Cover Story: You Saw It Here First
This story represents approximately 0.288% of the new products on the NACS Show floor. Consider it your sneak preview.
This year, Oct. 11 to 14, more than 23,500 people from around the world will arrive in Las Vegas for the show. They will walk the 400,000 square feet of expo space, perusing the products and services from more than 1,100 vendors.
There will be showgirls. There will be sausages, pizza and coffee. There will be a man dressed like Sasquatch.
And there will be plenty of new products promising to lure in customers, expand market baskets and boost sales in the year to come.
So don’t be like me. Be like that wide-eyed first-timer exploring everything with fresh curiosity. Of course, stick to your plan—you’d get lost without one. But stop and look up every once in a while. It’d be a shame if you missed that must-have new item. What follows is a list of brand-new-at-the-show products to get you started. Read on, and plot your course for a successful show.
Just Born’s Juniors Line
Mike and Ike Original Fruits, Mike and Ike Zours and Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon candies are now available in a smaller bean. Mike and Ike Original Fruit Juniors have the same flavors as traditional Mike and Ike candies (orange, strawberry, lemon, lime and cherry), but in a smaller size. The Zours Juniors line comes in five intense sour fruit flavors, including Sour Green Apple, Sour Blue Raspberry, Sour Watermelon, Sour Lemon and Sour Cherry, but also in the new mini-bean size. Hot Tamales Juniors features the original hot cinnamon candy and is just as spicy in miniature form. All varieties come in a 3.5-ounce shareable pack at an SRP of $1.49 to $1.99.
Opportunity: Shareable and poppable are all the rage in the candy aisle these days.
Njoy’s Daily Disposable E-Cig And Vaping Pre-Filled Tanks
The NJOY Daily Disposable E-Cig is designed to offer the quick, strong satisfaction of a cigarette, the company says. This disposable provides about 300 puffs at $5.99 per stick. It will be available in three flavors: Rich Tobacco, Cool Menthol and Blue + Black Berry. The NJOY Vaping Pre-Filled Tanks feature a new atomizer design that combines vape-shop performance with c-store convenience. The tanks will come in a variety of flavors at $5.99 per tank.
Opportunity: Vaporizers for the “everyman” vs. vaping enthusiasts may better fit into a c-store set.
Hatco’s Mini Vertical Warmer
The Mini Vertical Warmer helps extend the snacking opportunity into your foodservice program. This compact unit can be placed anywhere, keeping prepackaged snacks warm, appealing and at customers’ fingertips. Given the warmer’s adjustable thermostat, snacks such as brownies and cookies can be held at optimum temperatures for that oven-fresh taste. Up to eight Mini Vertical Warmer units can be connected side by side, all using one outlet connection. Accessory mounting brackets save on counter space and draw attention at eye level.
Opportunity: Is saving space a trend? If so, this product has it locked down.
Generac’s mobile gaseous generators are ideal for retailers with multiple locations. They are designed for applications that require temporary power or when a permanently installed generator is not feasible. They also can be equipped with transfer switches that automatically transfer power from the utility to generators during power outages. Another product under the Generac umbrella, the Protector Series offers advanced controls and flexible fuel operations. The series’ compact design allows for easy installation.
Opportunity: Keeping downtime to a minimum is always on trend.
Republic Tobacco’s Silver Cigarette Filter Tubes
Republic Tobacco has added new Silver cigarette filter tubes to its Gambler, TubeCut and TOP families. Available in king and 100MM sizes, the Silver products are for consumers who prefer a more airy, clean taste, the company says. All Republic Tobacco cigarette filter tubes work with any hand-held or tabletop cigarette injector machines, including Top-O-Matic, Top-O-Matic T2, MikroMatic and the new Poweroll 2 electric injectors.
Opportunity: RYO consumers take their craft seriously; give them products that create their ideal smoke.
General Mills’ Chex Xtreme
Exclusive to c-stores, Chex Xtreme comes in single-serve “slampack” packages in Spicy Sriracha and Hot Chile & Lime flavors. This product is designed specifically to meet convenience shoppers’ demand for portability and on-the-go consumption. Packaged in a tube-shaped bag for easy pouring directly into one’s mouth, this new product will be available in 1-ounce bags for an SRP of 99 cents. The company suggests retailers place Chex Xtreme in the salty set next to nuts and seeds.
Opportunity: Look, ma: No hands! It doesn’t get more convenient than that.
