Baking&Snack - November 2016 - 53

"Consumers will buy a pretzel based on the amount of salt or the
lack thereof. It's a very personal preference in this category."
Jeff Martin, Utz Quality Foods

creamy ice cream and frozen desserts. From an indulgence perspective, enrobed pretzels compete
effectively with candy, especially
during the holiday season. "We
have been doing that for years, and
it's a space a lot of people are entering because it's been growing over
the past few years," said Mr. Brick
of Utz. "We were one of the early
adopters. We'd love to be out there
longer, but there is also a seasonality to the business."
According to IRI, chocolatecovered salted snacks rose 17.5%
to $197.1 million. IRI reported
the category leader, Stamford, CTbased DeMet's Candy Co., saw
sales rise 25% to $52.3 million during the past year. Marissa Foray,
brand manager for Flipz, which
was acquired in 2003 by DeMet's
Candy Co., noted limited-time offers and seasonal items can create
new consumption occasions and
spark incremental sales.
New varieties also help bring
consumers into the segment. At the
Sweets and Snacks Expo, held in
Chicago earlier this year, DeMet's
introduced a Caramel Sea Salt variety to its coated pretzel brand.
Still, it's the old standbys that
dominate this niche market. "Like
most chocolate confections, milk
chocolate is the highest performing
flavor segment based on its broad
appeal," Ms. Foray said. "In more
niche segments and among different consumer groups, dark chocolate is gaining in appeal."
She added that DeMet's has
turned to social media - specifically Facebook and Instagram -
to promote using coated pretzels
in other snacks and desserts as a



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©2016 Briess Industries, Inc. / November 2016 Baking & Snack 53

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