Interact Category Specialists: Cereal & Granola

Interact Category Specialists: Cereal & Granola

Just when consumers are beginning to feel they have seen it all in the cereal and granola world, brands, as well as celebrity chefs, are coming out with new ways to flip the category on it’s head. Certain brands are making strides toward healthier options, ingredient transparency and the use of food byproducts as part of their formulations, while others are actually amplifying these traditional breakfast foods to be more indulgent than ever. (Kashi) TRANSPARENCY Cereal and granola don’t have the best reputation when it comes to a clean ingredient list, especially relating to sugar content. However, brands such as Kashi, and RX Bar are on a mission to prove that they aren’t afraid to show what their products are made of. In a recent redesign, Kashi decided to use close-up photos of their cereal and granola bars on their boxes to show how real their products are. Additionally, their granola bars are wrapped in a clear sleeve so the individual ingredients can be seen through the window on the front of the box. Aside from visually highlighting the product to relay ingredient transparency, boldly listing the individual ingredients can instill confidence in consumers that they can trust what they are eating. RX Bar utilizes a straightforward list of ingredients on their packaging to show consumers how clean and simple their products are. The last line of every list states “No B.S.”, which is one additional way of communicating their clean formulation.   (Regrained) FOOD BY-PRODUCTS As the concern surrounding food waste continues to grow, a few young brands have begun to play their part in utilizing food byproducts...
The Growth of Nut and Seed Butters

The Growth of Nut and Seed Butters

Peanut butter is a classic protein packed snack that’s versatile enough to be combined with just about anything. For a long time, it was the only kind of nut butter that people knew of. With constantly evolving consumer dietary needs, we’ve seen a boom in “butters” made from all kinds of different nuts and seeds. Here are a few aspects of this growing category that brands are taking into account: Source PRESENTATION The demand for peanut butter alternatives has resulted in an influx of “butters” made from ground almonds, cashews, pistachios and more. Often at a higher price point, it is common to see companies touting the healthy benefits of their product. Nutraw’s pistachio butter features packaging that is more elevated than what you might associate with a typical peanut butter jar, reflecting the minimal ingredients (stripped down to just pistachios, coconut oil and vanilla). Similarly, butters are increasingly being made from seeds – even ones you may not have ever thought to eat. Sunflower and pumpkin seed butters have been heralded as friendly options for consumers with nut allergies. Watermelon seed butter is unconventional yet intriguing. Sakara’s version appeals to consumers based on its aesthetic alone. The cream colored product is complemented by equally clean packaging, suggesting its simplicity and quality. Source INCLUSIONS Inclusions and unique flavors set brands apart in this ever growing category. Sesame seed butter is traditionally known as tahini, a main ingredient in hummus, but it’s making its way more and more into the butter category. Ilka’s Chai Sesame Butter appeals to create a more memorable and unique experience when spread over toast or fruit. Big Spoon Roasters also offer various nut butter flavors, like Espresso and Vanilla...
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...
Interact Category Specialists: Chips

Interact Category Specialists: Chips

This beloved aisle in conventional and high end grocery stores alike, inevitably makes its way to everyone’s heart (through their stomachs). The chip aisle offers an abundant assortment of everyone’s favorite indulgent snack. Today, brands are doing a stellar job of catering to the new health trends and overall dietary needs of the masses by incorporating new, interesting oils into their recipes or just simply changing the main ingredient (which was once limited to just corn or potato.) A consumer now sees everything from root vegetables (notably done well by Forager) to chickpeas, to beans, to sweet potatoes, to rice. There is something for everyone (and more importantly, every diet).     GO AVOCADO One notable shift is how Avocado Oil replacing the previous big hit, Olive Oil. Various brands have jumped on this healthy oil kick such as chip industry darlings, Boulder Canyon and Kettle Brand Chips. Avocado Oil offers up benefits such as a heathy dose of Oleic Acid (a uniquely healthy omega 9 acid,) it has properties that lower cholesterol in your blood, has a high amount of Lutein (which is eye health happy) and the additional benefits for skin health are endless.     FLAVOR ADVENTURE We’re also noticing an increase in the varied amount of new flavors being added to the lineup. The list for buy levitra online europe different BBQ names alone could be a page long. Lay’s has created a reputation for coming up with fun and bizarre flavors over the years, such as Shrimp Cocktail and Southern Biscuits and Gravy, but are now in good company when it comes to testing the flavor chord....
Interact Category Specialists: Cookies & Candy

Interact Category Specialists: Cookies & Candy

As consumers grow more health-conscious, one might think that the cookie and candy category has seen its heyday. But has it? A revolution of alternative solutions for how we satisfy sweet cravings is underway – be it for advanced palates, discerning sweet tooth’s, or health conscious foodies.   GROWN-UP FLAVOR PROFILES As candy and cookie lovers have grown up, so have their tastes! With more adventurous palates, consumers are leaning toward sweet foods with exotic and complex tastes, often with contrasting flavors such as sweet, spicy and salty. These unexpected flavors are coming from all directions. Big brands like Toll House, Oreo, and Ghirardelli are releasing flavors like blueberry lemon, jelly donut, and bourbon caramel. Smaller brands like Little Secrets, Chuao and Smash Mallow now offer flavors like pumpkin pie, spicy maya and lemon chia seed.     PREMIUM SWEETS Sharper looking brands excite and inspire consumers by standing out in busy retail environments. As this category becomes more competitive, innovative sweet brands must not only provide solutions for a limited retail space, but also tell more of a story than their CPG counterparts. Small batches and niche followings give premium bakers and confectioners the flexibility to try new things without much risk. The demand for premium sweets is at an all-time high, with provenance and origin being key to their stories. We are seeing plenty of brands are adapt to consumer desires through elevated product positioning.   BETTER-FOR-YOU INDULGENCE Ultimately, consumers want to have their healthy food and eat their cookie, too. If you ask the average person whether he or she wants to eat healthier, the answer is almost always yes. However, not everything associated with cookies is trending toward Crossfitters and marathoners....
5 Examples of Beautifully Disruptive Packaging

5 Examples of Beautifully Disruptive Packaging

One surefire way to grab attention on shelf as a somewhat common product is to challenge the traditional packaging that others in the category tend to adhere to. It creates a memorable experience for consumers, and presents an interesting challenge of pushing the boundaries while still remaining a structure that isn’t too difficult to present in store. Here are some packaging examples we’ve noticed that are making waves in their categories right now.   (Source) Wonka Ice Cream is a brand recognizable for its whimsical qualities reminiscent of the novel that inspired it. They are doing a great job at differentiating in the category with psychedelic patterns and color, but the choice to design the package  to be displayed upside down, draws that much more intrigue.   (Source) Califa Farms burst into the alternative milk category with a structure that stood apart from the typical carton we had grown accustomed to seeing with big players like Silk and Almond Dream. The Califa Farms bottle is a custom, carafe shaped structure that’s friendly for pouring, and is a gorgeous deviation from what we’re used to seeing in the refrigerated section.   (Source)   The ad campaign Got Milk has successfully positioned itself into a breakfast food brand. With the focus being on directing the audience to consume more more, this granola is packaged inside of a carton instead of a more traditional structure like a gusset bag.   (Source) Blue Bottle has ironically chosen a carton structure for its single serve iced coffee. While other RTD beverages are commonly seen in bottles, this brand is taking a unique and somewhat nostalgic approach to their packaging choice.  (Source) Stillhouse Moonshine breaks the mold of glass...