Top Trends Seen at the 2019 Convenience Distribution Marketplace
SAN ANTONIO — Wholesale distributors, convenience channel suppliers and other c-store industry insiders gathered to share solutions and plan for the year ahead at the Convenience Distribution Association's (CDA) 2019 Convenience Distribution Marketplace.
Along with education sessions, networking opportunities and the CDA's annual Hall of Fame awards dinner, the event featured a full-day expo, during which exhibitors shared new and upcoming products. Notable trends included spicy and bold flavors, new variations on established brands, and better-for-you products.
CAMPBELL Soup Co.
Flavorful, filling soups and convenient packaging for eating on the go are no longer mutually exclusive with Campbell's Well Yes! line of sipping soups. The product line goes beyond standard varieties such as chicken noodle, instead featuring butternut squash & sweet potato, sweet corn & roasted poblano, and tomato & sweet basil — which is among the most popular flavors, according to a company representative.
CLIF bar & Co.
Consumers who want to add some protein to their diet but don't view protein bars as snacks may find their interest piqued by Mojo Crunch, Clif's bagged brand of snack clusters made using nuts, seeds and ancient grains. Each bag of Mojo Crunch contains 12 pieces, but is satisfying to consumers. Initial varieties include Honey Srirocka, Fingerpickin' BBQ and Electro Almond Sea Salt.
Gardetto's Crisps, the first new innovation from the Gardetto's brand of salty snacks, is designed for "mindful munching." Airier and crispier than standard Gardetto's snacks, Gardetto's Crisps are available in Original and Peppercorn Ranch varieties.
Kellogg's is featuring new takes on favorite snack brands in 2019. For instance, Cheez-It Snap'd crackers are designed to capitalize on two savory trends: light, crispy snacks and strong, bold flavors. The bold flavor trend is also seen in its new Pringles Jalapeño. Meanwhile, Rice Krispies Treats Poppers feature the classic cereal-based sweet snack in smaller pieces, enrobed in chocolatey, vanilla creme or cookies 'n' creme coating.
The company is also targeting the growing market for smoothies with its Joyböl brand of smoothie bowls. On-the-go breakfast customers, or those who want a better-for-you snack later in the day, need only to add cold water or milk to the bowl and stir to enjoy a smoothie made with real ingredients such as fruits, nuts, seeds and granola.
MARS CHOCOLATE NORTH AMERICA
This year's M&M'S Flavor Vote campaign features an international twist. The limited-edition competitors vying to join the brand's permanent lineup are Mexican Jalapeño Peanut, Thai Coconut Peanut and English Toffee Peanut. All three are now available nationwide. Consumers who participate in the Flavor Vote contest will be automatically entered to win a trip to Mexico, Thailand or England.
NATIONAL TOBACCO Co.
National Tobacco's Riptide e-cigarette product is being positioned as a tobacco-free, Juul-style competitor that offers a bigger battery and pods, as well as a smoother draw, according to the company. Five flavors are initially available.
Old Trapper is debuting Trapper's Choice Original Beef Steak, a premium meat snack that features whole cuts of actual carved steak. The thicker cuts are marinated, cured and wood smoked for a longer period of time, resulting in a moist, tender product, according to the company.
PERFETTI VAN MELLE
Perfetti Van Melle is venturing into seasonal offerings with new gum and mint products. Mentos will debut a candy cane-flavored variety during the 2019 holiday season in roll form. Additionally, the standard plastic tub of Mentos gum pieces will morph into a friendly snowman to promote impulse purchases at the checkout counter.
Reliva CBD Wellness
Reliva was on the CDA Marketplace show floor with a variety of cannabidiol (CBD) based products, such as gummies, lip balm and recovery shots, none of which contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The company is confident that the convenience CBD market is about to rapidly grow, and suggests its products would do well at a store whose customers are interested in natural products.
The 2019 Convenience Distribution Marketplace took place Feb. 11-13 at San Antonio's Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa.