Supermarket Sweep

On sale this December: gluten-free Ginsters and Poundland ready meals

All the new launches you need to know about this month.

2 December 2019

Halloumi Fries and Halloumi Burger, £2.29 per pack, Aldi

Following on from the success of its Specially Selected Halloumi Fries last year, the supermarket chain has brought them back to the shelves.

This time the fries, which come in a box of 10, have a new partner in the form of a four-pack of Specially Selected Halloumi Burgers for the same price.


Halo Top chilled dessert pots, £4 per 2x100g, Tesco

Ice cream experts Halo Top have made their first foray away from the freezer aisle with the launch of a trio of chilled dessert pots.

The pots come in five flavours: birthday cake, chocolate, lemon cake, salted caramel and strawberry cheesecake and contain between 135 and 153 calories per pot.


Plant Pops, 20g bag, price tbc, Harvey Nichols

Vegan snackers can tuck into a bag of popped lotus seeds in three different flavours with the launch of Plant Pops.

Popped lotus seeds are “eaten by a billion people worldwide” according to the brand but are largely unknown in Britain.

Plant Pops come in Himalayan salt, smoked chilli and peanut butter flavours and are roasted rather than fried, free from gluten, palm oil or preservatives, and are said to have “a popcorn-like crunch and a light, airy texture.”


Gosh! Vegan Cocktail Sausages, £1.99 per 240g, Morrisons and Booths

Cocktail sausages made entirely from plants have been launched by vegan brand Gosh! in a bid to fill a gap in the market for healthy plant-based snacking options.

The sausages are made from a combination of chickpeas, cauliflower and butterbeans with a ‘Cumberland-style’ seasoning of sage and black pepper.


The Bistro Chilled Ready Meals, £1.50 each, Poundland

Poundland has entered the ready-meals arena with the launch of its Bistro range of chilled meals across its 800-store estate.

Supplied by Greencore, the range includes chicken curry with rice, and sausage and mash made with British pork.  

The move comes after a 24-store trial in the Midlands and is part of Poundland’s bid to become a multi-price grocery discounter as well as a destination for general bargains. ‘Shops in shops’ offering new frozen and fresh ranges have also been launched in a five-store trial which could extend to 250 branches.


Holland’s Pies Vegetarian Mince & Gravy Pie, from £1.10, Tesco

Lancashire firm Holland’s Pies has added a mince and gravy pie to its non-meat range.

The pre-baked pastry can be microwaved in three minutes and is made from wheat protein cooked in a “rich onion and thyme gravy” and encased in a “lightly glazed shortcrust”.

The pie is available individually from the chilled section or in a frozen four-pack.


Galaxy Vegan, £3 per 100g, Tesco

Galaxy has become the first major milk chocolate brand to launch a fully vegan alternative.

Galaxy Vegan is made with hazelnut paste and rice milk and comes complete with a recyclable outer carton and wrapped in wood fibre packaging which biodegrades within two months.

There are three flavours available – smooth orange, caramel and sea salt, and caramelised hazelnut – and the bars are to be found in the free-from aisle.


Fuel10K Breakfast Oat Muffin, £1.49 per 70g, Tesco

The first instant breakfast muffin in a plastic pot to hit UK supermarket shelves has been launched by protein brand Fuel10K.

Available in double chocolate and banana and chocolate, the oat muffins provide at least 15.7g of protein and no more than 9.3g of sugar per 100g – 70% less sugar than an average home-bake muffin from a mix, according to Fuel10K.

Made with whey protein, Breakfast Oat Muffin is prepared by adding water and microwaving for 45-50 seconds.


Tabasco Sriracha, £2.99 per 256ml, Waitrose

Tabasco has launched its sriracha sauce – which has been available in the US since 2014 – into the UK.

Tabasco Sriracha is billed as a “rich, thick and full of flavour” take on the much-loved Thai sauce, and is made with the same barrel-aged peppers used to create the brand’s core sauce to give the product “a signature kick.” 

Blue Band Margarine, 89p per 500g tub, Iceland

Old favourite Blue Band margarine has made a return to British supermarket shelves after a 15-year absence.

The Dutch spread, first introduced to the UK by Unilever after World War II, disappeared from British shelves during the 2000s but now new owner Upfield has brought it back.

Still a top-seller in the Netherlands and Africa, the product is made from a blend of rapeseed and palm oil and is fortified with omega-3 and 6 oils.


Mr Trotter’s Skinny Dips, £1.30 per 60g, major retailers

Pork crackling brand Mr Trotter’s has moved into the free-from category with its “revolutionary” new Skinny Dips variant.

The snacks come with a pot of Bramley apple sauce in each bag and have been given a new ‘spoon’ shape so they can be dipped in the sauce.

The new snacks have a gluten-free seasoning and a taste that’s more comparable to crispy bacon than traditional cracklings, according to the brand.


Prime Beef Bars, £2 per 50g, M&S, Selfridges and Ocado

Beef lovers have three new meaty snacks to choose from thanks to protein snack start-up brand Prime.

Prime has launched a trio of Beef Bars – made from British grass-fed beef – in smoky bbq, fruity/flavoursome and sweet/spicy flavours, aimed at “the active living/health-conscious snacking space”.

Prime says the bars play to “meat’s natural protein prowess while providing a minimally processed beef-based alternative to overtly processed/sugary sweet treats that currently clog up the protein snack space.”


Peperami Original Beef Bars, from £2.75 per 3x20g, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s

Peperami is aiming to win over beef-loving snackers with a new range of low-calorie beef bars.

The Peperami Original Beef Bars - actually a blend of beef and pork – each contain 69 calories and 5.2g protein, which the company says makes them the perfect “portable, protein-packed” snack to accompany a workout or a “healthier alternative to crisps and confectionery”.

Single 20g bars are available from convenience stores nationwide.  


Aduna Fonio, £3.99 per 250g, Whole Foods Market

Super-grain Fonio has been added to Aduna’s range as the trend for ancient grains shows no sign of slowing down.

Aduna’s new packs contain five servings of Fonio, which the company says is an ideal alternative to quinoa, rice or couscous, and a potential ingredient for salads, soups or stir-fries.

Fonio can be prepared by adding water and microwaving for three minutes, making it “one of the quickest cooking grains”.


Popaball Glitter Gravy Bauble, £5.99 per 100g

Novelty drinks accessories brand Popaball has made its first foray into food with the launch of its glitter gravy granules.

Part of the brand’s new Popabaubles range, the Glitter Gravy Bauble is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and serves up to 12 people.

“We made some glitter gravy for Christmas dinner one year and it made everyone laugh,” said Popaball marketing director Tanja Quinn. “It was a real talking point and we thought ‘I know who else would love this – our customers’.”


Danone Pati & Coco desserts, £3.50 per 2x80g, Sainsbury’s and Booths

Danone believes it has come up with the ultimate chocolate dessert range with the launch of its new ‘incubator innovation’ brand Pati & Coco.

First to be released under the new brand are four “unapologetic indulgent chocolate creations”: ganache and choc, praline and choc, caramel and choc and pistachio and choc.

Each dessert is composed of a solid chocolate top, layers of flavoured ganache and solid chocolate and a biscuit bottom.

If successful, the brand could be scaled up.


I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Original and Light, £1 per 500g, major retailers

Upfield has resurrected its ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ brand and introduced a new variant designed for baking and to appeal to butter enthusiasts.

In 2017 the company rebranded its core product I Can’t Believe It’s So Good to emphasise its versatility and plant-based credentials, but now it’s returned to the original name, as well as launching I Can’t Believe It’s Even Butterier Gold.

The new variant – the closest to butter in the range – sits alongside the brand’s existing Original and Light line-up, all three of which will continue to include buttermilk as a key ingredient.


Higgidy Vegan Rolls, from £1, Waitrose and Boots

Higgidy fans have a new vegan sausage roll to choose from, plus a special limited-edition Veganuary pie.

Higgidy’s miso mushroom vegan rolls are made with chestnut and porcini mushrooms, pearl barley and spring onion with miso and soy, wrapped in vegan puff pastry and topped with a crispy kale seaweed crumb.

The new vegan aubergine and spinach masala pie is spiced with cumin, chilli and garam masala, enclosed in vegan shortcrust pastry and topped with a puffed rice, date and pumpkin seed crumb, and will be available from December 30 for a limited period.


Ginsters Gluten-Free Cornish Pasty, £2.50 per 200g, Sainsbury’s

Cornish pasty brand Ginsters has launched its first ever gluten-free variant.

The new pasty is made according to EU Cornish pasty rules, with 100% British minced beef, potato, onion and swede, wrapped in gluten-free shortcrust pastry.

Ginsters said the pasty had been “developed in direct response to the growing number of consumers who purchase gluten-free foods due to both health and lifestyle choices”.


Poundland Festive Pasty, £1 per 300g

Poundland reckons it’s going to give Greggs a run for its money with its new festive pasty.

Aimed at rivalling Greggs’ notorious Festive Bakes, the Poundland pasty is made in Wales, with a puff pastry outer layer, filled with chicken thigh, ham and cranberries in a creamy sage and parsley sauce.

Poundland said it had travelled the country to blind taste-test the pasty on consumers called Greg, with its festive pasty coming out on top.


Nairn’s Biscuit Breaks, £1.75 per pack, Waitrose and Morrisons

Healthier biscuit brand Nairn’s has added a third gluten-free variant to its Chunky Biscuit range: gluten-free oats, apple and cinnamon.

The new biscuits are billed as “reminiscent of a freshly baked apple crumble but with all the benefits of wholegrain oats”.

They contain 50% less sugar than the average gluten-free biscuit and only 63 calories per biscuit.


Online only

Allplants Treats, £9 per 3-pack, Online

A trio of plant-based puddings – named Treats – has been launched by online vegan food specialist Allplants after a successful limited-edition run.

The brand initially released the desserts to its subscribers only but has now made them part of its core range after “thousands of requests” from shoppers.

The puds are: sticky banoffee pudding (85g) with toasted pecans and salted date caramel, golden apple crumble (100g) with juicy blackberries and a nutty oat topping, and chocolate fudge fondant (92g) with molten peanut caramel and roasted peanuts.

Designed to be heated up from frozen, each dessert contains under 250 calories, is free from refined sugar and packaged in a reusable heat-proof glass ramekin.


Mindful Chef frozen ready meals, £7 each, Online

Meal kit brand The Mindful Chef has doubled its range of frozen ready meals.

There are eight new dishes in the range, all of which are “nutritionally balanced” and free from refined carbs, gluten and dairy.

The new meals are yellow Thai tofu curry, cashew chickpea korma, rose harissa chickpea tagine, creamy mushroom & butter bean bake, sunflower mince bolognese, chilli con carne, chicken cacciatore, and chipotle chicken.


Brussels Sprout Ketchup, £3 per 255g, Amazon

Brussels Sprouts lovers have a treat in store this Christmas with the birth of a special limited-edition Brussels Sprout Ketchup.

The festive variant has been launched by artisanal condiments brand Sauce Shop in partnership with Amazon.

Each bottle contains about 15 British brussels sprouts – chosen for their “sweet, nutty flavour” – and blended with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon to give the tasting notes of braised red cabbage.

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