Redefining Healthy Snacking: Case Studies in Growth and Innovation

Healthy snacking is at the dawn of a new era of opportunity. Consumers are more willing than ever to experiment with flavours, ingredients, product formats and textures.

This report delivers practical insights and examples for companies large or small aiming to create a successful healthier snacking proposition.

It sets out the five success factors of healthy snacking strategy and uses 20 Case Studies to map out in detail the product developments and strategies that companies are using to succeed in snacking.

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Recent Case Studies Start-ups and entrepreneurs in the driving seat Good news for would-be entrepreneurs – and even for executives inside big companies who long to create something new. In health and wellness, it is start-ups and new brands – and sometimes reinvented old niche brands – that are taking the lead in redefining markets and creating new categories. read more Juice sales slide on sugar concerns: start of a long decline? In some markets sales of juices and smoothies have been falling as the “sugar is evil” message gains ground in the media. Could it be that as alternatives multiply juice and smoothies are going to follow colas and other carbonates onto the path of a long slow decline? read more Can clean label make a positive difference to your business? Is “clean label” really a trend? Will it earn the loyalty of customers concerned about “simple ingredients” and boost your business? Or is it a hygiene factor – one of those things that “you’ve just got to do” to keep up with the pack but will do nothing for your sales or your bottom line? read more Cholesterol in the clear, sat fat allowed under proposed US guidelines Eggs, seafood, coffee and dietary cholesterol no longer need be feared by Americans – the latest draft of the nation’s new dietary guidelines has put them back on the menu. Saturated fat is also back, but should be limited to no more than 10% of daily calories. However, the committee advises eliminating “lean meat” from the list of healthy foods. read more B2B companies should not let regulation myths hold them back Interpretation of Europe’s Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) has caused food and beverage businesses no end of headaches in establishing what can or cannot legally be communicated to consumers. read more The nuts that change the world Kind has been a revelation since its founding in 2004, blazing trails of innovation in nutrition bars and granolas and establishing a social-mission brand that has run rings around much bigger competitors. Its founder tells Dale Buss about the opportunities he sees in healthy snacking – and why you should never stop innovating. read more Smoothie giant driving vegetable image makeover Its premium juices have achieved growth rates of more than three times those of key rivals and the juice segment, but Campbell-owned Bolthouse Farms isn’t sitting back – it continues to push for new growth, lately extending its mastery of social media to drive fruit and veggie consumption with its Food Porn Index. read more Marketing wins top snack status for simple nut Wonderful Pistachios has been relatively quiet on some fronts lately, but behind the scenes the brand owned by Paramount Farms has continued to solidify its position as one of the most remarkable better-for-you snacks stories in the US market. read more Portable, real-time nutrient analysis for consumers Many industry concerns have focused on the amount of information given to consumers on labels and how nutritional content is communicated on-pack. But could food manufacturers be looking in the wrong direction? read more Meal kits down-under: delivering long-term answers? Home-delivery meal kits are one of the more exciting new frontiers of food retail, claiming to combine convenience with health, freshness and variety. Much of the focus has been on Hello Fresh, present in several global markets. Now the business model has been transplanted into Australasia. read more
Thanks to sugar concerns, plant waters will rival and one day may outsell juice and smoothies

Thanks to sugar concerns, plant waters will rival and one day may outsell juice and smoothies

“The smartest thing a smoothie company could do might be to sell coconut water,” is what New Nutrition Business has been telling anyone willing to listen (see April 2015 NNB).

The reason is simple: in many countries sales of juices and smoothies have been sliding as the “sugar is evil” message gains ground in the media and in the minds of consumers. Could it be that as alternatives multiply juice and smoothies are going to follow colas and other carbonates onto the path of a long slow decline?

The challenge for brands such as Coca-Cola-owned Innocent and PepsiCo-owned Tropicana is that they long depended on their products having a “naturally healthy” image. But their core consumers include the most heath-conscious people and they are also the first ones to have taken onboard the anti-sugar message.

Unsurprisingly, taking the UK market as an example, sales have been hit hard. In 2014:

• Market leader Tropicana experienced a 6.8% drop in sales
• Innocent, the second-biggest player, experienced an 11.2% fall in sales

It isn’t difficult to find what people – especially younger people – are drinking instead:

  • Sales of coconut water – which is low in calories and most brands are sold with no added sweetener – jumped. Vita Coca, the biggest brand, experienced an 88% sales increase.
  • Bottled water sales also rose, with the UK bottled water market increasing by 11.2% by value and 8.9% by volume.

For plant waters – be they coconut, maple, birch, bamboo or another – the future looks bright:

• They are often naturally sweet and naturally low in calories.
• They come from sustainable sources.
• Most can be packaged with minimal processing.

So it’s no surprise that Coca-Cola-owned Innocent has just announced the launch of its first line of coconut water – and a line of sparkling water blended with fruit juice.

Innocent coconut water has just 8.5g of sugars per 250 ml serve – compared to the 27.3g per serve in its mango and passionfruit smoothie (one of the company’s three top-sellers).

Innocent’s move is just the beginning of a long-term shift. Younger consumers – the Millenials – are driving the switch to plant waters and bottled waters. The next generation after the Millenials – currently aged under 18 – will further accelerate the switch away from juice, since a larger proportion of them have grown up without any juice habit. There is an astonishing number of children today who don’t consume juice even once a week.

As plant waters become more common, people concerned about the sugar content of juice will choose them more and more.

It’s one of those rare moments when what’s on the horizon is very clear.


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Julian Mellentin

Industry Events
In-depth analysis of trends and excellent insights. The case studies provide solid market data and I refer to them often and in particular when starting new initiatives. Mary Parsons VP Global Platform Development, The Hershey Company

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I regard NNB as a reliable, unbiased source of information. Also it is one of the very few publications which try to analyze and understand markets, not only report what has happened. Kalle Leporanta Valio Ltd