Snacks & Candy

Retailer Embraces a New Era of Snacking

Foodsmart stores bring health- and social-conscious treats to consumers
Foodsmart healthy snacks
Photograph courtesy of Foodsmart

VALHALLA, N.Y. — After opening two convenience stores with the goal of bringing health-conscious treats to consumers, retailer Adam Musa said he has seen “big sales growth” and some clear winners on the healthier-snack landscape.

Throughout 2020, when the global pandemic amplified shoppers’ health concerns, convenience-store snacks that promoted wellness and social responsibility enjoyed the biggest sales gains at Musa’s Foodsmart convenience stores in New York.

“Many Foodsmart consumers aren’t just looking for a quick munchie. They are living lifestyles that integrate concerns about a product’s carbon footprint with vigilance about calorie counts,” said Musa, president of Foodsmart, Valhalla, N.Y.

Musa’s retail concept—with the tagline “Fast. Fresh. Healthy.”—bundles traditional c-store staples such as cigarettes, coffee and soft drinks with healthy snack-food options that consumers might associate with Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

In 2020 and so far in 2021, Foodsmart’s biggest sales gainers were:

  • Rhythm Broccoli Bites
  • Amphora Soft Dried Fruit (pictured)
  • Harvest Snaps Green Pea Snack Crisps
  • Hippeas Chickpea Puffs
  • Whisps Cheese Crisps

These products capitalize on several consumer demands related to popular diets, social responsibility and even concern about climate change, Musa said. Calorie counts are important, as well.

“A small bag of Rhythm Broccoli Bites has 210 calories, which is comparable to a typical small bag of potato chips. The big selling points for the Rhythm product are that it contains three times more fiber, twice as much protein and twice as much vitamin C,” Musa said.

In the case of Whisps Cheese Crips, Musa said the product appeals to his customers that follow the Keto diet, a weight-loss program that minimizes carbohydrate intake to force the body to burn fat.

Besides calories, consumers are seeing products that soothe their social conscious.

Rhythm Broccoli Bites are made from non-genetically modified organisms. The snacks’ crispy bite comes from a low-heat dehydration process, a selling point for consumers concerned about consuming oil-fried foods.

These consumer preferences suggest a new era of snacking in the United States, Musa said.

“We’ve entered a period of consumer hyper-awareness and activism,” he said. “Shoppers want their values and aspirations reflected in the products they buy, and they are willing to pay more for items that demonstrate a commitment to those beliefs.”

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