Each of the categories covered in our Top Products report features a Top Launch – the product most significant to its respective category in 2022. Here we list every Top Launch and why we chose it.


Check out our main feature with a full breakdown of category performance here


Alcohol: wine

Wise Wolf | Accolade Wine


Packed in the kind of beautiful bottle you’d expect to see in the premium spirits fixture, Accolade’s Wise Wolf – a Banrock Estate spin-off that bears little resemblance to its mother brand – stands out on shelf. It also has eco cred, being made from 100% post-consumer recycled glass, while its lid is also 100% recycled. The posh range comprises Chardonnay, Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon (rsp: £11/750ml). It’s an example of great creativity in a category often lacking bold innovation.


Alcohol: beer & cider 

Stella Unfiltered | Budweiser Brewing


Here’s the latest spin-off from the UK’s biggest booze brand. It’s brewed without filtering, and uses the same barley and yeast as core Stella Artois. The addition of Mandarina Bavaria hop oil provides a fruitier, more citrus taste. At 5% abv, Unfiltered is stronger than the brand’s core lager, and it has greater appeal to the craft beer crowd. Rolled out in February, it was worth £13.6m in just six months – thanks in no small part to a TV ad in which a nude barman served glasses of Unfiltered to naked patrons.


Alcohol: spirits & RTDs 

WKD X | SHS Drinks

WKD X_range

Caffeinated alcoholic RTDs were fairly niche and dominated by Dragon Soop – until this bevvy hit shelves in March. Packing 150mg of caffeine and an abv of 7%, WKD’s “enhanced” alcopop is available in Blue and Gold (rsp: £3.39/500ml). Both are fruit-flavoured and contain taurine and guarana. The duo would “draw on the soft drinks category’s success and present a credible and nationally supported alcoholic version to a receptive 18 to 24-year-old target market” WKD said at the time of launch.


Bakery & bread 

Seeds & Grains | Warburtons


This range of 700g loaves from Warburtons is on-trend in every respect. Aimed at health-conscious shoppers, it comprises three variants: The Big 21, featuring 21 varieties of seeds and grains; Plant Power, made with a blend of pulses, grains and seeds; and Make It Grain, containing Maris Otter barley. Each premium SKU (rsp: £1.85) is wrapped in paper – marking a packaging first for Warbies. The stylish, eco-friendly bread bags can be recycled domestically with newspapers and cardboard.


Home baking

Melting Middle Chocolate Pud | Dr Oetker

Dr. Oetker Choc Melting Middle_0001

Melting middle puddings have been available ready made for some years. Now, though, Brits can make their own thanks to this inexpensive kit from Dr Oetker.  With an rsp of £1.75, it requires only the addition of butter and eggs to produce a pud for two people – which the brand describes as “soft and gooey” and “sumptuous”. The kit, which rolled into Asda in mid-April, comprises chocolate pudding mix and two foil moulds, and is suitable “for bakers of all skill levels”. Sweet!


Table sauces and seasonings

Belazu Sour Cherry Molasses | WJFG

Belazu Ingredient Company Sour Cherry Molasses

Sour cherry is a flavour popular in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines. But it’s been an untapped choice for molasses – until now. This innovative condiment from Belazu (rsp: £4.99/250ml) uses two dark red cherry varieties from Turkey – kutahya and katirli – for both sweetness and tartness. Unveiled in June, its flavour profile makes it the ideal addition to a wide variety of dishes – both savoury and sweet. Little wonder it easily won the condiments category of The Grocer New Product Awards 2022.


Personal care: oral care

Aquafresh Naturals | Haleon


This is a grown-up move by kid-friendly Aquafresh: toothpaste made from 97% naturally derived ingredients, while promising to be just as good for teeth as traditional toothpaste. Unveiled in January in Herbal Fresh and Mint Clean (rsp: £1.50/75ml), the Naturals range is vegan and contains no synthetic sweeteners, flavours or preservatives. Designed to tap demand for eco-conscious products, it’s packed in a carton made with recycled materials, while its tube and cap are recyclable.



Surreal cereal | Surreal


Surreal stormed onto the scene in January with the promise of being “a protein bar disguised as a cereal”. Its four flavours – Cocoa, Peanut Butter, Frosted and Cinnamon (rsp: £6/210g) – provide 14g of plant-based protein per bowl and zero sugar, in a bid to tackle cereal’s unhealthy rep. They also deliver on taste, co-founder Jac Chetland stresses. Having started out exclusively DTC, savvy marketing (including ads teasing Kellogg’s) has helped Surreal gain listings in 1,000 outlets across the UK and Ireland.


Dairy: butters & spreads 

West Country Spreadable | The Butterworks


West Country cream, Cornish sea salt and British rapeseed oil combine in this butter, launched into Waitrose in April. With an rsp of £2.15 for 250g, it doesn’t come cheap. But this was a conscious choice by The Butterworks, which wanted to create a “standout product” to counteract the race to the bottom in the category. Clear provenance of ingredients is a key part of this premium proposition, as is high butter content of 68%. And crucially, as the name suggests, it spreads straight from the fridge.


Dairy: cheese

Cathedral City Our Plant Based | Saputo


The UK’s biggest cheese brand made its vegan debut in September, in what it hailed as a “momentous occasion”. Made with coconut oil and potato starch, Cathedral City’s Our Plant Based is available in block (rsp: £3.60/280g), sliced (rsp: £2.30/150g) and grated (rsp: £2.30/150g) formats. The result of several years’ development, its “creamy” taste  is based on the brand’s regular cheddar – helping it deliver “the great quality people know and expect from Cathedral City”.


Dairy: yoghurts & desserts 

Dairy Free Suckies | The Collective

DF suckies - 2 SKUs no background

The Collective took its popular kids’ range into plant-based in July with the launch of Dairy Free Suckies (rsp: 70p/85g) in Strawberry and Peach & Apricot. Made in the UK, the trendy snacks comprise an oat & coconut base blended with fruit. The range, which now also features a Banana line, contains live cultures, calcium and vitamins D and B12. The launch came in response to there being “so few dairy-free options available for children”, The Collective UK CEO Sarah Smart explained at the time. 


Canned goods 

High Protein Soup | Mr Organic

Mr Oragnic Spicy Mixed Bean Soup

Providing at least 4.9g of protein per 100g, this trendy soup from Mr Organic arrived in April. It comes in Tomato & Lentil and Spicy Mixed Bean (a combo of red kidney, haricot, black-eye and chickpea) – both supplemented by sunflower protein and providing one of the 5 a day. Available via Ocado and Abel & Cole, the premium, plant-based duo (rsp: £1.75-£1.95/400g) is aimed at busy consumers “looking for a quick nutritional meal”, says the brand.



Porcini Mushroom Risotto | White Rabbit

White Rabbit Risotto_Mushroom_0622[1]

Making its debut in ambient, White Rabbit rolled out gluten-free Porcini Mushroom Risotto (rsp: £3/180g) in September. Promising the “perfect porcini and champignon mushroom combo”, the plant-based SKU is a key example of White Rabbit’s expansion beyond its core pizzas. The risotto was preceded by three chilled pasta ready meals in February and frozen dough balls a month later. A £1.1m investment in April from Guinness Asset Management means even more innovation is on its way.


Household cleaning 

Surf Concentrated Disinfectant | Unilever

Surf disinfectant 8720181268090.01

Surf’s first foray into surface care makes good use of the brand’s popular laundry fragrances. Passion Bloom, Coconut Bliss and Tropical Lily disinfectants (rsp: £2.50/240ml) promise to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. Plus, says Unilever, they provide “strong value” by making “approximately 10 litres of product per bottle once diluted”. Packed in bottles made from recycled materials, they rolled into Asda in August backed by a £2m masterbrand push, and hit other retailers in November.


