Keep it Cool
Progressive Grocer|November 2020
SEEKING HEALTH, CONVENIENCE AND FRESHNESS, FAMILIES HEAD FOR THE PERIMETER IN SEARCH OF SNACKS.
Barbara Sax

Fresh snack kits, containing everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to nuts, cheese and protein, are as popular as ever with consumers.

Brianna Shales, senior marketing manager at Stemilt Growers LLC, based in Wenatchee, Wash., says that while healthy-snacking items have always been available in produce departments, they’re now front of mind for many consumers.

“The shopping environment has changed drastically due to the pandemic, with trip frequency down and basket size up,” notes Shales. “Now that consumers are home with their families, snacking, especially healthy snacking, is more important than ever, and they are filling their baskets with shelf-stable, healthy snack items they feel good about.”

Stemilt’s Lil Snappers line of kid-size apples, pears and organics is available in 3-pound resealable pouch bags. “Lil Snappers is a healthy snack option that comes in flavors kids love, and has enough fruit in one bag to feed two children for a five-day week,” says Shales.

“The amount of meals and snacks consumed at home has been accelerated by the impact of the pandemic,” affirms Mandy Bottomlee, director of content marketing for Good Foods Group. “There is only room for this category to grow.” The Pleasant Prairie, Wis.-based company, which makes plant-based dips and better-for-you foods, recently launched Spinach Artichoke Parmesan dip.

“During the pandemic, consumers are shifting from a reactive health culture to a proactive wellness culture, seeking foods that are nutritious by nature, with nothing added or modified,” observes Amanda Keefer, managing director of the Healthy Family Project | Produce for Kids, based in Orlando, Fla.

Produce is a natural for the fresh snack segment, since it’s free from preservatives and nutrient-dense. According to Keefer, though, retailers should also be looking beyond produce for snack pairings such as “cheese and apple, or almonds and berries.”

“We have heard from a lot of parents that snack boards are a lifesaver,” she says. “If parents are creating a snack board, they are looking for snack board-esque items in-store, like a premade ranch-and-veggie snack pack, or a hummus-and-pretzel combo pack.”

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