Better-For-You Snacks on the Rise as the Rest of the Category Levels Off

Convenience Store News is reporting that despite all the news stories about growth in the snacks category, it appears things are finally starting to slow down. Based on IRI data, midyear sales dropped in subcategories such as popcorn, snack bars, and pretzels. Kristen Hamby of Mclane had this to say about the recent sales data in snacking.

There are a couple of segments within salty that are flatlining, such as nuts, which is surprising due to the healthy halo that surrounds them, telling us that these consumers may have transferred over to a different segment looking for other means of attributes such as protein. – Kristen Hamby

However, industry trend spotters are not discouraged and believe healthy innovations launching this year will push new growth.

The Healthy Snacking Category is Still Very Much Alive and Well

Susan Viamari, VP of Thought Leadership at IRI, believes snacking is still a huge opportunity for brands. She sees the better-for-you options as the biggest opportunity for C-Stores. New products with functional benefits like vitamins, proteins, and other valuable nutrition are catching consumers’ attention. As you can see below, snack products like jerky and sweet snacks saw the biggest growth over the past 24 weeks ending June 11, 2017.



How will companies rebound? Will better-for-you snacks take over the aisle? We look forward to looking at the year-end numbers and seeing how healthy snacks benefit from consumer trends.

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Guilt-Free Products Account for 45% of PepsiCo’s Portfolio

Americans love to eat unhealthy snacks. In fact, the US snack food industry is one of the largest in the world. With many food manufacturers jumping on the health bandwagon, PepsiCo is not an exception. Over the past few years, the company has geared to producing healthier and guilt-free snack products for their health-conscious consumers.

Pepsico’s Chief Executive Officer, Indra Nooyi, noted that most of the sales of the company come from its carbonated drinks. With the reshaping of its portfolio, the company is planning to release more products that use natural and healthy ingredients like fruits, grains, vegetables, and proteins. They also plan on releasing other beverages like water and unsweetened tea to give variation to their consumers.

The company’s plan to sell guilt-free food products will result in changing their entire product line up. In fact, the company noted that the health and wellness focused products account for 45% of the company’s revenue.


The Shift to Healthier Options

PepsiCo sees the need to change their products after being criticized for producing beverages that can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and other metabolic syndromes. Moreover, most consumers today have shifted to healthy lifestyle thus opting for beverages that are made from natural ingredients. With the rising obesity rates in the United States, the company also wants to contribute to solving the problem by releasing drinks that have fewer calorie counts than usual.


Benefits for PepsiCo

PepsiCo has always relied on their fizzy drinks to drive their sales up. But since most of the consumers have shifted their attention to healthier beverages, the decision of the company to create guilt-free products has paid off.

The growth of the company by promoting nutritious and guilt-free food products now accounts for 45% of the revenue portfolio of the company. And with the high demand from consumers for healthy products, it is expected that the corporation’s return on investment will grow as more market trends take shape. This trend does benefit not only PepsiCo but also other food manufacturers. Companies are doing their best to focus on health and wellness products as consumers continue to connect food to their health.

With the high demand for healthy snacks and foods, it is no wonder why PepsiCo and other food companies have started producing their guilt-free products. What will PepsiCo do next to stay ahead of the curve?

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Hershey Invests in Healthy, Nutritious Snacks in 2016

Just the name Hershey may make you think about something really sweet. Right now you may be thinking of peanut butter cups, chocolate bars, and small kisses candies. But did you know the company is launching their new, healthy and nutritious product line this year?

Hershey is now expanding with healthy products that target nutrition savvy customers. Their newest SoFit brand is all about fruit and protein squeezes, nuts and seeds packets, and snack squares which are now available at The nutritious snacks are a part of Hershey’s newly launched Brookside fruit and nut bar line and Krave, a jerky company which Hershey acquired in 2015. Marcel Nahm, vice president of Hershey’s snack division, revealed to Business Insider, “We understand that consumers’ relationship with food is changing.” He said, “Consumers are more than ever interested in knowing what they put into their body, where does it come from, how does it get there… Consumers want more and more choices.”

Nutritious Snacks Trending Amongst Competition

But Hershey is not the only company that’s turning to the healthy snack division. CVS has recently launched a protein smoothie and chia seeds line. It has also placed its Golden Emblem Abound “better for you” brand. Oreo and Cadbury’s Mondelez announced last year that it is developing a new healthy food line over the next five years. Hershey is not fazed at all. It believes that its long history in the confectionary industry has made it a strong contender than any other brand in the market. Nahm also mentioned that consumers also feel frustrated that they only have snack bars that have amazing nutrition profile but taste like cardboard.


Nahm believes that Hershey understands the value of flavor more than anyone else. The company has strong experience as well as resources for marketing new products making them more able to strike deals with retailers. Hershey’s VP is also confident that SoFit and Brookside’s snack approach to health will attract more customers as compared to addressing the needs of health-obsessed consumers. He says that Hershey’s will be between “health master” and “family pleaser.” Family-pleasing, less-healthy snack options from Hershey include Snack Mix and Reese’s Spreads Snacksters. Finally, Nahm said that consumers may see themselves as a short series of pluses or minuses when it comes to nutrition. They would identify foods such as pumpkin seeds and fruits as pluses while a donut or a chocolate bar would be minuses. As Hershey may have fallen into the minuses category over the years, it is now planning to promote pluses through their healthy snack line.

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Create More Nutritious Snacks With NutriFusion®

So many health aficionados will argue that we need to drop processed and packaged foods all together, but that’s really impossible at this point in our food system. Rather than eliminating these foods, we need to focus on improving their ingredients and making them “better for you”. That’s why we developed NutriFusion. We agree that the food system is broken and we need to start eating fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. But that’s not going to happen overnight and we need a solution now. With our ingredients, snack companies are able to all natural nutrients and vitamins from fruits and vegetables. Our products are completely processing stable meaning our nutrients can withstand the high heating and cooling of modern day processing. If you ar interested in learning more, please visit the consumer packaged food page to learn more.