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Snacks & Candy

How Healthy Snacks Help Boost the Bottom Line

Convenience and quality remain top of mind for consumers
Photograph: Lil' Drug Store Products

Healthy snacks are good for consumers, but they’re pretty good for retailers, too. More and more people are reaching for snacks—whether that means they are making a pit stop on a road trip or popping into a convenience store during a lunch break—and more and more, those snacks are healthy choices. Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion report shows that 34% more consumers report snacking on healthier food compared to two years ago. Consumers are not only focused on convenience when it comes to their healthy options; they’re also seeking quality.

Snacking by the numbers

There are millions of noshers out there—80% of consumers say they snack at least once a day, and some even replace meals with snacks. Technomic’s Snacking Occasion report finds that 43% of consumers say their typical eating behavior consists of three meals a day with a few snacks between meals, and 32% usually skip or replace one meal per day with snacks. The meal most often replaced with snacks is lunch (53% say they do so), followed by breakfast (47%).

When examining the numbers, it’s apparent that the market is ripe for snacks that deliver—and not just on a craving, but a healthy benefit too.

Cash in on cravings

From crispy salty snacks to deliciously sweet dried fruit blends, snackers want an array of different snack options. When it comes to what kind of snacks consumers gravitate toward, 42% say healthfulness is a big factor, with nutritional attributes such as high in protein, vitamin C and fiber being big draws.  Convenience store chains that are acting to meet these consumer needs are reaping incremental sales growth.

Although 7-Eleven stores may be known for their tasty slushies and comfort food snacks, but the chain has successfully expanded its snack assortment to include healthier snacks such as Harvest Snaps green pea snack crisps and Popchips potato chips that feature all the flavor of traditional chips but with less fat and calories.

According to Technomic’s Snacking report, 60% of consumers say that quality is important when choosing a snack, and that could be a driving force behind the trend of new convenience stores that are popping up around the country, from Los Angeles to Philadelphia.

For example, Green Zebra, in Portland, Ore., is marketing its three locations as “human recharging stations.” The store sells products such as kombucha slushies, chewy banana bites and almond dips.

The Goods Mart, a new health and eco-conscious c-store in Silver Lake, Calif., is also shaking up the snack world. Its 900-square-foot retail space is committed to serving healthy products and offers 300+ that are all GMO-free and without artificial ingredients.

While traditional snacks will always have a place on the shelves (and in customers’ baskets), healthy snacks have the potential to be a major growth driver for c-stores. Retailers that give consumers healthier grab-and-go options will likely come out on top as the quest for a healthier lifestyle continues to trend.

This post is sponsored by Lil' Drug Store Products

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