One of our favorite shows of the year is the annual Sweets & Snacks Show in Chicago (who doesn’t love sampling limitless treats!) Some of the larger trends dominating the show this year as identified by Candy & Snack Today included:
1. Chili Heat in Savory & Sweets
2. Use of Chickpeas, Beans & Pea Protein
3. Fruit & Veggie Snacks
4. Fortified Chocolate Superfood
5. Coconut & Caramel as Lead Ingredients
Other hot trends we saw were: textural exploration seeking to deliver crunch combined with sweet indulgences, chewy centers and/or crisp centers, handcrafted artisanal appeal using simple premium ingredients with upmarket packaging, and packaging innovations with smaller sizes and resealable closures for portion guidance.
EMBRACING THE TRENDS
Many of our own clients and their new brand programs nail these trends! From the awesome Love Grown cereal line made from beans, to Chickpeatos savory roasted chickpea snacks, to Mayfield Ice Cream with its handcrafted heritage appeal, and our amazing candy clients such as RedHots with the sweet heat of their chewy Kickin’ Mango-Lime and Sizzling Sour flavors, to Trolli Dippin’ Crawlers (1st Place Novelty Award), to Now & Later Shell-Shocked with its crunch outside and chewy inside. Partnering with our clients to bring these products to life and into consumers hands is a love of ours and a full team effort.
FUTURE GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
As we walked the floor from a brand and packaging perspective for the healthful snack market, we noticed simple personality is coming back. There was still a glut of ‘white’ packaging, but color and tone had its place. While consumers are drawn to white’s pure feeling, white packages are starting to get lost on shelf unless the brand promise, point of difference, and personality shines through.
Candy on the other hand is bold and exciting and moving toward smaller pack sizes. Simple, bold, bright, and clear communications are winning criteria to reach consumers. With candy’s grab-and-go mentality you need to win in seconds. Consumers are willing to try it once but you’d better deliver on the product experience to have them come back for repeat business. Windows can clutter packages especially when visuals of products can do a much better job of selling the product. Brand blocking is critical - you command the shelf and the consumer’s attention to compete on a one-to-ton basis.
The excitement around jerky is quieting down despite the t-shirt cannons and hulking brand characters. We noticed one huge area untouched… many brands speak to a great tasting snack with all the macho flavor nuances, but none of the brands had a ‘mom’ equivalent friendly to her. There may be an opportunity to open up new growth and new consumers with a new perspective - ask us we have ideas!