Mixing It Up

Strategic merchandising can drive occasion sales for innovative snack products.

It's no secret that snacks are meals now. Changing consumer habits have transformed the old 21-meals-a-week model into a 14 meals plus 14 to 21 snacks, as Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEo of Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute (FMI), noted at the trade group's recent Midwinter Executive Conference, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

 So, in their ongoing mission to turn center store from a drag to a destination, retailers need to tap the many opportunities within.

Elite Meat

With strong growth in the trail mix segment and growing demand for protein snacks, combining the two shows great potential.

Meat-laced trail mixes are gaining traction, Chicago-based market researcher Mintel notes in its June 2016 “Nuts, Seeds and Trail Mix US” report. “These products frequently contain high-protein claims and simple ingredients, both of which are especially important to consumers,” Mintel notes. “Strong innovation in the trail mix segment, including segment-blurring products like meat snack trail mix, will help the segment evolve.”

With savory snack category sales projected to reach $45.9 billion after 2.8 percent growth over the past five years, according to Euromonitor International, legacy brands are leveraging demand for protein snacks, like Jack Link’s, which has added pork, chicken and turkey jerkies to its lineup, along with Small Batch Bacon Jerky and trendy flavors like sriracha, and Conagra Brands’ Slim Jim Turkey Sticks in Original, Barbecue and Habanero flavors.

“We are seeing spicier flavor innovation capturing the Millennial consumer, and we’re giving our teen consumers new ways to challenge themselves with extreme options like Habanero,” says Adam.

Pit Stop

With demand rising for healthy snacks, olives are continuing to catch on among snackers, thanks to pouch and cup packaging that ditches the unwieldy brine-filled jar for on-the-go convenience.

“Healthy snacking is outpacing the entire food and beverage market in sales growth, which gives our liquid-free olive pouches unlimited potential,” says Keli Roberson, marketing director for Hollywood, Fla.-based Gaea North America, maker of gluten-free, vegan and kosher snacking olives. “We’ve heard from moms putting them in lunchboxes, and adults grabbing them for a quick, healthy snack on the go. They also pair well with other healthy snack items such as nuts, cheese and hard-boiled eggs.”

– Article by Jim Dudlicek, Progressive Grocer

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Since 1972, Blind Renaissance has an extensive history of creating the strong visual identity and cohesive media presence demanded by the sophistication of marketing environments. We design engaging, client-specific promotional materials by combining an educated artistic sensibility, knowledge of advertising trends in multiple industries and the ability to appropriately utilize new design, web and printing technology.