Snacks: An Identity Crisis?

Balancing better-for-you and indulgent makes for aggressive innovation

By 
Abbey Lewis, Editor in Chief, CSProducts

While convenience stores aren’t known for healthy options, retailers and manufacturers are working to turn those perceptions on their head. Here is how that trend and more are shaping the snacks category in 2017.

1. Alternative veggie snacks.

Poised to grow to $1.2 billion, alternative-ingredient snacks made with vegetables and grains such as chickpeas, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach are the product of not only increased incidence of snacking but also consumers’ desire for healthier options.

2. Meat-snacks renaissance.

Meat bars are making waves in the subcategory this year, and manufacturers are working hard to further innovate the category. Watch for variations on a theme, including cracklins, pork rinds or chicharrones, as well as alternative proteins such as salmon, lamb and venison.

3. Form and function.

Snacks are the new breakfast, lunch or dinner for some busy consumers. Marketers are releasing products with functional attributes that offer satiation and added benefits such as protein, energy or  fıber for busy, on-the-go shoppers.

$810.7 billion

C-store sales of other salted snacks in 2016

Source: IRI

Click here to see the complete packaged-snacks data from the 2017 Category Management Handbook.