Ice cream 

Snacking Balls | Oppo


Following Little Moons’ lead, Oppo made its first foray into ice cream balls in May – albeit by eschewing a mochi dough outer layer in favour of Belgian milk chocolate. Launched in Salted Caramel in a tub of 12 (rsp: £4), Snacking Balls is HFSS-compliant, providing just 20kcals per ball. Plus, it’s the ideal format for home-workers, insists Oppo founder & MD Charlie Thuillier. “With the freezer now often only a few steps from your laptop, we thought it would be great to offer a bite-size treat.”


Juices & smoothies

Capri-Sun reformulation | CCEP GB

Capri-Sun Orange

As HFSS rules loomed, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners GB was busy reformulating Capri-Sun’s core lineup to become compliant. Not compromising on flavour was crucial to the supplier, which gave Orange, Tropical and Blackcurrant only “a marginal recipe change [in March]… keeping them as delicious as before”. It’s not the first time Capri-Sun has made healthy changes, mind you. In a 2018 recipe change, the brand halved its sugar content by adding stevia to its juice.


Bottled water, squash & cordial

Evian Sparkling | Danone


Evian added fizz to its portfolio in January with the rollout of its first sparkling water – posing a threat to smaller rivals with established bubbly lines. The Danone brand said its 330ml can (rsp: 79p) represented “new possibilities” for the water, which makes a “15-year natural filtration journey through the glacial rocks in the heart of the French Alps”. Evian Sparkling grew later in the year by adding a one-litre rPET bottle. The likes of Highland Spring and San Pellegrino had better watch out.


Tobacco & vaping 

Vyko Paper Bar | UK Electronic Cigarette

vyko paper bar 2

Disposable vapes are booming. That’s great for the category, but not for the environment. More than half end up in landfill, enough to cover 22 football pitches every week, according to not-for-profit Material Focus. The plastic is the main problem – which Vyko is tackling with its ‘99% plastic-free’ disposable, the UK’s first. The device contains 2ml of e-liquid, delivering up to 800 puffs, and full flavour is assured by an organic cotton wick. Also, the battery can be literally ripped out and recycled.


Personal care: health and sex care

Nootropics | Hux


Nootropics – sometimes known as ‘cognitive enhancers’ – initially rose to prominence in the world of esport. DTC startup Hux hopes to broaden the appeal of these brain-boosting supplements, targeting not only those in gaming chairs but in office chairs, too. The hero ingredients in the two-a-day capsules – of which there are 40 in a £45 jar – are citicoline, which has been found to have various brain health and attention benefits, and medicinal mushroom lion’s mane.


Ready meals

This Ready Meals | This


Could This be the hottest meat alternative brand of the year? Quite possibly. After all, it’s growing value fast while innovating at breakneck speed. Among its wealth of NPD this year is a chilled ready meals range. Added in September, Isn’t Pork Meatballs & Spaghetti, Isn’t Chicken Thai Green Curry and Isn’t Pork Sausages & Mash (rsp: £3.95/380g) are low in satfat, high in protein and microwaveable in under five minutes. They launched after the supplier bagged £8m from the crowd in May.


Confectionery: chocolate 

Dairy Milk Hot Cross Bun | Mondelez

CDM hot cross bun

Easter confectionery sales boomed in 2022 as the UK celebrated its first run of restriction-free spring bank holidays for two years. Mondelez celebrated in style with this limited-edition mash-up. It’s Cadbury milk chocolate studded with raisins and cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pieces – mirroring the deliciousness of the baked treat after which it’s named. The 110g tablet was a smash hit, says Mondelez. Hopefully, it’ll make a return for Easter 2023, then.


Confectionery: sugar and gum

Fruit Gummies | Naturelly

Naturelly Fruit Gummies

Your eyes are not deceiving you. This really is a bag of fruit gummies with all green traffic lights. Non-HFSS jelly brand Naturelly unveiled its no-added-sugar sweets in September. Each 40g bag (rsp: 80p) provides just 5g of naturally occurring sugar and the entire 30g recommended daily fibre intake, while weighing in at just 68 calories. The gummies are vegan, made with real fruit juice, and contain no sweeteners. They’re listed by Amazon, and will roll into Co-op and Nisa in January 2023.


Frozen food 

Waffle Fries | Leon

leon fries

With foodservice braced for a downturn driven by Brits’ economic woes, Leon has been busy expanding its offer in grocery with these crisscross Garlic Aioli & Rosemary Waffle Fries. They rolled into Sainsbury’s in April – and have been a hit. Leon’s frozen potato sales surged 44.8% to just shy of £1m in the past 12 months. With the brand already knocking out 2.5 million portions of Waffle Fries at its restaurants each year, those grocery sales look only set to grow.


Hot beverages 

Kenco Iced/Hot Latte | JDE


Brits love a latte. Hence this canny and bang-on-trend launch from JDE. It’s an instant latte that can be mixed with hot or cold water. Available in Salted Caramel and Vanilla, Kenco Iced/Hot Latte launched into Morrisons in February. It’s since been picked up by Tesco and other grocers – allowing consumers to personalise their beverages while widening instant coffee’s reach. And with a retail price of £1.60 for eight sachets, it offers an attractive return for retailers.


Rice, noodles & pasta

Durum Wheat Pasta | Crosta & Mollica


This classy, four-strong range of premium dried pasta hit Waitrose shelves in August. Spaghetti, Rigatoni, Fiorelli and Tagliatelle are made using the “brightest golden durum wheat Italy has to offer” says Crosta & Mollica. The quartet was joined on shelf in the summer by a lineup of posh pasta sauce: Sugo al Pomodoro, Sugo alla Puttanesca, Sugo alla Norma, and Sugo all’Arrabbiata. All are billed as containing naturally sun-sweetened Italian tomatoes “picked at peak ripeness”.



Inner Vitality | Tails.com


DTC brand Tails.com made its retail debut in February with Nourish & Protect dogfood, listed in Sainsbury’s as part of its Future Brands programme. The range of 22 wet and dry products, since renamed Inner Vitality, is tailored by age, breed size and health need – such as weight, gut health and immunity. Plus, consumers can answer online questions to bag a free scoop that feeds their pet the ideal portion. Having initially rolled out to 108 stores, distribution was expanded to 400 in the summer.



Souper Cubes | Soupologie


The Pea & Leek variant isn’t the only green thing about Souper Cubes, which were developed with the environment front of mind. Designed to reduce food waste, each pack contains six 150g cubes of flash-frozen soup (rsp: £4.25), so consumers can scale their serving according to appetite. The outer packaging of Souper Cubes – also available in Carrot & Turmeric – is made from recyclable card, while the inner bag is made from wood pulp and is fully compostable.


Jams & spreads 

Whole Earth Drizzler | Ecotone

Whole Earth DRIZZLER_GOLDEN_ROASTED_320g-391edb-original-165089

Peanut butter was given the squeezable treatment this year, with the rollout of Whole Earth Drizzler in Super Smooth and Golden Roasted (rsp: £3.30/320g) in a bottle made from 100% recycled materials. Claiming to be the first squeezy peanut butter in UK supermarkets, a unique production process makes it runnier than its jarred equivalent. After making its debut in Waitrose and Tesco in May, Drizzler’s distribution extended to Sainsbury’s, Asda, Ocado, Spar and Morrisons – backed by a £1.5m push.


Cooking sauces 

Heinz Pasta Sauce | Kraft Heinz

Heinz pasta sauces

In February, Alexandra Bayet of Heinz’s new ventures team apologised for the “ridiculously late” launch of its first pasta sauce in the UK. Given the brand’s expertise in tomatoes, the range certainly seemed like a logical progression. It comprises four core variants, such as Tomato Sauce for Bolognese and Sundried Cherry Tomato & Basil, and three “exploratory” recipes, including Tomato & Lentil Ragu. There’s no added sugar, and all but Mascarpone & Grana Padano Cheese are vegan.


