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 Nuts beat beans in battle of non-dairy milks With sales up 37% in 2014 and $1 billion of retail sales on the near horizon, almond milk is the giant of the non-dairy milk market in the United States, vanquishing soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk and any other comers and establishing itself as a better-for-you standard for many Americans – especially Millennials. read more Naturally low in sugar beats nutrient cocktails “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). To which we should add – “or maple water, birch water or any naturally low-sugar plant water”. read more An inconvenient truth: “clean label” products are not always the top sellers America has got “clean label fever”. You can’t move for webinars, conferences and trade journal articles claiming that the defining factor of 2015 is the rush by manufacturers to reformulate their products with fewer and simpler ingredients and respond to consumers’ desire for foods that are “less processed”. read more Yoghurt dominates America’s Top 10 product launches IRI’s annual snapshot of the state of innovation in the American grocery market shows the strong position that Greek yoghurt commands among the Top-10 best-performing food and beverage launches of 2014. read more Seaweed: “kale of the sea” going mainstream? Crunchy or chewy, salted or seasoned, as a snack or as an ingredient, seaweed has been floating to the top of the list of better-for-you favorites among American foodies for a few years now and could be poised for a full-on tsunami of sales in coming years. read more What future for maple water? Maple water is an all-natural refreshing drink from sustainable sources. It’s naturally sweet and it has half the calories and half the sugar of coconut water – the plant water sensation to which it is often compared. It took coconut water 10 years to achieve its current level of success. Is maple water at Day One of the same journey? read more Supplement slowdown as consumer skepticism grows After 20 years of impressive growth, the US market for dietary supplements seems to be losing momentum, faced with regulatory challenges, questions about efficacy of some products and their claims and a shift in consumer attitudes, particularly among Millenials. The world’s ingredient suppliers have long regarded America’s dietary supplements business as an ideal high-growth target market, but those days may be over. However, companies that can demonstrate efficacy and science may yet benefit from a threatened shake-out of the market. read more Luna and social media: from laggard to leader It may have come late to the social media party, but Luna has fast embraced digital marketing, using it strategically to target specific groups within its brand community. Dale Buss talked with Luna about integrating “real world” branding with social media, the rise of visual content, and the importance of holding on to your authentic brand “voice”. read more
Which will be the next natural food to go from “bad food” to natural whole food success story?

Which will be the next natural food to go from “bad food” to natural whole food success story?

First it happened for eggs, then for nuts of all kinds, then for dark chocolate, then for wine, then for coffee, then full-fat dairy, now for red meat.

It’s the discovery that these natural foods – some of them demonised by health advisors for 30 years or more – not only do no harm but they make a positive contribution to health.

One of the most harmful aspects of the dietary advice that consumers have been given since the 1970s was that certain foods were identified as “bad foods”.

This was usually justified by their content of a particular “bad nutrient” – with fat topping the list of bad guys. And it’s worth recalling that while the focus now is on saturated fat as a “bad nutrient”, from the 1970s to the late 1980s all foods containing fats of any kind were classified as “bad”.

That meant that people reined back on consuming nuts (for example), which we now recognize as a source of “good fats”, not to mention protein and fibre.

And let us never forget that as recently as the early 1990s dietitians were still telling heart attack survivors to cut out foods like nuts from their diets.

But by the late 1990s the steady advance of nutrition science was uncovering a wealth of health benefits from nuts and they were being quietly rehabilitated. By 2003 the US Food & Drug Administration felt confident to allow a heart health claim for almonds, peanuts and walnuts.

Nuts have never looked back. Sales of almonds have grown by hundreds of percent over the last 15 years. Planters peanuts have become one of the world’s biggest snack brands, with over $1 billion in sales and healthy 7% per annum growth.

Similar surges have happened for dark chocolate, eggs and for butter as their demonisation has been shown to have been based on an idea, not on science.

The good news for people who want natural foods and who rank pleasure from food as important as health benefits is that the advance of nutrition science is continuing to uncover a wealth of intrinsic health benefits from everyday foodstuffs.

Soon we will see the rehabilitation of another natural food that has been demonised by health professionals relying on weak science and dogmas. The rehabilitation is based – as with the other foods – on science that demonstrates positive benefits. And we will talk about the next big turnaround on this blog in June


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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