NEWARK, N.J. — The new age of convenience, driven by millennials and members of the Gen X and Gen Z generations, has shaped the new product trends in convenience stores.
Notable new products in this year’s Convenience Store News Best New Products Awards program include high protein/low carb snacks, lower sugar products, packaging designed for small-format stores, plant-based alternatives, and innovative foodservice offerings that are easy to prepare and consume on the go.
Consumers selected 29 products new to c-store shelves in the past year for recognition. Now in its 23nd year, the CSNews Best New Products Awards program recognizes and honors the marketers that introduced the most innovative, high-quality new products that meet consumers’ evolving needs.
Keto and paleo diet benefits and health claims abound in the mix of this year’s award winners. Many favorite and familiar brands have cleaned up their product lines to appeal to today’s customer base that demands healthier meal, beverage and snack choices. Functionality appeals to millennials and Gen Z consumers, as well as boomers, as they look for better-for-you food and snack choices.
Today’s label-reading consumers want to hear a positive “I feel good about my choice” message in regards to their food and beverage picks. They get engaged with a good story, too, whether in writing or visual. Appearance is everything in our Instagram world – especially if it says fresh and healthy.
Vibrant product colors dominate this year’s entries, as well as eye-catching packaging. Grab-and-go continues to be a key theme in most all of the products chosen as honorees.
In beverages, the move to more enhanced waters and juices is a key trend, and the latest trending flavor is lemonade. Bold and innovative flavors continue to be important across all categories.
This year also saw CBD (cannabidiol) products make an entrance onto c-store shelves and the excitement for this new category of goods is high.
Judging for the 2019 CSNews Best New Products Awards was supervised by Past Times Marketing, a New York-based consumer research and product testing firm. Contest entries were rated and awarded points by consumers based on the criteria of taste, value, convenience, healthfulness, ingredients, preparation requirements, appearance and packaging.
Here are the products that indulged the senses, caught the eye and screamed convenience.
The 2019 Best New Products Awards winners are:
Alternative Snacks/Combo Packs: Duke's Shorty & Cheese – Conagra Brands
Alternative Snacks/Meat Snacks: Tillamook ZERO Sugar Beef Jerky – Tillamook Country Smoker
Alternative Snacks/Mixes: Coconut Snack Mixes – Sahale Snacks
Alternative Snacks/Protein Bars: EPIC Performance Bars – General Mills
Beer: Tecate Titanium – Heineken USA
Candy/Chocolate: Reese’s Outrageous Bars – The Hershey Co.
Candy/Novelty & Seasonal: Reese’s Chocolate Lovers/Peanut Butter Lovers – The Hershey Co.
Foodservice/Base Ingredients: Tavern Crust – Smart Flour
Foodservice/Breakfast: Jimmy Dean Stuffed Hash Browns – Tyson Foodservice
Foodservice/Condiments: Califia Oat Barista Blend – Califia Farms
Foodservice/Lunch: Not Your Nonna’s Stuffed Pizza Wedges – Ruiz Foods
Foodservice/Packaging: Crisp Food Technologies Containers – Anchor Packaging
Foodservice/Snacks: Pretzel Fillers Stuffed Soft Pretzels – J&J Snack Foods
General Merchandise: Scripto Torch Flame Wind Resistant Lighter – Calico Brands
Health & Beauty Care: Tribe Broad Spectrum Hemp CBD Shot – Tribe CBD
Healthy Snacks: Pickle Cutz – Van Holten’s
Non-Edible Grocery: Pampers Changing Kit – Convenience Valet
Packaged Beverages/Bottled Water: smartwater alkaline – The Coca-Cola Co.
Packaged Beverages/Carbonated Soft Drinks: Sunkist Strawberry Lemonade – Keurig Dr Pepper
Packaged Beverages/Energy Drinks: AMIN.O Energy + Electrolytes – Glanbia Performance Nutrition
Packaged Beverages/Juice Drinks: Snapple Watermelon Lemonade – Keurig Dr Pepper
Packaged Sweet Snacks: 7 Days Croissants – EPTA America LLC/7 Days Croissant
Salty Snacks/Chips: Pringles Wavy – Kellogg's
Salty Snacks/Crackers: Goldfish Epic Crunch – Campbell Soup Co.
Salty Snacks/Nuts & Seeds: DAVID Pumpkin Pepitas Sea Salt/Green Chili with Lime – Conagra Brands
Tobacco/Cigars: Night Owl Tipped Pipe Tobacco Cigars – Swedish Match North America
Tobacco/Other: Nicotac – Lil' Drug Store Products
Wine: Single-Serve Barefoot Wine-to-Go – E&J Gallo Winery
Overall Innovation: Rice Krispies Treats Snap Crackle Poppers – Kellogg's