Biscuits & cakes 

McVitie’s Blissfuls | Pladis UK

Blissfuls Belgian Chocolate & Hazelnut

Pladis took Britain’s favourite biscuit brand into bagged snacks this year. The sharing bags of baked mini McVitie’s biccies, complete with a Belgian milk chocolate centre and flavoured with hazelnut or caramel (rsp: £2.59/228g), are designed to tap evening occasions.  The two-strong range is billed as a “decadent new snacking experience” that would “enhance relevance for sweet biscuits during the evening snacking occasion”, said McVitie’s marketing director David Titman at time of launch in January.


Personal care: beauty 

Simple Booster Serum | Unilever


Simple made trendy beauty serums mainstream and affordable in March with the launch of its three-strong Booster Serum range (rsp: £7.99/30ml). It comprises 3% Hyaluronic Acid + B5 to lock in hydration; 10% Vitamins C+E+F to “enhance the skin’s glow”; and 10% Vitamin B3 Niacinamide, designed to prevent acne. Unilever says the range serves “a significant rise in demand for beauty serums” and “a new generation of consumers, who are more knowledgeable about skincare ingredients”.


Personal care: haircare

Elvive Hydra Hyaluronic | L’Oréal


Hyaluronic acid has been a popular skincare ingredient for a while, thanks to its moisturising properties. No surprise, then, L’Oréal spotted its potential to treat dry and damaged tresses. The beauty giant launched its Elvive quartet in February, featuring the likes of Moisture Boosting Shampoo and Moisture Locking Conditioner (rsps: £3.50-£12.99/150ml-400ml). All four lines are formulated to “plump the fibre for hair that looks full, bouncy, shiny, and feels weightlessly hydrated for up to 72 hours”.


Personal care: hygiene

Sure Nonstop Protection | Unilever

Sure Nonstop 72hr

Unilever has gone high-tech with its deodorant portfolio – the most prominent example being Sure Nonstop Protection. Unveiled in March, it’s part of Sure’s “biggest upgrade in antiperspirant technology in 30 years”, according to the supplier. It promises defence from sweat and odour for a whopping 72 hours, by forming a powerful layer that reduces the flow of sweat on to the underarm surface. Plus, proprietary MotionSense tech releases bursts of fragrance as the wearer moves.


Dairy: drinks 

Petits Filous Vitamin Rich | Yoplait


Vitamin Rich stands out for blending fruit and veg into a drinkable yoghurt – a category first, Petits Filous  claims. Added in September, it comes in Strawberry & Beetroot and Apricot, Peach & Carrot (rsp: £2.25/4x100g). With no artificial colours or flavourings, it’s been fortified with calcium and vitamins D and C – essential for the development of children’s bones. Petits Filous claims the NPD is healthier than rival options, while the bottle format is “perfect for little hands”.



Planet Friendly Eggs | Morrisons


These carbon-neutral eggs are the result of a partnership between Morrisons and agritech business Better Origin. Laying hens eat a nutrient-rich diet of insects, which have been fed on waste from the supermarket’s bakery and fruit & veg supply chains, in contrast with the environmentally questionable soya-based animal feed normally used. The eggs cost 30p each or £1.50 for a pack of six. They went on sale in August in 50 stores in Yorkshire, with a national rollout planned for 2023.


Bagged snacks 

Walkers 45% Less Salt | PepsiCo

Walkers Top Launch

The UK’s biggest crisps brand unveiled its first fully non-HFSS range in March. It comprises low-salt versions of its top three flavours: Lightly Salted, A Dash of Salt & Vinegar and Mild Cheese & Onion. Containing “nearly half the salt” of their core counterparts, the new snacks maintain “the great flavour that Walkers is known for”, the brand promises. All three come in a 6x25g multipack (rsp: £1.75), with Mild Cheese & Onion and Lightly Salted also available in 45g grab bags (rsp: 85p).



La Vie | La Vie

la vie

Parisian startup La Vie, maker of plant-based bacon, is loathed by French pork farmers, who complain the brand’s lardons are too similar to the real thing. Investors, on the other hand, love it. In January, the brand  attracted €25m of funding from the likes of Oscar winner Natalie Portman and Oatly chairman Eric Melloul. Now it’s the turn of Brits to give their verdict on the brand, which made its UK debut in September with two tasty – and charmingly packaged – variants made from soy protein.



Plastic-free packs | Energizer

Energizer recyclable packaging TP

Innovation in batteries was thin on the ground this year – making this launch by Energizer all the more notable. The brand has axed plastic from the majority of its products, switching to 100% recyclable cardboard across ranges including Max and Ultimate Lithium. Unveiled in May, the revamp uses up to 50% post-consumer recycled material. It’s the result of investing “significant R&D time and energy into reducing the environmental footprint of our batteries”, says Energizer.



Pure C8 MCT Oil | Hunter & Gather

HG oil

MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil is already popular with people following low-carb/high-fat diets, such as keto and paleo. It’s said to be an efficient energy source that enhances fat-burning and promotes weight loss, while offering antimicrobial and antifungal benefits. This May launch from Hunter & Gather (rsp: £19.99/500ml) is aimed at widening MCT’s appeal. The premium product is “the ultimate thrive fuel”, best added to shakes, hot beverages and dressings, says the brand.


Fresh fruit & veg 

Carbon neutral carrots | Freshgro

Chantenay Fork

Freshgro claimed a world first in August with these chantenay carrots. The co-op cut the carbon footprint of its crop “through improved productivity, investments in renewable energy and consideration of how we farm”. The remaining carbon is offset through investment in such projects as a wind farm in the Philippines. The carrots – which produce just 0.03kg of CO2e per kilo – are grown within 15 miles of Freshgro’s packhouse, powered by wind turbine and solar panels.


Household: paper products 

Cushelle Tubeless | Essity

Cushelle Tubeless Range Shot

Cushelle’s removal of cardboard tubes from its loo rolls in August was a “complete catastrophe”. Well, that’s according to former Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves. He was talking about the loss of a key component of amateur crafts. For legions of eco-conscious, cash-strapped shoppers, it was a brilliant move: cutting cardboard waste while offering twice as many sheets. Brand owner Essity said it would also end household rows about how to dispose of tubes – a common occurrence, apparently.


Fresh meat, fish & poultry

Yorkshire Sausage Co | Heck

Yorkshire Sausage Co lifestyle image_0001

Heck’s response to the cost of living crisis was to launch this value tier brand, offering 410g of pork sausages for just £2. Yorkshire Sausage Co differs from Heck’s core recipe by virtue of its lower meat content of 42%. Still, the new brand – which went on sale in September across Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – is “a great mainstream product, not a cheapo sausage”, Heck insists.  The Northallerton supplier expects Yorkshire Sausage Co to be worth £10m by its second year in chillers.


Soft drinks: carbonates & energy drinks 

Coca-Cola tethered caps | CCEP GB

CCEP attached caps

In May, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners GB became the first major soft drinks maker in the UK to tether caps to its plastic bottles. The caps – found on 1.5-litre and 500ml packs of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta and Diet Coke – stay connected after the bottle is opened. The design makes “it easier to recycle the entire package and ensure no cap gets left behind”, CCEP says. The eco-conscious lids are expected to be found on all the supplier’s brands and pack sizes by the end of 2024.


Baby & infant products 

SMA Little Steps Plantygrow | Nestlé


SMA’s first plant-based toddler milk, unveiled in June, comes packed with vitamins A, C, D, B2 and B12. Plus, it contains iron and is enriched with iodine, omega-3, omega-6 and calcium. Made from wheat, oat, barley, rye and corn, it’s formulated for kids aged one to three. SMA owner Nestlé says Plantygrow – which comes in 200ml and one-litre resealable cartons – is aimed at the growing number of parents who dodge dairy and want their little ones to do the same.