Category Management Handbook

Snacks Update: Get 'Snacking Friendly'

Several snack subcategories are besting their c-store unit sales performance, with nutrition bars, trail mixes and popcorn among the leaders. Notice a theme there?

In fact, healthier snacks are growing more quickly than indulgent options, says Viamari of IRI. Also, consumers are looking for more snack options as the occasion expands across the day. The average consumer has 2.7 snacks per day, with 46% of consumers snacking three or more times each day, according to IRI research.

“Morning snacking is growing particularly fast, driven by younger consumers and households with kids,” says Viamari.

At Newcomb Oil’s FiveStar stores, e orts are underway to expand snack options to appeal to multiple customer types. The retailer plans to double the size of its meat-snacks set in 2017 from 4 to 8 feet.

“It gives us the opportunity to expand on di erent things out there now,” says Young. While the mainstream brands have a loyal following, small-batch labels such as Krave and Lorissa’s Kitchen have a di erent taste profile, different customer and great growth potential.

“It’s taking the same approach as craft beer,” says Young. “You’re still going to have the guy who wants his Bud Light, but there’s the guy who wants his craft beer six-pack.”

FiveStar is also seeing big success with Quest protein bars, which Young says have an improved
avor pro le compared to other bars. The rst month that Quest cookies and cream and cookie dough varieties entered FiveStar’s bar set, they jumped into the company’s top 10 brands.

“The days of just being smokes, Cokes and automotive supplies—that’s not what customers are looking for,” says Young. “We’re trying to create more of a snacking-friendly environment for guests.”

Snack Sales

C-store sales, 24 weeks ending June 12, 2016

“With meat snacks, it’s really taking the same approach as craft beer.” —Tim Young

View the full 2016 Category Management Handbook

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