Merchant Gourmet expands award-winning chestnut range as demand surges

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The nation’s leading chestnut brand expands into on-the-go with mini snacking chestnuts and ready-to-bake stuffing, marking two sector firsts.

Merchant Gourmet, the UK’s leading chestnut brand, has expanded its award-winning range, moving for the first time into on-the-go snacking and ambient pre-prepared. Responding to a 27% YoY growth for its chestnut range, the two new formats, Snacking Chestnuts and Chestnut Stuffing, will launch nationwide in Sainsbury’s from mid-September and into most other major retailers from October.

The new on-the-go Chestnut snacks will be launching in Lightly Salted flavour, providing healthy snack packs containing just 65 kcals whilst remaining low in fat and being a source of fibre. The packs contain smaller, bite sized chestnuts, which are simply roasted and lightly sprinkled with seasoning, offering a natural, plant-based and perfectly balanced on-the-go option. 

Fully HFSS compliant, Merchant Gourmet’s mini chestnuts respond to a growing demand for snacks that value people and planet, with 1 in 3 Brits wanting to switch to a fully plant-based diet.

In addition, the brand will also be launching the UK’s first ever ambient ready-to-bake chestnut stuffing. With stuffing the number one usage for chestnuts in the UK, the pre-prepared packs are made with premium ingredients including onion, apple, sage and chestnuts, maximising on flavour, and can simply baked, added to other recipes or mixed with other stuffing ingredients.

With 27% of UK adults expecting to cater for vegan, vegetarian and plant-based guests over the festive period, the plant-based and gluten-free product seeks to eliminate Christmas-stress for Brits who are tight on time.

Historic growth in the brand’s chestnut range, which includes Whole Chestnuts, Chestnut Puree and Spiced Grains and Chestnuts, has generated 27% increase in value sales and its ready-to-eat chestnut SKU already exceeds £6 million in retail sales value.

These additions to Merchant Gourmet’s chestnut offering present a strong opportunity for the brand to encourage the nation to enjoy the traditional, versatile chestnut.

Richard Peake, Managing Director of Merchant Gourmet said, “Merchant Gourmet has always been champions of the chestnut. As the leading UK provider for over 25 years, our latest NPD launches as a direct response to ongoing consumer demand for new and exciting ways to enjoy the traditional fruit.

 “As we approach the festive period, a key moment for chestnut sales in the UK, the launch of our new snacking chestnut and chestnut stuffing offers delicious, plant-based options for all occasions.” The products will hit the shelves at RRP £2.50 for Chestnut Stuffing and RRP £1.99 for Snacking Chestnuts.