet

Anxiety and fear over the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in another pandemic: insomnia. Mtn Ops Slumber is here to fight the world’s sleep problems with a sleep-inducing collagen powder that can be mixed into milk or water. The product includes Hibern8, a deep-sleep formula using local trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake, coupled with melatonin, L-theanine and natural extracts to cultivate a deep, calming sleep. Collagen ensures the health and vitality of skin, hair, tendons, cartilage, bones and joints. Mtn Ops Slumber also includes a non-stimulated, tannin-free rooibos tea. Rooibos has 50 times more antioxidants than green tea, helping reduce cell-damaging free radicals in the body for optimal recovery. 

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Nasoya Plantspired Breakfast Scramble Superfood Skillet

$5.99 per 7-ounce pouch

Nasoya is looking to make plant-based eating more accessible with its first-to-market breakfast skillet meal solution. The product is packaged in a convenient pouch, ready to heat and serve on its own, or paired with toast or wrapped in a tortilla. Packed with 19 grams of plant-based protein, Breakfast Scramble Superfood Skillets feature Nasoya’s organic Super Firm Tofu, green peppers and hearty potatoes for a satisfying and flavorful bite, with no prep work required. Like all Nasoya products, Plantspired Breakfast Scramble Superfood Skillets are a sustainable and nutritious option that doesn’t sacrifice taste. Made with layers of chorizo-inspired flavors and satisfying, fresh ingredients, Plantspired Breakfast Scramble Superfood Skillets are delicious, convenient and nutritious.

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Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Pulled Pork

$9.99 per 12-ounce package

American consumers can’t get enough of pork flavors, and Niman Ranch offers a pork product that creates versatility. For one thing, it doesn’t include sauce, which allows for the product to be used in many different preparations and cuisines. Consumers are increasingly looking for clean, sustainable and humane meats. This product checks all of those boxes: The premium pork is slow-smoked over real hardwood, hand-pulled, and free of added nitrates or nitrites. The only ingredients are pork, water, sea salt, and rosemary extract to help the flavor of pork shine through. The brand is offering recipes featuring this product to showcase its versatility, including Banh Mi Bao, Air Fryer Pulled Pork Egg Rolls, Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Spicy Slaw, and Pulled Pork Empanadas with Cilantro Mojo Sauce.

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No Fade Fresh

$14.99 per 6.4-fluid-ounce bottle

No Fade Fresh isn’t your grandmother’s semi-permanent hair color. It’s the only on-shelf product that can make the following claims: vegan, gluten-free, no sulfates, no PPD, no parabens, no mineral oil, and PETA-Certified/Cruelty Free, with no animal testing ever. All No Fade Fresh products contain built-in bond rebuilder to repair hair from past damage. The brand has offered a new incremental category to food, drug and mass retailers that enhances the box hair color category. No Fade Fresh’s shampoos and conditioners work together as a system, along with the stand-alone BondHeal conditioning mask, and encourage multi-SKU sales. The introduction of the category has allowed retailers to generate additional sales and offer further color options to the customer, including Blue Blast, Hot Pink, Spicy Copper, Sunflower Brite Blonde and Raspberry Rush.

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NotMilk Whole and NotMilk 2% Reduced Fat

$4.99 per 64-fluid-ounce carton

NotMilk is unlike any other non-dairy milk. The company uses patented AI technology to create plant-based options that taste, feel, cook and function just like their animal-based counterparts; NotMilk is nearly indistinguishable from dairy milk. Also, the brand is available in Whole and 2% Reduced Fat options to give consumers the ability to choose the best option for themselves the same way they’re used to choosing their dairy milk. The product mimics cow-based milk by featuring an unexpected combination of ingredients such as peas, pineapple and cabbage making it free of lactose, soy and gluten. It’s also non-GMO, kosher, and Certified Halal to cater to a wide variety of specialty diets while serving as an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and vitamins D and B12.

