Store Brands

APR 2016

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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Category Intelligence: Salty Snacks 5 2 Store Brands / April 2016 / Ramp up salty snack sales Salty snack sales remain strong, but cleaner ingredients and distinctive flavors could help store brands make inroads in category share. By Meghan Hogan t's no secret that Americans love to snack, and the most popular snacks just might be the salty varieties. According to "Salty Snacks — US," a January 2015 report from global market research firm Mintel, the salty snack category saw a dollar sales increase of 15 percent from 2009 to 2014 and is projected to grow by even more, 21 percent, from 2014-2019. Despite the strong growth, however, the report does note that product marketers need to remain at the top of their game in this category because of the intense competition in the overall market for snack products. Keep snacks clean As in just about every other category of food, one major trend in the salty snack space is health and wellness. "We are seeing consumers gravitate toward better-for-you options, be they nutritionally better such as lower fat/higher protein or ethically better," says Gunther Brinkman, vice president of business development for Liberty, N.Y.-based Ideal Snacks Corp. He points out that shoppers are becoming less interested in "diet" foods and more interested in more well-rounded, natural foods with healthy ingredients. "Brand owners are moving toward including natural sources of protein and fiber such as pulses and peas in the product in order to offer naturally sourced nutritional benefits," Brinkman says. Ignacio Garaycochea, vice president of sales and marketing for Lima, Peru-based Inka Crops S.A., says he sees plantain and veggie mix ingredients growing in appeal, adding that products "rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber" could all improve the perception of a salty snack's healthfulness. Non-GMO, organic and gluten-free store brand salty snack options also remain important for retailers to have on the shelf. "Organic and gluten-free are the new buzz words," says Larry Deal, senior vice president with Conover, N.C.-based Copak Solutions Inc. "Even though they both have been around for a long time, they are popular with millennials, followed by Non- GMO Project Verified." He notes that any messaging on snack packaging should indicate that the product has actually gone through the official certification or verification process. According to Scott Carpenter, president and CEO of Reading, Pa.-based Savor Street Foods, a first step for retailers toward more healthful salty snacks is a revamp of the ingredient label. "Store brands should start by … cleaning up their ingredient panels, which in many cases can be achieved by simply swapping out one or two minor ingredients," he says, also citing the need for retailers to offer more gluten-free items and convenient pack sizes. Spice snacks up While healthful options are important, retailers shouldn't forget about taste when it comes to their store brand salty snacks. According to "2016 Trend Insight Report: Snack Happy," a publication from Geneva, Ill.-based flavor Do invest in product development that meshes with the health and wellness trend. Don't be boring; experiment with regional and ethnic salty snack flavors.

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