ReportersNotebook — Consumables, 3/14/11
SUPPLIER NEWS — Juicy Fruit has expanded its sugar-free gum offerings with new mystery-flavored Juicy Secret gum. The gum builds on the 2009 launch of Juicy Fruit’s foray into sugar-free treats with its pellet gum, available in parent company Wrigley’s Big E-pak. Juicy Secret will be available in a 15-stick slim pack nationwide.
Ocean Spray is getting bubbly. The juice brand said its new sparkling juice drinks will be available in two original and diet flavors, cranberry and pomegranate blueberry. The juices are made with 70% real fruit juice and no added sugar, artificial colors or preservatives. A serving of Ocean Spray sparkling juice is 90 calories, while Ocean Spray diet sparkling juice is 10 calories per serving.
Natural Snacks has introduced a kettle-cooked potato chip line for its Michael Season’s brand. The new kettle-cooked potato chips are available in five flavors, including lightly salted, unsalted,
honey barbecue, sea salt and balsamic vinegar, and jalapeno. Each flavor includes all-natural ingredients and is wheat- and gluten-free. The chips have a suggested retail price of $1.19 for 2-oz. bags and $2.99 for 5-oz. bags.
RETAIL NEWS — Safeway introduced its new SimpleNutrition program, an in-store shelf tag system that makes it easier for shoppers to find nutritionally better items among foods and beverages. Green shelf tags highlight up to 2-of-22 different nutrition and ingredient benefits, such as “gluten-free,” “organic,” “sodium-smart” or “made with whole grains.”
INDUSTRY NEWS — While some ethnic cuisines have become mainstream, such as Italian and Chinese food (see Buy-In), some niche-ier ethnic food products are enjoying growth in the marketplace, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database.
Mintel found that new food items that contained “Caribbean” in the product description realized a 150% increase from 2009 to 2010. In addition, Japanese and Thai cuisine products rose 230% and 68%, respectively.
Mintel suggested that the rise in product launches could be attributed to the fact that consumers now have more outlets that offer such ethnic food products. In fact, 26% of ethnic food lovers said they were introduced to the cuisine by TV programs, newspapers or magazines that featured cuisine from other countries.
Sparking a nutritious ‘Stride’
NORTHFIELD, Ill. — The active gum category has a new functional addition. Kraft Foods recently introduced Stride Spark, a gum that contains vitamins B6 and B12, two essential nutrients known for helping to release energy in the body.
Manufacturers have been boosting new gum flavors with vitamins and supplements in an effort to help consumers meet their daily nutritional requirements and keep the category exciting. The strategy has worked — gum has seen steady growth over the past few years, outpacing many other confection segments.
Kraft’s new gum is available in two flavors — Kinetic Mint and Kinetic Fruit — and is said to contain 25% of the recommended daily value of those B vitamins. Suggested retail price is $1.49.
Value continues to capture consumers’ snacking dollars
The definition of snacking has broadened, and more choices are competing for the consumer dollar. Consumers also continue to want more for their money.
Value is a big issue for consumers when it comes to purchasing snacks. Research from SymphonyIRI Group revealed that 80% of consumers actively look for the best value when buying snacks, and 42% are cutting back on money spent on snacks.
Meanwhile, competition is increasing from fast food chains that are adding smaller-sized snackable foods to their menus.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Snacks Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.