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Nubocha Dairy Free Gelato

$8.99 per 14-ounce tub

The artisan ice cream SKUs behind freezer doors just keep proliferating, but Nubocha is not just artisanal, it’s also a brand that aims to start a dairy-free gelato renaissance. Nubocha has created a clean, creamy, vegan, low-sugar gelato for people who care about their health but don’t want to sacrifice sweet indulgences. The product combines sustainably sourced ingredients such as cacao, nuts and spring water to create maximum clarity and smoothness. The product also uses allulose, a virtually calorie-free premium rare sugar found naturally in foods like figs, with no aftertaste. 

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Om Mushroom Superfood Mushroom Coffee Blend

$19.99 per 10-pack of 0.21-ounce packets

According to a recent Shopify report, innovative superfoods marketed to boost immunity will be one of the top food and beverage industry trends in 2021 – and functional mushrooms are at the top of that list. That’s because consumers are becoming more familiar with the benefits of functional mushrooms and, at the same time, wanting more nutrition out of the foods and beverages that they’re consuming. Om Mushroom Superfood Mushroom Coffee Blend is crafted with single-origin Arabica bean coffee and organic superfood mushroom powder to create a new kind of coffee beverage with many functional benefits. The combination of lion’s mane, turkey tail, cordyceps and Om’s proprietary whole-food reishi extract standardized to 35% beta glucans, plus 120 milligrams of naturally occurring caffeine and ginkgo biloba, supports cognitive performance, promotes immune health and provides sustained energy throughout the day. Om Mushroom Superfood Mushroom Coffee Blend offers more mushrooms per serving than the leading brand of mushroom coffee, along with a bolder, better coffee taste.

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Organic Valley Egg Bites

$3.99-$4.49 per 4-ounce 2-pack

Organic Valley’s Egg Bites are a portable, organic, on-the-go breakfast product that’s ready in 90 seconds; it’s a product that consumers will be clamoring for, especially as they return to offices in autumn and winter. With 14 grams of protein and only 220 calories per 2-pack, the Egg Bites are made the same way as every Organic Valley product: without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides or GMOs. Organic Valley Egg Bites come in Feta & Chives, Ham & Swiss, and Sausage & Pepper Jack flavors. They’re also the only Egg Bites on the market that are made with clean-label organic ingredients, including organic free-range eggs from small family farms.

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Otamot Organic Vodka Sauce 

$6.99 per 16-ounce jar

Otamot is disrupting the sauce aisle by putting a high-fiber and plant-based twist on a classic sauce. Otamot’s Organic Vodka Sauce provides a creamy texture while staying dairy- and gluten-free, non-GMO, and USDA Organic. Substituting organic cashew butter for dairy, the sauce features 10 vegetables, including carrots, red pepper, sweet potato, butternut squash, beets and shiitake mushrooms. Packing the sauce with 6 grams of fiber in a single-serving size and no added sugars, Otamot is turning pantry staples into pantry superstars by providing consumers with a healthy alternative to their favorite sauce while still maintaining the authentic and flavorful taste of vodka sauce. 

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Outer Aisle Everything Sandwich Thin

$7.99 per package

Consumers watching their carb intake can take advantage of Outer Aisle Everything Sandwich Thins, with zero filler flours and a full serving of fresh cauliflower in every bite. They can easily be swapped for sandwich bread or bagels, tortillas, wraps, and hamburger and hot dog buns. Unlike an Everything Bagel, which has 53 grams of carbs, Outer Aisle Everything Sandwich Thins have only 3 grams of carbs per slice. They’re made with just five ingredients: fresh cauliflower, eggs, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast and “everything” seasoning. This alternative to bread is nutrient-dense, grain- and gluten-free and non-GMO. Outer Aisle is perfect for consumers with inflammatory conditions and diabetes, or for those who are keto-conscious. 

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Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese

$6.99 per 16-ounce package

The past year was all about product mashups, and no one did it better than Panera by combining its iconic Broccoli Cheddar Soup with its craveable Mac & Cheese. Available in the refrigerated deli section, Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese adheres to Panera’s No No List of ingredients. And who could forget the video campaign that went viral: “When Some Mac Loves Broccoli Cheddar,” sung by singer songwriter Michael Bolton? Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese has since become the No. 2 mac-and-cheese variety in the lineup, behind Panera's classic mac, while also breaking into the top 10 items for the refrigerated mac-and-cheese category, as reported by IRI over 26 weeks ending May 16.

