Progressive Grocer - September 2011 - (Page 134)

Fresh Food Produce Spotlight Goodness Grazing By Jennifer Strailey hey’re the perfect pick-me-ups, and millions of Americans reach for them each and every day. We’re talking snack packs, singles, portion-controlled bags and all manner of grab-and-go goodness. The seemingly recession-proof popularity of snacks has marketers and retailers taking notice, especially as consumers’ appetite for healthier options continues to surge. U.S. retail sales of packaged snacks increased to nearly $64 billion in 2010, according to Packaged Facts’ new “Snack Foods in the U.S., 4th Edition.” Citing reduced restaurant dining, busier lifestyles and rising health concerns as key reasons for the more than 20 percent leap in sales, the Rockville, Md.-based research firm further predicts that packaged snack sales will approach $77 billion by 2015. Not to be out-noshed, produce suppliers are introducing scores of healthful, convenient and colorful snack options with enough pizzazz to entice American consumers to put down their candy bars and salty snacks in favor of fresh food. Additionally, the newest numbers from Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen show that produce snacking is up 4.6 Packaged snack sales will approach $77 billion by 2015, according to Packaged Facts Grocers can take advantage of the current boom in produce-based snacks. T percent for the 52 weeks ending July 16, 2011, versus the year prior. “We believe the growth we’re seeing today is only the beginning,” asserts Tristan Kieva, director of marketing for Ready Pac Foods Inc. in Irwindale, Calif. “Fresh producebased snacks are going to expand to include more types of fruits and vegetables, and the accompaniments will become more varied — for example, adding healthy dips like hummus.” The result of these flavorful product innovations and pairings, predicts Kieva, will be continued momentum for the category. Do produce-based snacks have the potential to outpace the almighty potato chip? “There will always be a place for salty snacks to satisfy those cravings of the American consumer, but the most frequently consumed snacks today are actually fresh fruit (No. 1) and vegetables (No. 2),” continues Kieva, pointing to data from the International DairyDeli-Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) “Snacking Trends: A World of Opportunity.” Snacking by the Numbers Progressively healthconscious consumers and the rise of obesity in America have placed the quality of the snacks we consume under a microscope. While consumers still crave value and convenience from their snacks, more of them are demanding health benefits from their between-meal nibbles. They’re reading ingredient labels and looking for products that are low in calories and high in nutritional value. “There has been a noticeable increase in interest on the part of consumers to become more educated about healthy snacking in recent months, particularly to make more of an effort to consume many of the healthy snack items that are generally shopped in produce,” observes Joe Tamble, VP of sales for Kingsburgbased Sun-Maid Growers of California. Convenient, portable, nutritious and shelf-stable, raisins and other dried fruits are benefiting from this interest. “Despite a sluggish economy, dried fruit sales have demonstrated tremendous growth — 30 percent since 2005 — as consumers have become more educated that these products provide the best features of any of the healthy snack items on the market,” notes Tamble. Sun-Maid is responding with a variety of grab-and-go items for the health-minded, like its latest introduction: Mini Vanilla Yogurt Raisins. 134 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | September 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - September 2011

Progressive Grocer - September 2011
Table of Contents
New Era for Old World
Inside the Market Basket
Perfect Partners
Still Pink
Progressive Grocer Independent: Lasting Impressions
Breakfast Retailing Handbook: Breakfast Across the Store
Breakfast Foods/Frozen Waffles, Pancakes and French Toast
Cereal, Energy and Snack Bars, Q4 2010-Q1 2011
Fresh Priorities
Innovation in Focus
Goodness Grazing
Practical Implications of Food Safety Research
Gleaming Opportunities
Putting the Shine On
Seasonal Excitement
What Price Beauty?
Progressive Grocer Tech: Sourcing Savings
Bright Ideas
Supplier Side News
Editors’ Picks for Innovative Products

Progressive Grocer - September 2011