NPD flew off the shelves this year from controversial flavours to nostalgic relaunches

Check out the top NPD for 2023 in the list below. How many have you tried this year?

1. Heinz x Absolut | Limited Edition Tomato Vodka Pasta Sauce


The most-liked new product of 2023 was announced in March as a collaboration between ambient staple Heinz and vodka brand Absolut.

Piggybacking off the TikTok viral vodka pasta recipe trend from 2020, made famous by Gigi Hadid, this collaboration was “a match made in pasta heaven”, said Heinz.

Comments on this top post included @kevssnackreviews: “Not sure about this…” and @jaime.biley saying: “Bit early for April Fools day.”


2. New York Bakery Co | Cookies N’Cream


Bakery titan New York Bakery Co caused controversy in the comments section with this wacky cookies n’ cream flavour bagel NPD launched in September.

Instagram users were unsure what to make of them in the comments, however @commit_2bfit_ see you at Morrisons when it opens on the 11th” and @coachedby_dl I will be out back at the delivery waggon camped out waiting”.


3. Lilt discontinued | Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit⁠


The celebrity deaths of 2023 do not compare to the collective grief felt around the country for the announcement of the discontinuation of Lilt.

Coca-Cola axed the nostalgic brand in February and filled its place on the shelf with relaunched Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit. 

The internet reacted to the loss of its beloved and “totally tropical” fizz with tears, memes, and a petition. “Farewell sweet Lilt”, “can’t stop crying” and “end of an era” were the common cries, but many like @nicolalonie attempted to reassure users by letting them know “the Aldi knock off version is much nicer anyway”.

Gone but not forgotten.


4. Tony’s Chocolonely | Littl’ Bits


Tony’s Chocolonely expanded beyond its tablet heartlands into bagged confectionery this year with its new Littl’ Bits launch, comprising chewy and crunchy cores coated in Fairtrade chocolate.

Milk Caramel Sea Salt & Biscuit Mix; Triple Chocolate Mix; Milk Marshmallow & Biscuit Mix; and Dark Orange Choco Cookie flavours launched in Sainsbury’s on 31 July, Tesco, Asda and Co-op in August and Waitrose and Ocado in September. 

@tonyschocolonely_uk_ire commented: “We can’t wait for people to try these. Proving that all chocolate can be made free of exploitation”.


5. Kit Kat Chunky White with Lotus Biscoff


With so much discord in the world, there’s one thing that brings everyone together (on the internet at least) – and that’s a Lotus Biscoff co-branded launch.

Kit Kat Chunky White with Lotus Biscoff comprises the brand’s traditional wafer layers, topped with Lotus’s caramelised biscuit crumb and covered in white chocolate. It rolled exclusively into Tesco in March.

Fans said they had “truly died and gone to heaven” and “well done @lotusbiscoffuk ….your crumbs are everywhere!! Fantastic strategy…. well done!!!!”


6. Ben & Jerry’s | Sunny Honey Home


In June, ethical ice cream leader Ben & Jerry’s co-created a flavour with Co-op and refugee entrepreneurs for Refugee Week.

The tub packaging was designed by Edwige Seri, a TERN (The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network) graduate, strategic brand designer, surface pattern designer, researcher and artist. Her design was inspired by the landscape of Afghanistan, the flowers from Syria and the patterns and diversity of Morocco. 

“Working on this project and seeing how the entrepreneurs have delivered the product from concept to launch has been nothing short of inspirational and at times truly humbling,” said Rebecca Oliver-Mooney, head of commercial at Co-op. “The launch is a true example of co-operation and fits perfectly with our values here at Co-op.”


7. Häagen-Dazs | Pistachio & Cream⁠


Häagen-Dazs launched a limited-edition festive flavour ice cream for this year of pistachio and cream.

@redshoeslondon asked a very pertinent question: “How did it take so long!?”