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Path of Life Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal

$5.99 per 10-ounce 2-pack

Path of Life has answered the need for convenient better-for-you plant-based breakfast options in the freezer aisle during busy mornings. While many other products in the breakfast category are frozen waffles and meat-based breakfast sandwiches, there was white space in the market for an organic oatmeal line that satisfied consumers’ desire for a nutritious yet convenient solution. Available in Apple Cinnamon and Berry flavors, Path of Life’s organic steel-cut oats appeal to individuals who have a desire to eat well but have limited time to do so. By uniquely positioning itself as gluten- and dairy-free, organic, and plant-based, Path of Life Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal is driving incremental sales in the frozen breakfast category. 

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Pipcorn Heirloom Snack Crunchies

$3.99 per 7-ounce bag

Pipcorn Heirloom Crunchies revolutionized comfort snacks with its staple ingredient: heirloom corn, a culinary delicacy untainted by modern engineering and technology that sustainably preserves the corn’s flavor and nutrients. Baked, not fried, with clean ingredients (like organic cheese and buttermilk) that are whole grain, gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified, these crispy and cheesy treats are a better-for-you take on your childhood-favorite snack. With 20% less fat compared with the leading crunchy snacks, Pipcorn’s Heirloom Crunchies are available in three flavors: Cheddar, Cheddar Jalapeño and Parmesan Truffle. Additionally, with each harvest, Pipcorn saves the seeds to plant the next time around. The category has a new expectation that goes beyond ingredients – consumers want to know the larger impact of products. 

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Plant Boss Meatless Crumbles

$6.99 per 3.35-ounce pouch

Plant Boss is creating a new product category: shelf-stable meat alternatives. Its meatless crumbles have turned the world of meat and meat alternatives upside-down, bringing innovation to center store. The product is the first plant-based meatless crumble made with organic yellow peas grown in North America and seasoned with organic spices. Plant Boss meatless crumbles are low in fat, provide an ideal source of protein and have zero soy. The versatile crumbles can be prepared to add to any dish in need of a vegan protein boost, including tacos, soups and salads. Since Plant Boss is shelf-stable, merchandising costs are low. It also keeps eco-consciousness in mind with the packaging that’s store drop-off recyclable.

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Remedy Organics Berry Immunity

$3.99-$4.99 per 12-fluid-ounce bottle

Remedy Organics Berry Immunity is the ready-to-drink beverage category’s first immunity-focused plant-based functional protein beverage, filling the demand for immunity-supporting products during the pandemic. Remedy Organics filled a gap in the market by creating a holistic functional wellness shake. According to SPINS data, Berry Immunity has seen 52-week growth of more than 190%. Its generous serving of plant protein – 10 grams – is ideal for muscle recovery, and the beverage’s immune-boosting ingredients include elderberry, camu camu, echinacea, lion’s mane and dragon fruit. Berry Immunity also has prebiotics for gut health, a critical component for immune support. This meal replacement option is convenient for all consumers, whether they’re enjoying it at home or on the go. 

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ReThink Ice Cream Chocolate Almond Butter

$5.99-$6.99 per 14-fluid-ounce tub

Tummy-friendly dairy ReThink ice cream is made with lactose-free A2/A2 dairy. ReThink addresses both causes of dairy intolerance: lactose (milk sugar) and the A1 casein (protein chain). It’s the responsible indulgence that 80 million dairy intolerants and 110 million people living with diabetes can enjoy without any side effects. The better-for-you product is 70% lower in sugar (compared with typical premium ice cream), making it low-glycemic, keto-friendly and gluten-free, plus it’s made with marine collagen, whey isolate protein and prebiotic fiber. The Chocolate Almond Butter flavor has an advantage over plant-based options, because it delivers the decadent and creamy ice cream texture that comes from real dairy.

