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SkinnyPop’s guilt-free popcorn

BY Richard Monks

SkinnyPop Popcorn’s four-SKU line has reaped the benefits of consumers’ desire for guilt-free salty snacks. According to IRI data, sales of the popcorn snack increased by more than 250% over the past year, making it the second-best-selling brand in the ready-to-eat popcorn category. Cholesterol- and preservative-free, and containing zero trans fat, the all-natural popcorn is a good source of fiber and a low-calorie snack, with just 39 calories per serving. With consumer concern over genetically modified foods growing in recent months, SkinnyPop uses only non-GMO corn in all of its products, and the snacks are peanut-, tree nut-and dairy-free.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

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Low-fat versions slower to catch on

BY Richard Monks

Despite a growing number of consumers identifying themselves as healthy snackers, sales of more traditional snack foods — potato chips, corn chips and cheesy snacks — continue to flourish.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

Recent IRI data shows that all of these product areas — the mainstays of the $15.9 billion-a-year snack food market — recorded sales gains during the 52 weeks ended June 15.

Analysts said part of the reason for the continued success of these products has been manufacturers’ ability to respond to demands for products with less fat and fewer calories. For example, Frito-Lay’s Baked Cheetos, the fifth-best-selling brand in the cheese snack segment, contain half the total fat and about 15% fewer calories, compared with regular Cheetos.

Yet while suppliers have been making a concerted effort to meet the demand for healthier options, these products seem slow to catch on with shoppers. Sales of Baked Cheetos, for example, are only about 2% of the sales of regular Cheetos, while sales of regular Cheetos increased by almost 5% over the most recent 52 weeks, while sales of the baked version declined 11%.

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Bloks provide chewable energy

BY Richard Monks

Since their introduction a few years ago, Clif Bar & Co.’s Shot Bloks have been among the best-selling nutrition bars in the specialty store segment. Relatively new at mass market outlets, the product has quickly become a best-seller in these stores as well. Designed to provide quick, chewable energy, Shot Bloks come in a bar divided into six individual 33-calorie cubes, making it easy to customize and track caloric and electrolyte intake. Made from 95% organic ingredients, the product is described as having a consistency somewhere between a cereal bar and a gel, making it easier to chew than traditional nutrition bars. Clif Shot Bloks are offered in eight flavors, including orange, black cherry, margarita and citrus.

(For the full report, including charts, click here.)

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