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Dessert delights: Waitrose introduces vegetable cheesecakes

The retailer says it has delivered a UK supermarket first with its vegetable-based desserts, offering sweet treats with less sugar.

22 June 2018

Plant-based puddings are powering up.

Dessert mastermind Graham Hornigold told Food Spark earlier this year that vegetable-based desserts offered a potential gold mine in terms of innovation.

Now, Waitrose has added to its ever-expanding portfolio of vegetable offerings – from smoothies to sausages – and ventured into desserts.

In what it claims is a UK supermarket first, the retailer is launching two sweet vegetable cheesecakes: avocado and lime, and beetroot and raspberry. Seems like Hornigold was dead on the money with his suggestions for a beetroot cake...

Less sugar

Samantha Cooke, Waitrose desserts product developer, said: “Although carrot cake has been around for years and Instagram is filled with chocolate cake recipes using beetroot, we’d not come across vegetables being used more widely in desserts. We knew our customers would love this trend, so decided to start experimenting with ideas for our desserts.

“The inclusion of veg gives these cheesecakes a really bright and bold natural colour, as well as a delicious, creamy texture. For our customers who prefer a dessert that’s not super sweet, these are the perfect option, in fact they contain 30% less sugar than some other Waitrose cheesecakes.”

Slices of these new additions are priced at £4 for two portions and are already available in stores.

They contain less sugar when compared with the Waitrose New York cheesecake with raspberry and passion fruit.

Restaurant realm

But it’s not as adventurous as some of the plant-based puddings coming out of restaurants that Food Spark has previously reported on.

Two-Michelin-star Japanese restaurant Umu in Mayfair really went on a vegetable adventure when it presented a garden on a plate, with its dessert including adzuki bean curd, kinome (a Japanese vegetable), carrot, radish and their respective leaves.

Meanwhile, Japanese restaurant The Square draws on white potato for its sweet ending, which includes gingerbread and honey ice cream. Social Eating House has a pumpkin crème brûlée, while Jerusalem artichoke is one of the stars of the dessert show at Fera at Claridges.

Executive chef of Cottons Rum Shack & Restaurant, Collin Brown, was also redesigning the Caribbean chain's menu with plans to add a sweet-potato pudding.

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