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RightRice Risotto

$3.99 per 6-ounce pouch

A modern twist on a traditional Italian dish, vegetable-packed RightRice has reimagined risotto with a first-of-its-kind shelf-stable, dairy-free product that’s easy to cook in one pot in just 12 minutes. Made with 90% veggies, RightRice Risotto is ideal for vegans and flexitarians alike, since it delivers a creamy, dairy-free bowl of risotto packed with plant-based protein (10 grams) and fiber (5 grams), and has less carbs than regular risotto, enabling consumers to enjoy a healthier and quicker version. RightRice’s simple packaging further emphasizes the easier approach it offers to cooking the traditionally time-consuming dish.

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Rind Snacks Coco-Melon

$5.99 per 2.75-ounce pouch

By keeping the rind on its dried fruit, Rind Snacks maximizes nutrition and minimizes waste. Featuring just two ingredients, organic coconut and dried sweet watermelon, the Coco-Melon blend comes in a resealable bag so people can enjoy it at their leisure or in one sitting. The whole-fruit snack naturally contains more fiber, vitamins and antioxidants than other dried-fruit brands. One serving of Coco-Melon provides 18% of the daily value of fiber, while the whole bag offers 45% of the daily value. The gently air-dried snack has no added sugar and contains 10% potassium per serving. Last year, Rind also helped divert more than 120,000 pounds of edible peels from entering landfills. 

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Roar Organic Complete Hydration Beverage

$2.49 per 18-ounce bottle or $28.99 per case of 12 18 fluid-ounce bottles

Roar Organic trademarked the term “Complete Hydration,” which refers to the electrolytes, vitamins and antioxidants included in its beverage to address consumers’ complete hydration needs. Roar Complete Hydration Beverage includes consumers’ 100% daily value of energy and immunity vitamins B5, B6, B12 and C in one bottle. In addition to being gluten-free, vegan and keto-friendly, it’s low in sugar and calories; further, each bottle contains only 20 calories and 3 grams of sugar. Roar Complete Hydration Beverage is an ideal way to stay hydrated throughout the day for such occasions as pre/post workout, a day at the office, a long car ride and mocktail/cocktail hour. The product line is available in four flavors: Cucumber Watermelon, Mango Clementine, Georgia Peach and Blueberry Açai.

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Rollin’ n Bowlin’

$5.99 per 6.1- to 7.0-ounce pouch

With versatile single-serve Rollin’ n Bowlin’, consumers can create a smoothie or an açaí bowl, depending on how much liquid they add to the pouch. Rollin’ n Bowlin’ has all of its ingredients clearly listed with icons on the front of its packaging for easy identification when shopping and so consumers know exactly what they’re getting. It’s the only retail bowl/smoothie kit that sells products with açaí, pitaya and nut butter options. All nine blends have unique flavor combos with ingredients like cold brew, lime juice and nut butters, and fun names like Lime Feelin’ Good and Train Your Dragon. The blends are vegan; GMO-, gluten-, soy- and dairy-free; and contain no added sugars.

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Rx A.M. Oats Packets

$5.49 for a 5-pack of 1.94-ounce packets

RxBar created Rx A.M. Oats Packets to provide a premium oatmeal option made with real ingredients, increased protein and less sugar than competing instant-oatmeal packet brands and to make it easier for consumers to store breakfast in bulk as they began to buy more pantry staples. Made with egg whites, fruit, nuts and gluten-free oats, Rx A.M. Oats Packets stay true to RxBar’s “No B.S.” mission, providing 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving. Each packet can be prepared hot in just a few minutes, or as overnight oats. Available in Maple and Cinnamon Spice flavors, Rx A.M. Oats Packets have increased the category on rxbar.com by 25% during peak hot-cereal season.

