Seen on the NACS Show Floor: Snacks

Danielle Romano
Managing Editor
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ATLANTA — More than 23,500 individuals from 69 countries attended the 2019 NACS Show in Atlanta, which delivered four days of learning, insights, networking, and exploring what’s new and exciting for the global convenience and fuel retailing industry.

As always, one of the highlights of NACS Show 2019 was the expo floor, which this year spanned 425,000-plus net square feet and featured more than 1,200 exhibitors, from startups to big brands. The expo floor also included the New Exhibitor Area, 20,000 square feet of dedicated expo space spotlighting more than 200 companies brand-new to the show; and an all-new CBD Pavilion, a partitioned section of the expo that showcased hemp-derived CBD products from 50 industry suppliers. 

The Convenience Store News editorial staff was out in force meeting with suppliers and checking out all the expo floor happenings. Here’s our rundown of the top snack takeaways:

Meeting Changing Needs

As consumers look to snacks to fulfill need states in between meals, better-for-you products touting benefits like high protein, less sugar and “free-from” callouts were among the top snack trends spotted at the NACS Show, particularly in alternative snacks and meat snacks.

Conagra Brands introduced the David Energy-Packed Mix, which contains 7 grams of protein and only 1 to 2 grams of sugar per serving. Made from a crunchy mix of lentils, kernels, pepitas and chickpeas, the snack mix is gluten free, includes no artificial flavors or colors, and is made in a peanut- and tree nut-free facility.

Combining the portability of a bar with the nutritional benefits of protein, Lorissa’s Kitchen Whole-Made Medley Bars are labeled as “real snack solutions from a real mom.” The bars are made from 100 percent grass-fed beef or 100 percent all-natural chicken breast and feature dried fruit, nuts, seeds and egg whites. Boasting 10 grams of protein per bar, they are also preservative free, dairy free, and contain no high fructose corn syrup.

The crossover of culinary flavors into snacks was also spotted at this year’s expo, especially chicken-flavored products. Kellogg’s Pringles brand showcased two new varieties, one being Rotisserie Chicken, and the other Parmesan & Roasted Garlic. A company representative told CSNews that these products open up a whole new world of flavor possibilities leveraging what Pringles are known for — stacking.

Chicken was also prevalent at the Jack Link’s booth, where the meat snacks maker sampled new 100 percent chicken varieties in its bar line. The textured bars are a familiar format, but cater to consumers desiring alternatives to beef.

The 2019 NACS Show took place Oct. 1-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.