6 Ways Packaged Nuts Can Fly Off The Shelves

A healthy snack and packed with protein instead of unwanted carbs.

1. Display salad topper nut mixes near the salad bar or lettuces to inspire impulse add-on purchases.

“Salty snacks are always impulse buys it’s always best to place them next to items in produce that make the consumer’s grocery list, like lettuce and fresh salad dressings,” says Chris Gardier, senior vice president of sales at John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., owner of Orchard Valley Harvest in Elgin, IL.

2. Give the consumer ideas for how to use mixed nuts.

Inspiring impulse purchases is about giving consumers ideas for how to use the product. “It’s all about cross merchandising,” says Michelle Mayhew, producer director for Dorothy Lane Market.

3. Encourage consumers to try trendy spice combinations.

Chad Hartman, director of marketing for Truly Good Foods, Charlotte, NC, says trendy spice combinations are also doing really well.

“We are also seeing nuts flavored with pepper and sweet, wasabi and buffalo flavors to meet the needs of consumers,” says Hartman. While consumers are less likely to reach for potato chips than they might have been in the past, they’re still excited about bold new flavors, adds Hartman.

Consumers need to be inspired to try new varieties. Putting trendy spice combinations on special or advertising them on social media inspires purchases. Placing them front and center on display cases in produce is also helpful.

4. Place near other grab-and-go items in produce.

Snack-sized packaging is by far the most important trend in packaging. Although consumers are more enthusiastic about healthy fats, they still want to eat them in moderation.

“From a packaging standpoint, we are an on-the-go society. Packages are resealable, becoming smaller in size, and labeling is becoming clean and clear,” says Hartman. “Consumers are picking items that are very clearly labeled and marketed. Promoting healthy or dietary attributes on both packaging and signage is becoming very trendy and welcomed by the consumer.”

“The big change has come from the snack/meal replacement shopper. Healthy consumers are realizing they can get all the nutrients and calories they need from a package of nuts, rather than heading to the full midday meal,” says Hartman. “Keep in mind, as you look at the consumer, the overwhelming trend that encompasses all shoppers is bold flavors, grab-and-go and health, trend areas that nuts fit into naturally.”

5. Stand-up packaging sells.

Keenan Farms, Avenal, CA, has seen a lot of success packaging its pistachios in stand-up, gusseted bags to display its Sea Salt, Chili Lime and Salt and Pepper gourmet products in the produce section, according to Paul Huckabay, vice president of sales.

“The stand-up, resealable bags provide good visibility for our product,” says Huckabay. “Pistachio packaging has evolved from just being available in the bulk section to consumer packaging.”

6. Communicate value through competitive pricing.

The one barrier to entry when it comes to packaged nuts is the cost. “We have a more expensive product, says Huckabay. “That’s why it’s important to communicate value to customers.”

Chad Hartman of Truly Good Foods says customers are willing to pay for value, so it’s important to provide it.

“The key piece to any package is value. If consumers are looking for a grab-and-go nut pick-me-up, they will grab a pack that is $.99-$1.99,” says Hartman.

No matter the season, consumers are flocking to packaged nuts more than ever as the flavors, nutritional makeup and packaging modernize to meet their needs.

Article by Sarah Novak, Produce Business

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