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RxSugar Organic Chocolate Syrup

$12.99 per 16-fluid-ounce bottle

According to market research by FMCG Gurus earlier this year, many consumers want to reduce their sugar intake as overall health has become a top priority. RxSugar’s Organic Chocolate Syrup stands out from its competitors because it uses only two ingredients: organic allulose and organic cocoa powder. The chocolate syrup contains zero calories, zero net carbs and zero blood sugar impact. Although made with just two ingredients, the multipurpose product can be used for baking, protein shakes, granola, yogurt, fruits and desserts — ideal for shoppers looking to add a touch of sweetness to their healthy lifestyles. Safe for diabetics, the syrup is Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher, Keto Certified, FODMAP Friendly Certified, and grain-, gluten-, dairy- and soy-free.

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Scripto Hybrid Jet Flame Lighter

$2.59 per single pack

The Scripto brand from Calico Brands Inc. is lighting it up with a new Hybrid Jet Flame lighter that’s part multipurpose lighter and part pocket lighter. Among other suggested uses, the lighter can be used to ignite campfires, barbecue grills, fireplaces and more. It features an adjustable jet flame with a generated stream of superheated air, a push-button start and an extended nozzle for safer lighting, and comes with an eco-friendly refillable tank. The lighter is available in teal, purple, orange, dark blue and red hues, and can be merchandised in single packs or a 50-count display-a-tray. 

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Seapoint Farms Mighty Lil’ Lentils

$3.99 per 5-ounce pouch

Seapoint Farms LLC has added a line of mini lentil snacks to its plant-based portfolio. Mighty Lil’ Lentils are available in four flavors: Pink Himalayan Salt, Barbecue, Falafel and Cinnamon Sugar. The products are gluten-free and can be eaten right out of the bag as a salty snack, or added to yogurt parfaits, trail mixes, salads, soups and other dishes for a bit of crunch and extra protein. Seapoint Farms also offers frozen and dry roasted edamame, seaweed crisps, riced veggie meals and organic edamame pasta. 

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SkinnyDipped Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bars

$3.99 per 2.8-ounce bar

With just 3 grams of sugar per serving, these bars aim to live up to their SkinnyDipped name. The Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Bar has 4 grams of net carbs per serving, and the Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bar contains 5.5 net carbs. The products’ sweetness comes from a blend of maple and cane sugar and naturally low-calorie allulose that tastes like cane sugar but isn’t metabolized the same way in the body. Sold in brightly colored wrappers, the bars are made without sugar alcohol or artificial ingredients, and are non-GMO.

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SkinnyDipped Peanut Butter & Jelly Peanuts 

$4.99 per 3.5-ounce pouch

It’s a two-fer for the SkinnyDipped brand in this round of Editor’s Picks. The ultimate sandwich combination of peanut butter and jelly is now available in a better-for-you snack version. This snack is made with premium Virginia peanuts enrobed in a sweet strawberry coating, and is a rich source of plant-based protein. Like other SkinnyDipped snacks, the new PB&J peanuts are non-GMO and gluten-free, and made with real ingredients with no artificial flavors or colors. A vibrant red package and easy-open pouch engage consumers and signal that this is a pop-able snack.

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Skippy Peanut Butter Squeeze Pack

$2.99 per 6-ounce pouch

You can still squeeze out innovation from a perennial food favorite. For on-the-go or convenient portion-controlled eating, the Skippy brand from Hormel Foods has developed a Squeeze Pack for mess-free enjoyment right out of the pouch or pumped onto crackers, fruits, veggies or another snack partner. Available in a colorful, creatively shaped pouch with a twist-off cap, the product is made with roasted peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil and salt, with no preservatives or artificial flavors or colors. The varieties are Creamy and Natural Creamy, and each pouch contains five servings, at two tablespoons per serving.

