Premium Snacks Increase in C-Stores

Premium Snacks Increase in C-Stores

When stopping by a convenience store for a snack, it’s typical to be met with a selection of processed, sugar laden and high sodium choices. Big food brands have dominated these spaces for as long as we can remember. However, as consumers are leaning toward more online retail options, c-store shelves are starting to make room for more products that cater to individual lifestyles. Staples like jerky, sports drinks, coffee and candy remain stable in the space, but more premium alternative options are being introduced to the mix. Personalization is shaping the future of the convenience food industry. Fresh food options are getting dressed up from the highly processed clamshell packaged sandwiches and microwave burritos typically found in convenience stores. Retailers like GetGo and Wawa now offer made-to-order fare for any time of day – all accessible via touch screen kiosks. Even airport retailers are upping the quality of their offerings. No longer limited to conventional snacks and chain meal options, travellers can now expect a wide variety of curated foods at CIBO Express Gourmet Markets. CIBO embraces established and emerging brands alike for a premium food and beverage experience on-the-go. In addition to being threatened by online retail, c-stores are experiencing direct competition in the form of Bodega – a fledgling company which sets up location specific pantries that appeal to the demographics of those particular areas. “The idea is to preempt what people might need, then use machine learning to constantly reassess the 100 most-needed items in that community.” (Fast Company) This would negate the need to visit a storefront, as the most demanded product per location...
2018 Food Packaging Predictions

2018 Food Packaging Predictions

As we approach a new year of fresh food and beverage options, we’re taking an in-depth look at the trends that might dominate the packaging world in 2018. Check out our predictions below!       FEATURED ARTISTS While many brands like Dogfish Head have had a featured artist series for many years, we predict there will be a slew of artist series that will hit in 2018 as a way to differentiate from competitors as well as reduce monotony among consumers. While the brands that currently utilize artist series fall in the alcoholic beverage space, there is a huge opportunity for dry packaged food to jump on this train and get ahead of the curve.   BRIGHTEN UP  Bright colors are another way to stand out as well as attract “millennials”. Many brands want to be young & fun and speak to the younger generation and this is one tried & true way to do so. As social media becomes increasingly important for a brand’s image, packaging design is certainly seeing a shift from more traditional aesthetics to new, fresh designs that are unique and innovative. Many brands are seeking a design that people will be proud to take a photo with.     IRIDESCENCE Iridescence is trending hard in the fashion world and we are starting to see it seep into the food packaging world. As more brands are searching for a design that stands apart from competitors, we believe this printing technique will be utilized.     BYE-BYE BRAND COLOR Choosing one or two consistent brand colors is not memorable enough anymore. More and more food and bev...
The State of Snacking in 2017

The State of Snacking in 2017

Snacking has evolved to be a more frequent occasion, with an increase in consumers snacking 5 times or more per day. The driving factor behind this is both for the sake of indulgence, and consciously seeking out health benefits. Both areas are growing, but indulgent snacks are still in the lead. Though the choices are becoming increasingly abundant and descriptors for categories are blurred, there are some growing categories of note. PROTEIN POWER Greek yogurt is a high protein option, and Chobani Flip combines it with other diverse ingredient mix-ins.   FARM TO YOU Quinn Snacks “Farm to Bag” model appeals to consumers looking for authenticity in food sourcing.   SNACK BOXES Lunchables aren’t just for kids anymore – there’s a surge in snack boxes that offer sweet and savory bites to tide an appetite over.   RESEALABLE PACKAGING Eat some now, save some for later – these multi serving packs are easy for on-the-go snacking   FRUIT & NUT MEDLEYS  Getting your daily servings of fruit in is now possible in a multitude of ways, going beyond the traditional bar. TAKE A DIP Dipping options both sweet and savory are popping up in convenient packages. Credit: Sweets and Snacks: 2017 State of the Snack Food...
Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Standing out among the competition in a category such as shelf-stable beverages is daunting to say the least. However, there are certain brands who are paying attention to the mass movement of consumers away from sugary and artificial beverages and toward shorter ingredient lists, healthier choices, and options that have functional and added dietary benefits. Three emerging trends from the past couple of years are ready-to-drink teas, carbonated juices and waters as well as taking the cold-pressed phenomenon out of the refrigerated section and into the middle of the store. (Image Source) RTD TEA With ready-to-drink tea sales projected to be $9 billion by 2020, up from $7 billion just five years prior, its needless to say that the tea category is booming. Major players like Starbucks, Steaz and Nestea have all taken notice and are anteing up with new packaging, new products and reformulation. Starbucks recently rolled out a RTD version of Tevana to select retailers in hopes to capitalize on this trend. Nestea, always a major player in this category, has paid particular attention to market demand when they recently reformulated their tea to have a mix of sugar and stevia as well as removing any artificial flavors. With the majority of consumers actively searching for “no sugar added”, “organic” or any type of added health/functional benefit all companies, big and small are taking notice.   (Image Source) CARBONATION With the trend moving more toward organic and natural beverages, brands are constantly trying to find ways to set themselves apart – what better way to do this than to add a little sparkle. Cawston Press and Spindrift...