Organic Snacking Reaches New Heights

Organic Snacking Reaches New Heights

Organic is a term synonymous with fresh, high quality foods that are free of harmful additives. Over the last twenty years, the consumer demand for organic foods has steadily increased, and thus the range of available options has grown exponentially. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry, with sales growing from $3.7 billion in 1997 to more than $43 billion in 2015, according to a recent report by the The Environmental Working Group. The fresh food spaces like dairy and produce have contributed quite a bit to this, because they are staples we can easily imagine making that “farm to table” transition. Yet, one of the most highly demanded organic categories right now is snacks. Lots of on-the-go snacking options are highly processed – the ingredients required to preserve, color and flavor them are often a far cry from natural, let alone organic. However, busy lifestyles with a health conscious mindset have set the desire for quick and healthy food options at an all time high.   Ahead of the Game The organic snacking movement gained a lot of its momentum in the form of small companies with big personalities, often breaking away from their conventional competitors with unique offerings.  There continues to be a huge space for these types of brands. Hippeas are satisfyingly crunchy and savory snack featuring an unconventional chief ingredient: chickpeas. Similarly, Barnana pushes boundaries with good-for-you indulgence in the form of “upcycled bananas”. Both are focused on sustainability and conscious eating. By consistently finding ways to bring unique options to the table, companies are keeping organic as fresh...
Branding in the Fresh Produce Space

Branding in the Fresh Produce Space

The produce section draws the eye with vibrant colors and the promise of fresh offerings, but it’s remained one of the least branded grocery categories. Fruits and vegetables are typically sold unpackaged, labeled with only a sticker featuring a PLU code and a small brand mark to identify them. With the “clean eating” movement at its peak, we’re seeing a lot more well branded fresh produce items. By moving into a space that has virtually no branding, companies are able to establish a sort of monopoly on generic produce items, similar to the way Kleenex and Band-aid have. In a category with such minimal branding, what marketing strategies are companies using to positioning themselves?   (Image Source) For the Kids Many initiatives have cropped up that are taking a stand against childhood obesity, by encouraging children to be more active and eat healthier. One easy way to appeal to an adolescent audience is to assign characters to products. Cuties (easy peel mandarin oranges) and Mighties (kiwi fruits that come packaged with a knife-spoon combination) both come packaged in multi-packs, and stand out in the category with lively characters and fun names. The friendliness and ease of consuming have made them an ideal go-to lunchbox addition. (Image Source) Snackability There’s been a constantly rising demand for healthy snacking alternatives. The preparation of fruits and veggies is a drawback that might lead a consumer to reach for a bag of chips to satiate appetite instead. But convenient, options help to eliminate that issue. A few years ago, Pom Wonderful stormed into the produce category with a unique structure for a unique product – pomegranate...
Expanding Taste Palates at an Early Age

Expanding Taste Palates at an Early Age

Kids can be fickle eaters. Parents who have personally experienced this are often at the helm of food companies that specifically cater to introducing unique flavor profiles into youngster’s diets. The children’s food category is inundated with bland purees, snacks and meals, but establishing bolder flavors earlier on can mean that they will be more likely to become adventurous eaters.   The target audience for these products are generally millennial parents, catering to convenience and a desire for higher quality ingredients. The Little Foodie, an LA-based baby food delivery company, offers levels of foods that gradually introduce children to bold flavor combinations from infancy to toddlerhood. As a subscription service, it promises a stress free experience for the parent unsure of how to raise an adventurous eater. With vibrant and friendly packaging, it appeals to parents and their little ones alike.   Culture takes a leading role in the Latin Baby, which uses Latin herbs and spices to liven up vegetable purees. The company also brings West Indies Pumpkin (Calabaza) into many recipes. The product line is intended for babies 7 months and older, easily opening itself as a snacking possibility for all ages.   Squeeze pouches are hot in the kid’s food category for their ultra-convenient and eco-friendly packaging, and yet there seems to be little innovation in the development of flavors. Piccolo takes a leap away from the traditional with their Mediterranean inspired line of blended fruits and vegetables. Similar to other “junior foodie” geared companies, they offer varying stages of foods for different ages. With pureed meals like three-grain vegetable risotto, kids can to transition to solid...
HPP Stirs Up the Baby Food Category

HPP Stirs Up the Baby Food Category

High pressure processing (HPP) is a method of preservation which extends the shelf life of fresh foods without affecting the natural flavors of ingredients or adding harmful preservatives. It’s an ideal way to receive the maximum amount of nutrients from fruits and vegetables without actually having to consume them fresh. It’s allowed for cold-pressed juices like Suja and Evolution to become widely available in stores everywhere. Naturally, parents want their children to consume the most quality foods with the best nutrients possible. Pre-packaged baby foods have traditionally been restricted to jarred, heat pasteurized options, but HPP is shifting the category. Though HPP products require refrigeration, parents (millennials in particular) are driving the demand for the nutrient rich, bacteria free baby foods that are afforded by this method. According the Huffington Post, “the future of baby food is in our chillers”.     For now, it’s a new and unexplored category, and a few brands are already leading the charge. Many parents have taken to cooking from scratch for little ones rather than offering something that they wouldn’t eat themselves – food that doesn’t look, smell or taste fresh. The founders of Pure Spoon are two such parents who recognize that providing naturally delicious foods at an early age can usher in a lifetime of healthy eating habits. While created with the intention to target babies not yet capable of eating solid foods, the cold pasteurized purees quickly proved to be a success with older children – particularly, picky eaters who could be coerced into eating vegetables if they were tastier and less recognizable.     Reinforcing the notion that eating...
Healthy Upgrades to 8 of Our Favorite Childhood Foods

Healthy Upgrades to 8 of Our Favorite Childhood Foods

Happy Throwback Thursday! Nostalgia is powerful, and one thing that never fails to make memories come rushing back is food. Remember comparing and sometimes trading bags of chips and pudding cups over lunchtime tables? Or devouring pizza bites and sodas at birthday parties, as our parents looked on? Worrying about what went into those snacks was a much less common issue before the 2000’s. These days, parents are looking a lot more closely at what goes into their kid’s bellies. But does that mean that our little ones should have to miss out on some of the foods that made our childhoods memorable? Nope. Some foods have been upgraded to be just as tasty as the originals, sans all the extra artificial, overly processed and unnatural ingredients. Check out some of these gems for your kids, and save a few for yourself to relive the magic.   1. Lunchables / Half Time As a parent, Lunchables were a convenient reprieve from having to prepare a lunch for the day. As a kid, you’d look forward to breaking open that box at lunch and assembling some cracker sandwiches. Now, we realize it may not be the best idea to send the kids off to school with a platter of processed and sugar packed food. Applegate now offers an organic alternative to the classic lunch kit that leave no room for worries about artificial ingredients.   2. Capri Sun / Honest Kids Whether packed in your lunch bag or offered up at the sidelines during a game, it was always a refreshing treat to pop a straw into one of the many flavored Capri Sun juice pouches. For a long time these single sized...