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Sliq Spirited Ice

$17.99 per three flavor package of 100-milliliter tubes

From the company that helped make ice pops famous, these premium alcoholic freezer bars are at once a snack and a cocktail. Sliq Spirited frozen ice pops, launched by the Jel Sert Co., represent a new category of alcohol in keeping with other recent successes in hard seltzer and ready-to-drink cocktails.  Each box of vodka, rum or agave ice pops includes a trio of single-serve flavors: vodka-infused Spirited Ice in Lemonade, Cranberry & Grapefruit, and Blue Raspberry; agave-infused Spirited Ice in Classic Margarita, Strawberry Margarita and Mango Margarita; and rum-infused Spirited Ice in Coconut and Lime Daiquiri, Pineapple Daiquiri, and Strawberry Daiquiri. Each treat contains 8% ABV, is 100 calories or fewer and comes in a recyclable package.

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Sown Organic Oat Creamers

$5.29 per 32-ounce carton

New from plant-based food and beverage company SunOpta, Sown Organic Oat Creamer is an alternative to traditional dairy-based creamers. The product is made from organic oats grown by North American farmers and formulated using a proprietary enzymatic process that turns whole oats into a finished product without the bitter, chalky taste associated with other oat drinks. Sown creamers come in Vanilla, Unsweetened and Sweet & Creamy varieties, and are USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.

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Spudsy Sweet Potato Puffs Vegan Sour Cream and Onion

$3.99 per 4-ounce bag

A classic potato chip flavor has made its way onto a sweet potato puff. The base snack is made with a blend of rice flour, pea protein, sweet potato flour and tapioca starch, and, for this particular product, is seasoned with a tangy sour cream and onion flavor that satisfies salty snack cravings. These Sour Cream & Onion Sweet Potato Puffs have a lot of claims: vegan, free of the top eight allergens, gluten-free, kosher and non-GMO. Plus they’re made with upcycled “imperfect” sweet potatoes that might otherwise go to waste. Spudsy offers other flavors for this snack, including spicy and sweet versions. 

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Stryve Peppered Biltong

$5.99 per 2.25-ounce flat pouch

As biltong has caught on with consumers as a meat snack, Stryve has boosted the appetite appeal of its offerings with a peppered variety. Made with air-dried seasoned steak slices and seasoned with an ample amount of cracked black pepper, this snack is also infused with hints of garlic, coriander, clove and nutmeg. The high-protein and better-for-you crowd will appreciate the fact that Stryve Peppered Biltong offers 16 grams of protein with zero grams of sugar, zero carbs, no MSG, no nitrates and no preserves. The packaging also sports high-impact graphics and features an easy-open, grab-and-go format.

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SuckerPunch Gourmet Pickle Snack Packs

$14.99 for a 6-count pack of 3.4-ounce pouches or $26.99 for a 12-count pack

Fueled by interest in pickles as a snack, this Editor’s Pick(le) delivers on convenience and flavor. This is one of the latest innovations from gourmet pickle brand SuckerPunch Gourmet, consisting of portioned pickles in a peekaboo pouch (say that 10 times fast!) and available in three varieties: Fiery-Hot-3 Pepper, Classic Dill, and Bread and Butter. Available in 6- or 12-pack options, the resealable pouches keep the pickles fresh and the pickle juice in its place, and sport colorful graphics for extra eye appeal.

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Tillamook Frozen Custards

$4.99 per 15-ounce carton

Tillamook Frozen Custards were designed to elevate the everyday ice cream experience to richer, creamier and more indulgent heights. The custards are made with at least 16% butterfat, extra cream and cage-free eggs, and contain no bioengineered ingredients. The line offers eight mouthwatering flavor combinations: Oregon Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Fudgy Brownie, Sea Salt & Honeycomb Toffee, Bing Cherry Cheesecake, Cold Brew Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate & Red Raspberry, Maple & Candied Pecan, and Salted Caramel. To promote the new custards, Tillamook used a combination of targeted paid media, earned media outreach, dedicated email blasts and social media channels to encourage consumers to use Tillamaps, an online GPS-based product search tool to help them find the closest location where they could buy Tillamook products. 

