Bite-Sized Insights: Alternative Snacks

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — As consumers seek between-meal fillers, alternative snacks have gained popularity and traction in the modern-day snacking paradigm for their wholesomeness and portability. 

In the 2017 Guide to Candy & Snacks, CSNews editors provided the latest trends every c-store retailer should know. Here are the top five in alternative snacks:

Ample Space. Chef’s Cut Real Jerky CEO Bart Silvestro advises convenience store retailers to “lean in” and expand space allocations in their stores to offer customers a broader variety of the meat snacks and other alternative snacks they’re looking for.

The Right Product Mix. Tracking which key flavors, brands and formats consumers purchase will help c-store retailers determine what product mix to carry, according to David Lakey, senior vice president of marketing at Oberto Brands. “With limited space, [retailers] have to decide how to not over-SKU. Shoppers want to come to a section they see is for them — offer a variety not strictly based on velocity, like offering 15 items from a traditional brand. Don’t miss out on new users and new occasions.”

Raising the Bar. Purchasers of health bars have the potential to be lucrative c-store shoppers. When asked what products they’d be most likely to buy, more than three-quarters of everyday c-store shoppers (77.5 percent) said health bars, according to a survey of 589 c-store shoppers conducted by EIQ Research Solutions, sister company of Convenience Store News.  

Let the Good Times Roll. C-store retailers can expect the alternative snacks category to see significant growth as consumers continue their quest for wholesome, between-meal fillers and portable, on-the-go snacks. In 2017, alternative snacks are predicted to grow 4.7 percent in industry dollar sales, according to the 2017 Convenience Store News Forecast Study.

The Rise of Better-for-You Snacks. Research has shown that 33 percent of consumers are snacking on healthier foods, cited Steve Montgomery, president of consulting firm b2b Solutions LLC. “Better-for-you snacks are expected to grow 8 percent by 2018. This is great news for our industry as we are America’s snacking headquarters,” he stated.  

For more Bite-Sized Insights, check out the 2017 Convenience Store NewsGuide to Candy & Snacks.