Getting Serious about Snacks

by: Angela Altass

Neysa Davies, senior marketing insights manager with Tree of Life Canada, provides the following information on how snacks are now viewed as fulfilling three primary tasks:

Nourishment – delivery of daily sustenance, long-term nutrition

  • Key attributes for nourishment are: whole grains, fiber, protein, minimal sugar, probiotics, water.
  • Examples: whole fruit and vegetables, nut and granola bars like Taste of Nature or Nakd bars.

Optimization – Helps one to fulfill physical and mental performance demands.

  • Key attributes for optimization are: protein, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and adaptogenic botanicals.
  • Examples: energy and sports drinks, meat protein snacks such as Fusion Jerky, protein bars like Clif Kid ZBars, functional beverages such as Pure Kombucha and Water Kefirs.

Pleasure – Fulfills emotional desires for enjoyment, craving and comfort.

  • Key attributes for pleasure are: good taste, distinctive flavor/texture, nostalgia, surprise & delight, global flavors, indulgence.
  • Examples: chocolate and candy, baked goods, chips, popcorn, ice cream and novelties.

Keep these consumer motivations in mind as you build your retail strategy for healthy snacking, notes Davies.

“Snacking is no longer the simplistic and routine category that it once was; adapt your on-shelf assortment to aid your consumers in meeting their healthy aspirations.”

Canadian consumers are serious about snacks, looking for more than just a quick treat in the middle of a busy day.
With the upending of the traditional three meals a day routine, the shifting of wellness and culinary trends and a growing accessibility to food, the act of snacking has taken on a new role in people’s daily lives, says Neysa Davies, senior marketing insights manager, Tree of Life Canada.

“Power Bar, Pure Protein and Vector were some of the original big brand protein bars,” notes Valles. “Over the last few years KIND and Clif have truly ignited the category, as seen with the recent introduction of Kashi JOI bars. Customers are reaching less for the bag of chips and more for the bag of nuts or trail mix.”

More and more people are becoming vegetarian for various reasons, says Eric Jackalin, business development manager, Western Canada, Marsham International Food Brokers.

People are realizing, as they try new, healthier products, that they don’t need snacks that are high in sugar, says Peter Neal, co-owner Neal Brothers Foods, which makes their own products as well as acting as a distributor for other brands.