Healthy Shift to Healthy Snacking

Healthy snacksThe New Year has come and gone.  Resolutions have been made.  According to a 2015 Nielsen consumer report, the #1 resolution made last year was to “Stay Fit and Healthy.”  The #2 resolution made was to “Lose Weight.”  The same themes are in place for 2016 and, in fact, the idea of using food to manage health may help explain growing consumer interest in Specialty Foods including natural and organic products.

Consider these shocking facts:

  • 37 percent of Americans have cardiovascular disease.
  • 34 percent of U.S. adults have hypertension.
  • 36 percent of American adults have prehypertension
  • 41 percent of the population will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

With Baby Boomers aging and their purchasing power fading, the Millennial generation (born 1982 – 2001) will have a distinct impact on the traditional grocery market and future purchasing patterns.  Millennials’ are obsessed with food.  Statistics from the leading social media platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook) indicate that food boards are by far the most popular.  Also, consider how popular food programs have become on cable television.  All driven by the Millennial generation.

According to the article, “How Millennials Are Changing Food as We Know It” by Beth Hoffman, Millennials still prefer cheaper food and want it to be convenient.  But they are also willing to pay for healthy food and are willing to go to great lengths to find it.  And this shift – by millions of people – could change the market forever since Millennials will teach their kids the same eating habits.

The beginning of 2016 offers retailers the opportunity to adjust their approach and further attract an emerging generation to their store.  Healthy snack sets are all the rage and offer assorted healthy options that will relate to a progressive generation.  Tips to consider when building your healthy snack set:

  • A 4ft set is where to start – but an 8ft set will help your store become a destination for healthy, on-trend options.
  • 45% of consumers look for healthy snacks that go beyond basic nutrition – basic rule of thumb is to make sure product labels highlight health, energy & protein benefits.
  • 28% of adults eat 4-5 mini meals each day.  Healthy meal replacement products such as Granola & Nut/trail mix blends help the consumer get a quick fix.
  • 25% of healthy snacks sold are in bite size, grab-and-go sizes.  Merchandise premium fruit snacks & single snack bags so they are easy to grab on-the-fly.  Also, you could offer secondary placements at the register, by prepared foods, or at the salad bar.
  • There have been 87% more snacks sold with protein claims in the past two years.  Meat Bars, Meat Sticks & Jerky can offer clean protein packed options.
  • Dried fruit and dehydrated vegetables such as Fruit Thins, Kale, Coconut Chips & Seaweed are excellent sources of nutrition and help round out an effective healthy snack assortment.

Make your set prominent and appealing.  Millennials are more likely than older generations to visit two or more stores to purchase the items that they need.  Be that destination for an emerging generation and reap the rewards for years to come.

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