Today’s consumers are not flavor-shy. To the contrary, they’re actively seeking out novel and spicy flavors. This is especially true for young consumers.
In fact, 45% of millennials are willing to try an item featuring a new or interesting flavor at a convenience store prepared-foods area, according to Technomic’s recent Flavor Consumer Trend Report. And just under half (46%) of millennials say they’re willing to spend more on a meal that features new or unique flavors, the report found.
Consumers are snacking now more than ever. So, what should you be stocking to capture these adventurous eaters between meals?
When trying to stay ahead of the flavor game, it’s time to think of flavor pairings instead of just single notes. The combination of sweet and heat is on-trend right now, for example. In fact, 39% of millennials prefer dishes that feature a fusion of flavors. A snack like Harvest Snaps snap pea crisps in Wasabi Ranch or Mango Chile Lime provides that sought-after flavor punch. Also popular are sweet-and-savory and sweet-and-smoky pairings.
Hot, Hot, Hot
Consumer interest in spicy foods is not slowing down. Some 78% of consumers say they enjoy at least moderately spicy foods and 55% of them say they crave spicy flavors, the Technomic report found. In response to consumer demand, a wide range of hot pepper flavors are being introduced across a variety of snack types. Fierysnacks like Harvest Snaps Black Bean Habanero or Watusee Chickpeatos Spicy Cayenne would appeal to those spice seekers.
Adventurous snackers are on the lookout for ethnic flavors from around the globe. Consider stocking prepared snacks that feature global flavors. The trend is especially appealing to young consumers. For example, some 42% of millennials (but just one-quarter of older consumers) say they are likely to purchase Asian-style foods from c-stores at least occasionally as a snack, according to the Technomic Report. A snack offering like Saffron Road Korean BBQ Chickpeas would fit this ethnic-snacking niche.
No matter what on-trend flavors enter the market, salty snacks remain hugely craveable and a major driver of c-store business. Offering a wide selection of salty snacks will attract a broad range of consumers. Packaged salty snacks make up 75% of retail snack sales at c-stores, up 14% in the past year, according to Technomic’s recent Convenience Store Consumer Marketbrief. These snacks, such as the Lightly Salted variety of Harvest Snaps, are a good way to appeal to older consumers as well. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers over 35 say they are likely to purchase salty snacks at least occasionally from c-stores, according to the Marketbrief.
Spice up your snack selection with an on-trend assortment of flavor choices. Offer some of the newer flavor-packed snack combinations to keep your consumers craving more.
This post is sponsored by Associated Distributors