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TopCare 1% Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel

$7.99-$17.99 per 50-gram, 100-gram or 150-gram tube

TopCare’s Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel gives retailers a more affordable option of pain relief to offer their customers who suffer from arthritis. With the average age of arthritis patients being just 48, the audience for an over-the-counter medication like this is pretty substantial. Topco is offering the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory topical drug in three sizes: 50 grams, 100 grams and 150 grams. The company is using its marketing tools and online presence to promote the product, and is also looking to cross-promote it with other items commonly used by arthritis sufferers to treat their pain. Topco plans to continue its marketing partnership with the Arthritis Foundation and the Live YES Network. Looking ahead, it’s considering launching a club pack size of the gels to provide an even better value.

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TopCare Castile Lavender Soap

$9.99 per 32-ounce bottle

Naturally sourced, biodegradable and moisturizing, TopCare Castile Lavender Multi-Use Cleaning Soap is made without animal testing or animal byproducts, and is free from synthetic detergents. The product provides retailers with an appealing discount version of the traditional boutique-brand soap to offer their customers. “Clean-ingredient” soap continues to be the growth driver within the soap category, according to Topco’s research. With lingering pandemic concerns, consumers have been leaning toward eco-friendly options versus traditional cleaning products. Going forward, Topco plans to offer additional clean-label products in its personal cleaning product line.

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TopCare Flesh Tone Fabric Bandages

$1.99 per box of 30 bandages

Topco is representing the diverse skin tones of American shoppers with its TopCare Flesh Tone Fabric Bandages. These sterile antibacterial bandages are available in three shades to better match different colors of skin. According to Topco, private label is positioned as the No. 1-selling brand in first aid/wound care, with high shopper trust in the products’ quality. The innovative product actually spurred national brands to offer their own versions of diverse colored bandages. Since the TopCare launch in March, Topco members that have added the bandages to their mix have seen sales steadily increase week by week, according to the company. This fall, Topco is planning to expand its Self-Adhering Compression Wrap line to include three additional flesh-tone shades.

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TopCare Mineral Continuous Spray Sunscreen

$11.99 per 6.3-ounce spray

Mineral sunscreens have become more popular lately due to their reef-safe, ocean-friendly, eco-biodegradable attributes, as well as the fact that they don’t contain oxybenzone, octinoxate or parabens. TopCare’s lower-priced spray version of mineral SPF 30 sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection and is hypoallergenic and water-resistant. For Topco members, the sunscreen has been driving the largest sales growth in the category, up double digits when compared with the largest national sun care brand that they carry. The company has encouraged retailers to feature TopCare Mineral Continuous Spray Sunscreen in end cap displays promoting the brand’s seasonal and sun care items during times of high demand.

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Upcycled Vanilla Oatmilk Cookies

$4.99 per 6-ounce package

It’s not every day that you get to eat cookies that fight food waste and climate change, but that’s exactly what Fancypants Baking Co. has set out to do with its Upcycled Vanilla Oatmeal Cookies. Two ingredients in the cookies – oatmilk pulp and vanilla bean – would have ended up in landfills, but instead the company has used these byproducts to create snacks. To launch the new product initially, Fancypants joined forces with e-grocer Imperfect Foods. Fancypants also created a social media campaign with Instagram influencers and sent samples to trade publications. Most recently, the cookies launched on Amazon.com with significant advertising dollars to support promotions. Fancypants has rolled out two additional flavors – Upcycled Chocolate Chip Cookies Baked with Okara Flour and Upcycled Double Chocolate Cookies Baked with Coffee Cherry – with more to come.

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Veggies Made Great Sausage, Egg & Cheese Frittata

$5.99 per 12-ounce package of six frittatas

As sales of plant-based foods continue to explode, the frozen breakfast category is one space that’s ripe for opportunity. Veggies Made Great developed the Sausage, Egg & Cheese Frittata using its best-selling veggie-packed frittatas and adding plant-based meat from well-known brand Beyond Meat. The individually wrapped frittatas go from frozen to ready-to-eat after less than 45 seconds in the microwave. With their small grab-and-go size, they’re perfect for on-the-go eating and snacking. The line also includes a Sausage & Pepper Frittata made with Beyond Meat. Veggies Made Great is promoting these products using media relations, email marketing and coupons, as well as social media outreach.

