Exploring Easter NPD with Waitrose and Daylesford
As the days begin to grow longer and the sun shines a little stronger, the approach of Spring means only one thing for the UK’s food & drink retailers: time for some exciting new Easter-themed NPD!
In this article, Speciality & Fine Food Fair chats to Daylesford and Waitrose about the inspiration behind their 2024 Easter ranges and the importance of approaching classic products in a fresh and innovative way.
Balancing tradition, innovation and celebration
When it comes to NPD at Daylesford, it’s important to walk the tightrope between much-loved classic products and new innovations, flavours and ingredients.
“The NPD team works tirelessly to develop existing products, elevating and embellishing them in new and exciting ways for customers,” says a spokesperson from the retailer. “The team also develops new products through listening to our customers, as well as anticipating new trends through an ongoing analysis of consumer insights.
“While we like to pay respect to tradition with Easter favourites such as Easter Eggs, Hot Cross Buns and Simnel Cake, we equally love to add a creative twist to these classics. Our much-loved Sticky Toffee Hot Cross Buns are the perfect example, alongside our range of Easter Eggs inspired by Spring, which always generate great excitement with our loyal customer base and with new shoppers.
Emma Beale, Head of Product Innovation at Waitrose, adds: “Easter is such a joyous time and it’s a perfect excuse to get in some of the GOOD stuff when celebrating with friends and family. Whether you love to indulge in some chocolate, are a fan of gorgeous cakes worthy of a spot on your Easter table or enjoy a traditional hot cross bun, there is something for everyone. We can’t wait for customers to experience the innovative flavours, fun and quality that our products provide this Spring.”
It wouldn’t be Easter without eggs taking centre stage, and both Daylesford and Waitrose are on hand with Easter eggs that are bursting with new flavours and mouth-watering ingredients.
A Dayleford spokesperson tells the Fair: “New products launching this spring Easter is one of our favourite times of the year at Daylesford; when the farm is bursting with new life and the joys of spring.
“The collection features hand-painted Easter Eggs, show-stopping table centrepieces and traditional patisserie handmade at the bakery on our Cotswolds farm. New products include a Milk Chocolate Honeycomb Egg (£22), which is a milk chocolate egg made using bean to bar cocoa embedded with crisp honeycomb gathered from beehives on our farm.
“Another new item is the Praline Hen’s Egg in a Limited Edition Egg Cup (£15). A real hen’s egg shell is filled with praline and placed in a limited-edition ceramic egg cup designed by Hugo Guinness. The egg can be heated in water just like a real egg, and once soft and gooey, eaten with a spoon or dipped into with soldiers of fruit and toast for the ultimate Easter morning breakfast of ‘dippy egg and soldiers’. Or, if preferred cold, just peel and eat just like a hard-boiled egg.”
Daylesford isn’t the only retailer egg-xperimenting with some innovative new flavours.
Will Torrent, Partner & Senior Innovation Chef at Waitrose, comments: “Pistachio and blonde chocolate are really having a moment. We wanted to create something which encases both flavours as they work so well together, while also giving our customers an element of surprise.
“Our new No.1 The Cracking Pistachio Egg is inspired by pistachio nuts, with not one but two shells! It’s blonde on the outside and when cracked open reveals a pistachio shell inside. Grown-ups deserve some fun at Easter too and we think this will do just the trick.”
Being vegan or lactose-intolerant shouldn’t mean you have to miss out on sweet treats. There are also two delicious new ranges of dairy-free Easter chocolate exclusive to Waitrose this year. Cox & Co and Happi produce their amazing eggs using single origin Colombian cacao chocolate and their packaging is completely sustainable – it’s made from wood pulp, so it is also home compostable.
This year Waitrose will also be welcoming back its popular Easter-themed chocolate character Sunny Side Sam. Sam on Toast is a solid Belgian milk chocolate slice with a creamy butterscotch flavour, great for those who adore Sam but fancy some milk chocolate.
You can also pick up a loveable Sam plush toy, which can be kept forever – because eggs aren’t just for Easter.
Sarah Breadmore, Confectionery Product Developer at Waitrose, said: “When developing this year's range, we wanted to bring fun and conversation to the Easter table, so we have given our customers an element of surprise while bringing them flavour combinations they may have never tried before.”
People and planet
Daysleford's spokesperson continues: “At Daylesford, the NPD team is relentless in our pursuit to farm, make, package and source products in a way that leaves the lightest touch on the planet – working in harmony with the land to regenerate and replenish. The result is products that are beautiful to look at and kind to the land we live on.
“This year, the Easter collection aims to inspire conscious shopping and living, with 50% more organic, sustainably grown chocolate than in previous years and less plastic packaging than ever.”
Waitrose's commitment to sustainability means that the retailer develops own-brand confectionery using Fairtrade cocoa and 100% recyclable packaging.
To find out more about the latest trends, interviews and industry news, subscribe to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair newsletter.