Powerbar’s Protein Shake
PowerBar is launching its first ready-to-drink high-protein shake for the convenience channel. This new 14-ounce shake is designed in a convenient, shelf-stable and environmentally friendly bottle. It contains 30 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar and 160 calories. The new shake is low in fat, has 24 vitamins and minerals and is gluten-free. The PowerBar protein shake will be ready to ship in December, the company says.
Opportunity: Consider how to deliver protein in snacks, foodservice and the cold vault.
Tyson’s Ball Park Flame Grilled Jerky
Ball Park is releasing a new jerky that tastes like it came right off the grill. It is dried for toughness, then flame-grilled for a tender texture and superior char-grilled flavor. Ball Park Flame Grilled flavors include Original, Teriyaki, Barbecue, Bourbon BBQ and Peppered. The new jerky was created to be different from other offerings by first drying and then flame-grilling it to invent a unique flavor profile.
Opportunity: Jerky keeps percolating. Sales increased 11% in the year ending Aug. 12, IRI says.
Mars’ Snickers Crisper
Snickers Crisper delivers a crispy bite with a combination of crisped rice and peanuts, topped with a layer of caramel and coated in creamy milk chocolate. Singles packs contain two pieces, each with 100 calories, allowing for a snack for now and another for later, the company says. The new product retails for 99 cents to $1.09 for 1.41-ounce singles, $1.69 to $1.79 for 2.83-ounce 4 to Go packs, and $2.69 to $3.99 for the 10.61-ounce medium Fun Size bag.
Opportunity: A new riff on a top-selling brand? Yes, please!
Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt And Sweet & Salty Popcor
Angie’s will introduce new 2.25-ounce, c-store-size bags of its Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt and Sweet & Salty varieties at the NACS Show. For the sea-salt variety, this otherwise-classic popcorn is 35 calories per cup and contains just popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt. The Sweet & Salty variety is 70 calories per cup and consists of popcorn, sunflower oil, dried cane sugar and sea salt.
Opportunity: Ready-to-eat popcorn is having a moment, according to IRI.
Johnsonville’s Sausage, Egg & Cheese Stuffed Biscuit
Johnsonville Sausage’s new Sausage, Egg & Cheese Stuffed Biscuit consists of a tender buttermilk biscuit stuffed with Johnsonville sausage, egg and cheese. It’s an ideal grab-and-go product for the growing breakfast or snack day-parts. This new foodservice item will debut at the NACS Show and will be available to retailers in 2016.
Opportunity: Did you hear the one about a QSR behemoth offering all-day breakfast? Get on the offensive now.
Mondelez’s Dentyne Ice Subzero
Mondelez is debuting its new cooling level of Dentyne Gum, SubZero, with flavors Glacier Mint and Iceberg Mint. The new Dentyne SubZero is uniquely formulated to contain substantially higher amounts of cooling ingredients vs. regular Dentyne. Mondelez is also debuting a Sour Patch Strawberry flavor complete with a new package: a resalable pouch that provides on-the-go and save-for-later opportunities for consumers.
Opportunity: Strong flavors and sour notes are big with millennial spenders.
Hoist’s Perfectly Isotonic Drink
Hoist hydration drink is isotonic, which means its formula flows easily through the stomach and instantly replenishes the body and mind, the company says. It contains no added colors, high fructose corn syrup or gluten. The beverage is packed with electrolytes, blended in a way that’s more natural for the body, according to the company. Each drink has 70 calories, 18 carbohydrates and 14 sugars.
Opportunity: Rare is the new packaged beverage that promises mere thirst-quenching properties.
Ovention’s M360 High-Speed Oven
Like its Matchbox and Shuttle oven companions, the M360 is a full-menu-capable, microwave-free, waste-reducing high-speed oven that can provide theatrical customer presentation through front-facing auto-load and unload. It can do all that in a compact, space-saving footprint, the company says. It also has eye-catching decorative shroud options that are a lovely complement to middle-of-the-house applications.
Opportunity: Who says ovens should be hidden? Bring it out and show off your foodservice program.
The Coca-Cola Co.’s Fanta Mango And Berry Flavors
Fanta Mango was released at the beginning of May 2015 in hopes of satisfying the changing tastes of millennials and seekers of variety. The beverage is offered in 20-ounce PET bottles, 12-ounce cans and 2-liter PET bottles. Beginning in spring 2016, Fanta Berry will be available as a regional flavor beyond the Gulf region, where it was released in the third quarter of 2015.
Opportunity: Shoppers often purchase based on regional preferences. Make that work in your beverage cooler.