8. Pukpip | Frozen wonky bananas dipped in chocolate


This year, Ecuadorian ingredients supplier Semvra unveiled frozen snacking brand Pukpip – launching a product so interesting you’ll wonder why it isn’t already a thing.

Frozen wonky bananas dipped in chocolate⁠ – on a stick. Truly bananas.

Launching with variants of milk, white and dark chocolate, the concept had people tagging and begging in the comments for their local supermarkets to stock them.


9. Horlicks | Pudding-flavoured hot drinks


Nostalgic brand Horlicks launched three pudding-flavoured hot drinks, in Banoffee Pie, Apple Pie and Cherry Bakewell flavours.

The trio, each of which is prepared by adding hot water, would “maintain the brand’s signature malty taste” while appealing to consumers seeking the flavour of “crowd-pleasing desserts”, Horlicks said.


10. Little Moons | Refreshos


Launching in Janurary 2023, Little Moons moved into snackable sorbet with new Refresho format.

It added two rice dough-wrapped variants: Very Berry and Pineapple & Mandarin. Both flavours are HFSS-compliant, vegan and gluten-free. They provide fewer than 60 calories per serving and contain no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives.


11. Oppo Brothers | chocolate dipped frozen fruit


2023 seemed to be the year of snackable ice cream with another brand hitting the top 23.

Reduced calorie ice cream brand Oppo Brothers expanded its range with a trio of frozen fruit snacks dipped in chocolate.

The Dipped range comprises: Strawberries & Raspberries in Milk Chocolate; Banana & Caramel in Milk Chocolate; and Pineapple & Coconut in White Chocolate.

Multiple commenters were quick to point out how the raspberry on the product looks like a set of teeth. Subliminal messaging or off-putting?


12. Arla | Protein Puddings


Arla launched a range of 200g pudding pots high in protein (20g), low in fat and with no added sugar⁠.

Followers tagged their gym friends in the comments, fighting over which is the best flavour between chocolate, salted caramel and hazelnut latte.


13. Mars Wrigley | Bounty Centrepiece


Perhaps the most controversial Christmas topic of all. Bounty fans can finally be out and proud with this Bounty-only tub.

The SKU launched exclusively into Tesco from 27 September with an rsp of £6/350g.

In 2022, Mars Wrigley launched Bounty-free Celebrations tubs. But The Grocer argued that the listing and delisting of Bounty was a PR goldmine for stiring up social media debate and free publicity for the products. 

Will we see the reins pulled back again on Bounty? Watch this space.


14. Aunt Bessie’s | ‘Gloriously Festive’ star-shaped Yorkshire puddings


Roast brand staple Aunt Bessie’s announced in October new star-shaped Yorkshire puddings. 

Not remarkably innovative, but how creative can you be with a yorkie? What is innovative, however, is how it has teamed up with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to roll out new packs featuring technology to make them more accessible to the visually impaired.

Instagram user @depressinglyalternative commented: “Eh, pentagram shaped yorkies? No real point, plus I have to start learning how to make them from scratch as my gut issues mean I cannot tolerate UPS.” … Enjoy thinking about that.


15. Cadbury | Creme Egg bar


A moment that broke the fmcg internet this November was Cadbury unveiling its first Creme Egg sharing bar for the UK.

The Grocer wrote that dedicated Creme Egg fans will remember its countline spin-off Twisted, which launched to much fanfare in 2008, only to be withdrawn by Cadbury in 2012 following sales declines.

So, more than a decade after Twisted’s exit, is Creme Egg’s latest chocolate bar better positioned for success? Or will it be a flash in the pan?

“Omg stop this would be the best thing ever,” said @ashleigh1302, while @allergybaby2021 noted: “It’s Christmas! Not Easter!”  


16. KFC x Proper Snacks | KFC x Dead Man’s Fingers


KFC went on a co-brand frenzy this August, launching a KFC popcorn chicken Proper Snacks popcorn as well as a KFC ‘11 Herbed and Spiced Rum’ with alcohol brand Dead Man’s Fingers.

