Protein is the No. 1 nutrient that consumers are looking to add to their diet, with 62% of consumers actively seeking to include protein in their daily diet, according to a 2021 IFIC Food and Health Survey. For young consumers, the goal for protein consumption is often to maintain and fuel their active lifestyles. For older consumers, there is an increased focus on calories and carbs as they seek to stay active and healthy as they age.
In the past, protein between meals was generally supplemented through protein bars, shakes and powders. But continued advances in protein technology have allowed companies to expand into other protein snack forms, enabling consumers to enjoy higher amounts of protein in familiar snack types and eating occasions they love. That’s one reason why The Hershey Company is launching ONE™ Puffs, which offer the classic “cheese puff” eating experience with 14g of protein.
It’s good news for retailers; protein in other snack forms, such as puffs, are consumed during different eating occasions from a protein bar, making them highly incremental to both the brand and category. Salty protein snacks work well as a pick-me-up to get through the day, a savory companion to lunch or dinner or a poppable treat later in the evening.
Convenience retailers should consider placing these evolving protein snack forms together in a single primary location centered around protein bars, an existing destination for high-protein snack shoppers. Beyond primary locations, aim for secondary placement in front-end grab-and-go areas or merchandising in areas of affinity, such as alongside coffee or energy drinks, which are often purchased in combination with protein snacks. As always, feature and display tactics are critical for driving breakthrough and initial velocities of new protein snacks, whether they are protein bars, puffs or other high-protein snack items.
When it comes to protein snacks, consumers continually demand better taste, texture and flavor experiences without sacrificing nutritional quality. But they still want indulgent treats, too. Sometimes they reach for a fully indulgent treat to meet a mental or emotional wellness need and sometimes they look for alternatives that include less sugar or more protein. Retailers can meet this demand by providing shoppers with access to a variety of snacking options that include protein bars and other protein snacks.
This post is sponsored by The Hershey Company