Lil’ Drug Store Expanding Into Snacks

Partners with Calbee to distribute Harvest Snaps in c-store channel

Lil Drug Calbee Snap Peas

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Lil’ Drug Store Products (LDSP), a leading supplier of products to convenience stores, and snack company Calbee North America have forged an exclusive partnership in the convenience channel for Calbee’s Harvest Snaps salty-snack line.

“We are thrilled to be offering Harvest Snaps to our retailers and wholesalers so they can better meet the needs of convenience-store shoppers by offering more nutritious choices,” said Doug Marquardt, director of marketing for Lil’ Drug Store Products. “The better-for-you healthy-snacks category is an important growth opportunity for c-store operators, and LDSP plans to offer a variety of healthy snack brands like Harvest Snaps to help convenience stores meet the needs of their shoppers.”

LDSP recently partnered with Brandware, a third-party market research provider, to conduct nationwide convenience-store shopper research on snacking preferences. The research found that 75% of c-store shoppers want a greater selection of healthy snacks, including attributes such as high protein, non-GMO and low sodium. The research project led to the development of a healthy-snacks center designed for convenience stores.

LDSP plans to distribute healthy-snacks centers with consumer-preferred brands such as Harvest Snaps to reach many of the 100,000 convenience stores in its network.

Harvest Snaps have rapidly grown to more than $100 million in retail sales with placement in the produce section of grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Target and Costco. Harvest Snaps are crispy, light pea-pod-shaped salty snacks with less fat and calories and more fiber and protein than potato chips, the company said.

“Previously, Harvest Snaps had limited distribution in the convenience-store channel. Now, the partnership with LDSP will expand convenience-store availability of Harvest Snaps in a variety of flavors, including Lightly Salted, Wasabi Ranch and Caesar,” said Wayne Brown, director of sales for Calbee North America, Boardman, Ore. “Living up to our mantra, ‘Harvest the power of nature,’ we are always looking for ways to deliver flavor and fun, support healthy living and make snacking a more wholesome experience for our customers.”

Founded in 1974, Lil’ Drug Store Products, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, offers a wide range of convenience-sized product categories with brand partners such as Carmex, Ricola and Rolaids.