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Vevan Snax

$2.29 per 1.48-ounce single-serve package

Vevan Snax were designed for consumers who follow flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan diets and want dairy-free snacking options. The individually packaged snacks feature Vevan, a plant-based cheese alternative made in Wisconsin that resembles the real thing in taste and texture, paired with dried fruit and roasted nuts. The colorfully packaged line consists of Lemon Poppyseed Mozza Cubes with Dried Blueberries and Roasted & Salted Cashews, and P’Jack Cubes with Dried Cranberries and Smoky Almonds. So far, the launch has received “an outpouring of support,” according to Vevan Foods.

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Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Egg Bites

$4.99 per 4.6-ounce package of two bites

Shoppers will get a big protein boost from Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Egg Bites, a line of single-serve refrigerated bites made with such high-quality ingredients as Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs. They’re available in four flavor combinations: Uncured Bacon & Cheddar Cheese; Roasted Red Pepper & Mozzarella Cheese; Uncured Ham, Bell Peppers, Onions & Cheddar Cheese; and Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Cheese. Each package contains two 2.3-ounce egg bites, delivering 16 to 18 grams of protein per pack. Further, they’re ready after just 45 seconds in the microwave. Vital Farms employed an integrated approach to promote Egg Bites, including awareness through myriad marketing channels and a campaign called Where Honest Food is Raised. Next up: The company is launching a line of egg-based breakfast bars.

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Volpi Small Bites

$2.99 per 1.5-ounce package

Now consumers can sample charcuterie at an entry-level price point, thanks to Volpi Small Bites. These little packages contain big flavor, featuring Volpi Foods’ most popular meats, thinly sliced. The product can be used to mix and match or to incorporate into new recipes. Even before the pandemic, Volpi recognized the need for smaller versions of its products, but the Small Bites have been particularly well received during a time when consumers have been staying home more yet looking for a little indulgence. Volpi Small Bites led to an incremental increase in deli dollars of $319,000 during the product’s launch period, according to the company. Meanwhile, the items have been ideal for cross-merchandising initiatives across departments like dairy, center store and liquor.

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Way to Go! Chocolate Bars

$2.49 per 6.3-ounce bar

Lidl has created what it’s calling the first and only private label chocolate bar in the United States that contributes directly to a living income for cocoa farmers. The Way to Go! Bar uses 100% traceable and sustainable Fairtrade cocoa from farmers in Ghana. It launched in December via a joint press release by Lidl and Fairtrade International, and was featured in Lidl’s leaflet and via a landing page on the deep-discount food retailer’s website. The line now includes Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Carmelised Almonds and Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate Pecan Coconut. Lidl says that it plans to continue adding private label chocolate bars to its assortment.

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Wide Awake Seasonal EcoPods

$5.99 per package of 10 .36-ounce pods

Consumer response to Topco’s Wide Awake Seasonal EcoPods has been  “astounding,” according to the company. With flavors like Limited Edition Peppermint Stick, Cinnamon and Maple Cream, it’s no wonder that shoppers are excited about these seasonal surprises in an otherwise conventional coffee aisle. Topco members promoted the product launch last fall using seasonal fliers and in-store advertisements to encourage trial. The company also promoted the items through its own marketing tools and online presence tied to the Wide Awake Coffee brand. Topco is now working on promoting its seasonal offerings for the fourth quarter of 2021. 

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Wild Planet Ready-to Eat Tuna Bowls

$4.99 per 5.6-ounce bowl

It’s not a wild idea: Wild Planet recognized an opportunity in center store to create convenient, shelf-stable Ready-to-Eat Tuna Bowls that can serve as a snack or light meal. The salads contain only responsibly sourced skipjack tuna with organic, non-GMO vegetables, pasta and legumes. Packaged in fully recyclable bowls, each 5.6-ounce salad features 17 grams of protein and an average of 89 milligrams EPA and DHA omega-3s. Wild Planet kicked off the launch earlier this year with a dedicated push on its social media channels and information on its website. Retail sell-in followed and continues to be supported by a comprehensive marketing campaign.

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