KFC innovation director Kate Wall said: “We pride ourselves on doing the unexpected, which is why we’re so excited to be partnering with Proper Snacks.”

The rum was described by the fast food giant as “Kentucky zing meets Cornish soul”. To mark the launch, the brands created a pop-up “chicken and rum shack” in Margate.

Bizarre. Comments on this post include “what” and “ewwww … lol”.


17. J2O | RTD Mocktails


Soft drinks maker J2O joined the non-alcoholic ready to drink trend this year

Strawberry & Orange Blossom Mojito, White Peach & Mango Daiquiri, and Blackberry & Blueberry Martini flavour mocktails launched in September.


18.  Kopparberg | Summer Punch


Trying out a limited-edition summer variant like Red Bull has in recent years, Kopparberg launched a new Summer Punch with an apple and peach flavour⁠ 4% abv cider ahead of the summer.

As Instagram user @angioletticider commented: “What’s summer without cider.”


19. Nestlé | Kit Kat Cereal


This NPD landed Nestlé in a dispute with former health tsar Henry Dimbleby. After marketing the new Kit Kat cereal as “tasty and nutritious”, Nestlé pointed to its content of B vitamins and minerals. However, in a tweet Dimbleby described the ad as a “joke”, saying “This really is taking the p@@@.”

The comments section lit up under this post with @piracycorp Oh, give us a break* NPD for NPD-sake. Seems a bit of a theme this week in grocery-land. More sugar-laden rubbish for our kids, well done @nestle @nestleuki (*see what I did there?) #brandoverstretch #npdnonsense #npdhell”. Point made.


20. All Things Butter


Chef Thomas Straker, who runs London restaurants Straker’s and Flat Bread, explored ways to enhance recipes using butter in a series of viral social media videos filmed during lockdown.

After going viral on #ButterTok on TikTok, Straker and best friend Toby Hopkinson founded brand All Things Butter, closed a six-figure pre-seed fundraise, and secured its first major retail listing via Ocado.

The range includes Salted and Unsalted as well as Chilli and Garlic & Herb variants. 

The brand hopes to disrupt the dairy industry by “offering the first chef-led approach that introduces a flavour range, that puts British farming at the forefront and donates 1% of its revenue to support the British agricultural industry”.


21. Kettle Chips | Sriracha Mayo and Dill Pickle & Jalapeño


Kettle Chips launched two trendy crisp flavours: Sriracha Mayo and Dill Pickle & Jalapeño into Waitrose in mid-April.

Hoping on the booming pickle trend in younger audiences, the comments prove this with @travel.snacker writing: “I’ve always wanted to try dill pickles chips!”; @catsnbourbon “YAS! Severe lack of dill flavoured crisps in the UK”; and @_thevinylcountdown_ “I need those dill pickle ones like you wouldn’t believe.”


22. Popchips | Popcorn⁠


HFSS regulation has ushered in a new era of “better-for-you” snacks.

This August, Popchips launched two non-HFSS variants – Salted (67g) and Sweet & Salty (75g) – exclusively into Waitrose.

Popchips owner KP Snacks said it aimed to deliver “great taste without compromise” and “attract new shoppers to the popcorn category”.


23. Boursin | Truffle


Sneaking on to the end of the list, and just ahead of Christmas, is Boursin’s festive limited edition truffle variant.

The brand hopes to capitalise on the £3.5m truffle cheese market in the UK, which is currently in double-digit growth, to inspire sales success.

“With truffle already established with food enthusiasts and long associated with moments of luxury, it’s the perfect flavour for Boursin, appealing to this audience and cementing our positioning as the number-one indulgence cheese brand,” said Holly Bennett, senior brand manager at Boursin.

Truffle fans were very vocal on this Instagram post, @bertchapman92 “you’ve made my Christmas. Not sure if you can beat the OG though. Will let you know.” Added @ebonyjoliee: “i need it…”