The New Normal for Snacks
Progressive Grocer|July 2021
THE POST-PANDEMIC CONSUMER WILL DEMAND BETTER-FOR-YOU MEAL SOLUTIONS MORE THAN EVER BEFORE.
Gina Acosta

Key Takeaways

  • As we emerge from the pandemic, “better-for-you” snacks are now mainstream.
  • To capitalize on this movement, retailers and manufacturers should recalibrate their offerings.
  • Post-pandemic sustainability concerns will drive the popularity of some snacks.

Meet the new American grocery shoppers.

After more than a year of extreme fear and stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these consumers are prioritizing health and safety more than ever before.

At the grocery store, whether they’re shopping on their mobile phones or cruising the center store in person, they’re looking for better-for-you nourishment by scanning labels; zeroing in on unfamiliar ingredients; skipping items loaded with sodium, sugar and fat (which they may have overindulged in during the pandemic); and looking for as many health benefits as possible in every snack or meal.

Health and wellness were surging trends in retail and consumer packaged goods before the pandemic, but for shoppers, the buzzwords have gone from “trendy” to “must have” when it comes to food, and especially sweet or savory snacks. “Better for you” is now mainstream as post-pandemic consumers redefine what it means to lead a happier, healthier and more productive lifestyle during chaotic, unbalanced times.

“Coming out of the pandemic, I think we’ve all realized there really is nothing more important than our health,” affirms Mark Mastern, CEO of Joolies, a grower of organic California Medjool dates in Southern California’s Coachella Valley. “Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is top of mind for consumers, yet at the same time, there are so many stresses people are facing as we continue to face unknowns and transition back to ‘normal’ times.”

Joolies is perfectly positioned to capture the post-pandemic shopper looking for better-for-you snack solutions. Consumers are snacking more than ever before, and they expect their snacks to offer nutrition, portability and wellness. Joolies’ Medjool dates are a good example of a snack that offers consumers a healthy option, a sugar swap and a superfruit ingredient while at the same time satisfying cravings for comfort food, according to Mastern. Medjool dates are known to be high in antioxidants, and a good source of fiber and potassium.

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