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...
Interact’s Top 100 Foods to Eat in 2018

Interact’s Top 100 Foods to Eat in 2018

As we settle into the new year, food choices are at the front of everyone’s mind. The internet is a alight with buzzwords like juicing, keto, paleo and vegan. If you’re already feeling burnt out on the foods available to you, not to worry – we’ve rounded up 100 of our favorite “better for you” brands. From pasta alternatives to superfood snacks, there’s sure to be something to satisfy every tongue and tummy. The titles are linked to the company websites so you can find out where to buy them, wherever you are. Cheers to a delicious new year from Interact! 1. 9 Meals from Anarchy Veg Stock  2. Adam’s Organic Cold-Pressed Chocolate 3. Ancient Harvest Pow! Pasta Meals 4. Bare Snacks Apple Chips  5. Beyond Meat Beyond Burger 6. Bhakti Chai 7. Biena Chickpea Snacks 8. Birch Benders Pancake & Waffle Mix 9. Bobo’s Oat Bars 10. Bolthouse Plant Protein Milk 11. Boom Chicka Pop 12. Boulder Canyon Chips 13. Brami Beans  14. Brew Dr. Kombucha 15. Bulletproof Collagen Protein 16. Chirps Cricket Chips 17. Chobani Yogurt 18. Cucina & Amore Quinoa Meals 19. Delighted By Dessert Hummus 20. Dirty Lemon Detox 21. Doctor D’s Sparkling Probiotics   22. Dry Soda 23. Emily’s Fruit Crisps  24. Enjoy Life Soft Baked Cookies 25. Epic Jerky Bites 26. Essential Living Superfood Trail Mix 27. Evo Hemp 28. Evol Frozen Foods 29. Fire Cider 30. Food Should Taste Good Chips 31. Forager Cashewgurt 32. Four Sigmatic Mushroom Tea 33. Gaia Herbs Golden Milk 34. Good Grain 35. Harmless Harvest 36. Health-ade Kombucha 37. Hilary’s Casserole Bites 38. Hippeas 39. Hodo Soy Noodles 40. Hope Foods Kale Pesto 41. I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Puffs 42. Inspiral Kale Chips   43....
Food Theme Parks Draw Tourists to Taste and Learn

Food Theme Parks Draw Tourists to Taste and Learn

Image Source: Eataly World One of the greatest things about travelling is experiencing new foods. And having the option to nosh on different types of cuisine at one location is a huge draw for foodies today, so tourist destinations dedicated to showcasing various eats are continuing to grow in popularity. Denver’s Avanti food hall houses several restaurant concepts – offering a wide variety of dishes from arepas to poke. Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg open air market is renowned for debuting radical, Instagram worthy foods. Not to mention the countless consumer focused food and beverage festivals that are held year round. Taking this food-focused location concept a few steps further, food and beverage based theme parks are popping up worldwide. The Epcot Theme Park at Walt Disney World has sort of fostered this movement, allowing visitors to travel the world with their taste buds and sample cuisine from different regions. But it’s clear that food alone can provide enough of an draw to structure an entire theme park around. Enter, FICO Eataly World – a massive park with 45 individual restaurants and cafés, 50 daily culinary workshops and classes, plus browse more than 100 traditional craft stores and organic markets (Forbes). This is a fully submersive experience that offers visitors the opportunity to sample the gamut of gourmet Italian cuisine, and learn about everything from food production to cooking techniques. There are also theme parks dedicated to beverages. La Cité du Vin is France’s first wine theme park, which similarly offers a diverse selection of wines and provides extensive knowledge about everything to do with wine. The park has museum-like features such as...
Spotted at Expo East 2017: Trend Blends

Spotted at Expo East 2017: Trend Blends

While strolling around Expo East 2017, we saw some of the latest and greatest natural food products. Our friend Tracy Miedema from Prescene Marketing noted that there were a plethora of “mashup” concepts – “flavors, formats, features and benefits borrowed from a current or past success reapplied to a new product (or even brand) concept. It’s like the era of the trend blend!” Check out some examples below.   SEAWEED + SNACKING THINS   COCONUT WATER + ENERGY   SAVORY OATS + FROZEN ENTREES   FERMENTED + PLANT BASED   ENERGY + COCONUT OIL MCT’S   COCONUT WATER + SPARKLING WATER   ROOT VEGGIES + CRISPS   MEAT SNACKS + POUCHES   BOTANIC + JUICE & TEA   SEAWEED + ENRICHED PASTA ALTERNATIVE   FIBER + CRISPS   PROTEIN + TEA   PROBIOTIC + BAR   DRINKING VINEGAR + WELLNESS SHOT   SWITCHEL + SPARKLING   COLD PRESSED + UNICORN TREND   NITRO +...
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...
European Packing Insights

European Packing Insights

One of our favorite things about traveling is getting the opportunity to soak up packaging design from cultures outside of the US. Dig in for a rundown of some overarching trends that some of our team members have seen in their European travels. PHOTOGRAPHY ON PACKAGE Using photography can bring big personality to a brand. Coupled with interesting typography and layouts, these image driven labels draw lots of attention to themselves on shelf.             BOLD TYPE SOLUTIONS Typographic choices like unconventional fonts and making objects into letters lend an edge to food packaging, and can speak volumes about the brand.       STRATEGIC WINDOWS Product windows are being seen more and more as a sign of transparency and authenticity in food. Companies are becoming innovative in the way that they use these windows, often having them mimic the shape of the product so that it becomes seamless with the overall package design.       COLOR BLOCKING The banality that minimalism is capable of inducing can be easily overcome by using bright, playful colors to differentiate SKU’s. When lined up side by side on shelf, they create an appealing rainbow.           VIBRANT ILLUSTRATION Illustrations can create a unique, hand-rendered feeling for products. Using contrasting colors and textures sets this type of packaging apart from some of the more structured options on shelf.         Check out the full gallery of images...