Boulder Canyon’s Protein Crisps
Protein Crisps feature 10 grams of protein, 120 calories and 47 chips per serving. The new snack is available in Dark Chocolate and Asiago Cheese flavors, in 3-ounce packages at select retailers nationwide with an SRP of $3.49 to $3.99 per bag. The chips’ protein comes from peas and lentils, and are made using only real food ingredients that are simple to read and easy to understand, the company says. Protein Crisps are gluten-free, certified kosher and free of GMOs.
Opportunity: Again with the protein. But this time, the protein punch comes from meat-free ingredients.
Jack Link’s Squatch Loaded Bacon & Cheddar
Releasing in January 2016, the Squatch Loaded with Bacon & Cheddar is a beef stick from Jack Link’s that is fully flavored at a value price. The meat features real bacon and cheese and is “bursting” with flavor, the company says. The product will be available in 1.5-ounce 50-count tower displays and 1.5-ounce 24-count caddies for the rack, with an SRP of $1.99.
Opportunity: Everything is better with bacon. Still.
Hostess’ Suzy Q’s
In response to consumer demand, Hostess is returning Suzy Q’s to its snack-cake lineup. The return comes two years after the company mounted “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever” and returned its products to store shelves. First introduced in 1961, Suzy Q’s consist of two layers of chocolate cake and a creamy white filling. The product’s return is supported by a multimedia campaign that touts Suzy Q’s delectable creaminess with a “too creamy to be contained” tagline. Suzy Q’s are available in single-serve twin-packs.
Opportunity: Nostalgia is a powerful force among today’s shoppers.
Tres Picosos’ 3x3 Breakfast Burrito
Tres Picosos is introducing its new 3x3 breakfast burrito, which has three times three ingredients: three meats, three peppers and three cheeses. This authentic Mexican grab-and-go item features bacon, sausage, ham, green chiles, poblanos, jalapeños, cheddar, Monterey jack and Oaxaca cheese in one hand-held item. It’s then loaded with fluffy scrambled eggs and seasoned roasted potatoes wrapped up in a flour tortilla for good hot-holding time, the company says.
Opportunity: Capitalize on the breakfast daypart, the demand for value and the desire for bold flavors.
Anthony International’s Idoor
The iDOOR from Anthony uses a transparent LCD embedded within refrigeration cooler or freezer doors that plays full-motion video at the point of purchase. This patented technology allows video and animation in full HD to be played on the door while giving customers the ability to still see the products contained within the cooler or freezer. The iDOOR combines digital technology and in-store merchandising strategies that deliver proximity-based messaging for improved shopper engagement, the company says.
Opportunity: We live in the digital age. Our cooler doors should, too.
The Turbofan series of convection ovens offers bidirectional fan systems, an expanded line of models and tray capacities to suit various applications, including portable cooking. The ovens feature Safe-Touch glass oven doors, digital control and touch-screen control models, and halogen oven lamps for higher-quality lighting and merchandising. This product line also integrates an oven light auto-off for energy savings and extended lamp life, porcelain-enameled oven chambers and more.
Opportunity: Entice your customers with the aroma of freshly baked cookies.
General Mills’ Nature Valley Sweet & Spicy Bar
The Nature Valley Sweet & Spicy Granola Bar in Chili Dark Chocolate reflects the trend toward combining multiple flavor profiles in a single bite. This chewy granola bar is dipped in chocolate-flavored coating with dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, and cayenne pepper for a layer of heat. The snack comes in a pouch containing one 1.24-ounce bar with an SRP of 89 cents. The company suggests placing the snack in the grain aisle.
Opportunity: You haven’t heard it here first: Millennials demand big, bold flavors.
Lancer And Blendtec’s Blendpoint
Booth #5049, 6666
Lancer and Blendtec have partnered to produce a blended ice beverage (BIB) system that provides menu flexibility with an easy-to-use, reliable touch-screen system that integrates a refrigerated cabinet for on-board BIB and topping ingredients. The intuitive touch screen allows for flexible programming, operating and reporting for inventory and maintenance purposes. The technology produces consistent products and controls waste while providing convenient, practical access for cleaning and maintenance.
Opportunity: Ease of use and consistency are key factors for an ever-changing workforce.
Logic’s Cherry And Vanilla E-Cigs
Logic is introducing cherry and vanilla flavors to its next generation of e-cigarettes. Shown here with the new Logic Platinum disposable electronic cigarette, the new flavors are now available for the company’s strongest product, at 2.4% nicotine by volume. The technology allows each disposable to provide up to 400 vapor puffs. Each Logic disposable comes in two pieces with an easy assembly. Cherry and vanilla join the standard original tobacco and menthol flavors.
Opportunity: The e-cig industry continues to innovate on performance and flavor variety.