Round up

Vertically grown salad and Brewdog cocktails headline NPD round up

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Homegrown salad bags are now stocked in Asda stores across the UK. Credit: Fergus Franks
Homegrown salad bags are now stocked in Asda stores across the UK. Credit: Fergus Franks

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Food Manufacture rounds up some of the latest new product development (NPD) within the food and drink sector.

Vertically grown salad now available in Asda

A new vertically grown salad brand, Homegrown, launched its first range of products exclusively through Asda this month (September 2023).

The Homegrown collection includes three SKUs – ‘80g Mixed Salad’, ‘60g Rocket’ and ‘80g Hot & Peppery Cress' – with the packs now on sale in 270 Asda stores across the UK.

Jones Food Company (JFC), the parent company of Homegrown, specialises in vertical farming, with chief executive James Lloyd-Jones stating that the practice possesses “significant sustainability benefits​”.

All of our salad is entirely British grown which results in fewer food-miles than salad flown in from around the world, is grown using only renewable energy and uses 90% less water than plants, which have been more traditionally produced​,” Lloyd-Jones added.

Meanwhile, Asda produce director Dom Edwards said the supermarket was “delighted​” to become one of the first British retailers to sell vertically farmed bagged salad at this scale.

Edwards continued: “As well as clear sustainability benefits, the salad leaves aren’t subject to adverse weather – resulting in better availability and more consistent quality for our customers​.”

Brewdog unveils Wonderland Cocktails range

Scottish manufacturer Brewdog is set to launch its debut range of canned ready-to-drink cocktails.

The collection will be sold under the Wonderland Cocktails brand, which consists of five different flavours: ‘Classic Mojito’, ‘Classic Margarita’, ‘Espresso Martini’, ‘Cantarito Paloma’ and ‘Passionfruit Martini’. The alcohol by volume (ABV) of the five products ranges between 10% and 14%.

Each 200ml can is slightly oversized, as this allows the consumer to aerate the cocktail by shaking it before serving in order to deliver a smoother finish.

The Wonderland Cocktails range was developed with a variety of products from the Brewdog Distilling Co collection, such as the LoneWolf gin, Abstrakt Vodka and Duo rum.

BrewDog Distilling Co is the firm’s spirits arm, established in 2016, and its chief executive Martin Dickie said the cocktails aim to offer “bar-quality serves at home​”.

The Wonderland Cocktail range features a collection of carbon neutral cocktails, designed to give you world-class serves, just seconds from perfection​,” Dickie wrote on LinkedIn.

The range is set to go on sale next month (October 2023) in Morrisons supermarkets at £3.90 per can.

Coca-Cola announces limited edition AI beverage

Created with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), Coca‑Cola has launched its latest soft drink innovation – the limited edition ‘Y3000 Zero Sugar’.

Intended to represent how coke fans imagine the future through emotions, aspirations, colours and flavours, it will be available in stores for an unspecified period of time.

Oana Vlad, senior director of global strategy at Coca-Cola, said that the brand desire to still be relevant in the year 3000 inspired the futuristic design.

"We challenged ourselves to explore the concept of what a Coke from the future might taste like – and what kind of experiences would a Coke from the future unlock,"​ explained Vlad.

Consumers can scan a QR code featured on each can in order to access the Coca‑Cola Creations Hub, where they can filter photos through the custom Y3000 AI camera.

The ‘Real Magic’ brand platform celebrates unexpected connections that make the ordinary extraordinary, so we intentionally brought human intelligence and AI together for an uplifting expression of what Coca‑Cola believes tomorrow will bring​,” Vlad concluded.

Trio of new Ginsters products launched

Savoury pastry manufacturer Ginsters has developed three new products for launch this month.

The vegetarian friendly ‘Mexican Bean Bake’ is now available in stores, while the ‘BBQ Hunters Chicken Slice’ and the ‘Smoky Beef Chilli Pasty’ go on sale from 25 September.

The product innovations were inspired by family favourite meals and pub classics, and the launch coincides with the start of Autumn when the weather turns cooler. Both the meaty options are priced at £1.95, while the bean bake is on sale at £1.50.

Consumer insight was a key driver in the development of the new flavours, with each one crafted using British ingredients. They also include no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours.

Based in Cornwall, Ginsters is part of the Samworth Brothers group. Managing director Sam Mitchell said the brand was hoping to deliver a totally “new flavour profile” ​with the launch, an effort it is “proud​” of pursuing.

Mitchell continued: “We want to create excitement for the Ginsters brand as well as for the category as a whole. Our new Pasty, Bake and Slice innovations give consumers a wider choice for a satisfying, delicious lunch, packed full of quality ingredients, at affordable prices, and are set to do just that​.”

DrinkWell expands Lean Brew range with pilsner

Low calorie alcoholic drink manufacturer DrinkWell has launched a new pilsner under its Lean Brew brand.

Each can of Lean Brew Pilsner contains 99 calories, 4g of carbs and 0g of added sugar, while it is also gluten free. Currently, the pilsner is available exclusively via the DrinkWell website, priced at £9.99 for a pack of six cans, £19.99 for 12 or £39.99 for 24.

DrinkWell secured a £600,000 investment in July 2023 from Sadita Holdings​ to support the expansion of its range of products.

With more 75,000 customers throughout the UK, DrinkWell saw 50% year-on-year growth during the 2021/22 financial year. In addition to its range of Lean Brew beers, the firm also produces low calories wines.

Founder Tom Bell said: “We’re very excited to launch the second product for DrinkWell’s own brand of beers with Lean Brew. The new Pilsner is a big step forward for the business and we’re proud to continue to offer great quality tasting beers that are also lower calorie, lower carb, and gluten free​.”

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