Gluten Free & Vegan Ambient Spiced Fruit Granola, The Handmade Cake Company

This delicious, innovative cake slice answers the needs of the contemporary vending market in several ways. Firstly, by providing a premium, sweet alternative to confectionery. Secondly, by increasing inclusivity with a truly delectable gluten free and vegan option. Thirdly, by broadening appeal with a product adapted to a variety of dayparts.

With the growing popularity of premium treats, there is great opportunity for convenient, premium snacks. Despite the surging popularity of healthy living, our analysis of the category insights implies consumers in the out of home market are still craving sweet snacks, particularly in formats offering smaller, indulgent portions. Indeed, cake bars are booming having seen a 32% rise in retail sales to £82.7bn (Kantar, June 2019 vs June 2018). Three in five cake bar shoppers buy them because they’re convenient and the same proportion eat them on-the-go (Streetbees 1,260 consumers).

People are working increasingly long hours and, for younger demographics in particular, this has led to a greater demand for out of home snacking. 31% of 18-34 year olds eat 3+ snacks a day, falling to 18% for over 35s (Techonomic). These on-the-go professionals seek the same high quality they’re used to but in new convenient formats. In addition to greater quality, consumers are looking for an indulgent treat feeling. A 2019 study showed that 79% of British consumers (and 90% of centennials/millennials) are motivated to snack by a desire to pamper/spoil/reward themselves. 77% are motivated by wanting a sense of comfort, to find quiet moments to themselves and to boost their mood (Mondelez International via The Harris Poll, 2019). This desire for an elevated, impactful break demands a premium, noteworthy snack. Our Gluten Free & Vegan Spiced Fruit Granola rises to the challenge by offering snackers the premium indulgence of a slice of cake but in a convenient on-the-go format.

How does it achieve this? Through high quality, trusted ingredients and a delicious recipe crafted by a bakery with over 30 years’ experience. Each bar is loaded with flavour – packed with oats, golden syrup, stem ginger, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, cranberries and apricots. Delicately spiced to deliver a premium and fresh feel.

The high-end flavour profile and ingredient list is matched by a mould-breaking packaging solution. Each cake is flow wrapped to prevent contamination and then inserted into a recyclable, kraft board cardboard sleeve. The rustic, textured finish features exposed kraft juxtaposing to a bright flash of colour to draw the eye. The sleeve not only protects the integrity of the cake as it drops inside the vending machine but also gives the range a point of visual difference clearly conveying the artisan, premium quality.

The product adds true inclusivity to a vending range. Free From consumers are spending 35% more (£7.14) on food to go than average food to go consumers (£5.29) (MCA 2020). Operators need to ensure this need is catered for. However, creating quality free from alternatives is always a challenge, especially in cakes and desserts as such categories use eggs, flour, butter and cream as a basis for most recipes. Despite enormous progress by operators, the ratio of dietary alternatives to quality dietary alternatives available remains uneven and consumers are now looking for more inclusivity: they expect a product that’s as good as its standard sibling. We wanted to design a range of cakes that are vegan and gluten free but meet the expectations of standard and free from consumers alike – products people love because they’re great, not just “good for a vegan cake”.

Like all gluten free products created by The Handmade Cake Company, the new cakes are baked in their fully-segregated, AA grade BRC certified, gluten free bakery and are all licenced by Coeliac UK. The Spiced Fruit Granola is also vegan and registered with the Vegan Society.

Our Spiced Fruit Granola is ideal for any time of day but is particularly well suited to the breakfast daypart. The snack’s daypart versatility presents the potential of all day sales reaching a broader market from one sku. Having a range tailored to a variety of day parts is a great way to tempt customers to a breakfast treat. Flapjack and granola traybakes are ideal for tapping into the booming market for on-the-go breakfast which saw a 32.8% rise last year reaching 349 million range (Kantar, 2019). With almost a fifth of 25 to 34-year-olds eating breakfast in this way every day and cereal cake bars being the number one on-the-go breakfast option, a cake bar suited to breakfast is a no-brainer for any range (Kantar, 2019). Our Spiced Fruit Granola is perfect for a midmorning boost, as part of lunch or as a late afternoon snack.