7 Sweet Snacks for Any Daypart

Danish

While a protein-packed cinnamon roll might seem unusual, it’s simply part of a new sweet-snack evolution that marries function with fun. With an eye on that healthy halo, consumers are mandating suppliers steer new-product innovation more toward real ingredients, natural sweetening agents, protein and portion control—all in core convenience o­fferings such as breads, biscuits, cookies, cakes, pastries, rolls and pies.

“More people are seeking indulgence in sweet snacks but wanting indulgence via single-serve options with real ingredients,” said Eric Richard, education coordinator for Madison, Wis.-based International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association.

Natural sweeteners such as stevia have added credibility to soft drinks, while dark chocolate rich with antioxidants has done the same for confections. So why not packaged sweet snacks? Case in point: Berwick, Pa.-based ingredients manufacturer Ingredion recently developed a prebiotic fiber to help bakeries reduce sugar in baked goods. It’s just the first in a line of similar developments.

Click through to see some sweet bakery-style snacks perfect for any time of day.

Otis Spunkmeyer’s line of sweet treats

Otis Spunkmeyer’s line of sweet treats

In addition to tweaking the ingredient list, suppliers also are playing with smaller package sizes. This makes sense, considering the growth in single-person households. 

Otis Spunkmeyer’s line of sweet treats is made with a “No Funky Stuff” promise, according to the company. The baked goods contain no high fructose corn syrup and no partially hydrogenated oil. The Mini Muffins line features flavors such as blueberry, banana and chocolate chip. 

Hostess Mini Muffins

Hostess Mini Muffins

The sweet snacks category is seeking to boost morning daypart sales and retailers should work harder to align coffee, tea and juices with bagels, muffins and pastries to promote cross merchandising, Richard said. 

Hostess is introducing new whole-grain Mini Muffins in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Blueberry and Birthday Cake. The new recipe features the nutritional benefit of 8 grams of whole grain per serving. The Blueberry variety contains real fruit, while Chocolate Chip includes real chocolate. Each package contains five pouches of four muffins.

Skeeter Nut Free snacks

Skeeter Nut Free

“People are seeking ‘free from’ and real ingredients,” said Richard, “but it’s a challenge in a category like this where indulgence rules.”

Skeeter Nut Free snacks are ideal for consumers with peanut and tree-nut allergies. The company’s cookie line comes in flavors such as shortbread, double chocolate and chocolate chip. Skeeter Nut Free cookies are made from natural ingredients and whole grains. They do not contain artificial preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or trans fats.

Tastykake varieties for winter

Tastykake varieties for winter

And for a seasonal limited-time offer: Flowers Foods is rolling out limited-edition Tastykake varieties for winter, including Red Velvet Mini Donuts in 11.5-ounce bags (SRP $2.99) and six-count single-serve packs (SRP $1.79); Salted Caramel Mini Donuts and Gingerbread Mini Donuts in 10-ounce bags (SRP $2.99) and single-serve packs (SRP $1.79); and Red Velvet Kandy Kakes and Gingerbread Kandy Kakes in 8-ounce boxes (SRP $4.49).

Mrs. Freshley’s mini cupcakes

Mrs. Freshley’s mini cupcakes

Suppliers are also stepping forward to address other need states around packaged sweet snacks. One example is “hybrid” offerings, sweet treats that are indulgent, yet portion controlled. Mrs. Freshley’s is rolling out Mini Cupcakes in Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Chocolate features a cream filling, while Peanut Butter consists of a chocolate cupcake with a peanut-butter icing and filling. The three-count 1.5-ounce single-serve treats are available for an SRP of 99 cents.

Prairie City Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate Chip Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes

Prairie City Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate Chip Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes

Two new treats are joining the Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes lineup: Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate Chip. Sea Salt Caramel boasts a sweet and salty flavor combination, while Chocolate Chip contains real chocolate chips on top of a rich, fudgy base. Thaw-and-sell Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes have a 45-day shelf life and come packed in an attractive, compact merchandiser.

Nonni’s Biscotti

Nonni’s Biscotti

Ideal for merchandising near the coffee bar, this next product is ideal for breakfast or any on-the-go coffee drinker. An enhanced packaging design highlights the wholesome ingredients baked into each artisan Italian-inspired Nonni’s Biscotti treat. Imagery features fresh almonds and walnuts, decadent dark chocolate and real caramel and toffee bits, with calorie information and key ingredients now located at the top of each box. Each box, available for an SRP of $3.59, contains eight individually wrapped biscotti.