10 Snack Innovations

The fluid multi-daypart snacking trend continues to evolve each year, with nuances. One recent study shows that 88% of consumers snack due to a desire to intentionally skip meals throughout the day.

The study, done in first-quarter 2019 and comprising 1,000 U.S. consumers, was conducted by U.K.-based FMCG Gurus, which provides market research and insight into consumer attitudes across the food, beverage and supplement markets.  

Five in 10 respondents cited hunger as the main reason for snacking, followed by indulgence (37%) and seeking energy (36%).

Midafternoon is the main time when people (47%) choose to snack, underscored by the need for energy, desire for escapism and curing boredom, the study said.

Across specific products, FMCG Gurus research shows 72% of respondents snack on fruit, followed by chocolate (61%) and yogurt (64%).

More than half of consumers say they’re more likely to snack at home compared to outside the home, which dispels a preconceived notion that snacking is driven by time scarcity and eating away from home more frequently, FMCG Gurus reported.

Click through for a look at 10 snack innovations across several snack categories.

Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Pop-Tarts

Kellogg Co.’s Pop-Tarts is giving pretzels a new twist with the launch of Pop-Tarts Pretzel, melding the sweetness of Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries with saltiness from a pretzel crust, in Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar flavors. The new variety will debut in January 2020, available for an SRP of $3.49 per package.

Photograph courtesy of Kellogg Co.

2. Lamb Weston

Eagle, Idaho-based Lamb Weston is serving up something unexpected in the form of Lamb Weston Waffled Hash Browns, a unique take on Belgian-style waffles. The savory waffles are made with real Idaho shredded potatoes and can be baked or fried. Flexible as a creative breakfast item for foodservice operators or as a  handheld snack, its “goal was to give our operator partners a new way to serve a crispy potato product,” said Kim Cupelli, vice president of marketing for Lamb Weston.

Photograph courtesy of Lamb Weston

3. Oikos

A growing concern for sugar intake has more than 40% of consumers willing to pay a premium price for yogurt with zero-sugar claims, according to FMCG Gurus. In that category, Dannon Oikos Triple Zero yogurt has no added sugar, artificial sweeteners or fat, and it offers 15 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce cup.

Photograph courtesy of Danone North America

4. Jif

Jif Power Ups from Smucker Away From Home debuted in November in two varieties: Chewy Granola Bars, in Creamy Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavors; and Stacked Granola Bars, in Super S’Mores and Epic Chocolate options. The 1.3-ounce bars come in 15-count boxes and can be merchandised for individual sale.

Photograph courtesy of Smuckers

5. Peatos

Peatos’ portfolio, which features snacks made from peas instead of traditional corn, has expanded to include Crunchy Rings and Crunchy Curls. The Crunchy Rings line comes in Classic Onion and Fiery Hot flavors, while Crunchy Curls come in Magic Masala, Chili Cheese, Fiery Hot, Zesty Ranch and Classic Cheese.

Photograph courtesy of Peatos

6. Lehi Valley

Lehi Valley Trading Co. in October 2019 introduced Gourmet Trail Mix in flavorful and on-trend options, and Gourmet Blends featuring the company’s recently released gourmet candied nuts. Five varieties of Gourmet Trail Mix are available: Oh Mega, Berry Antioxidant, Totally Raw, Indian Curry and Garam Masala. Gourmet Blends come in Cherry Cocoa Almond, Vanilla Cranberry Cashew and Cocoa Coconut Almond. Both lines come in bags, tubs, car cups and bulk.

Photograph courtesy of Lehi Valley

7. Conagra Brands

With 3 ounces of meat and 18 grams of protein per stick, Slim Jim Savage Size from Conagra Brands Inc. represent the biggest Slim Jim SKU the brand has produced, three times heftier than Slim Jim Giant. The product was released this fall. Its packaging is embossed with graphics depicting pro wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

8. Blue Diamond

Blue Diamond is expanding its lineup of bold snack almonds with Spicy Dill Pickle, paring dill and spicy garlic while balancing savory, spicy and sour seasonings. Blue Diamond Spicy Dill Pickle almonds are available in 6-ounce cans for an SRP of $3.49 and 1.5-ounce tubes for 99 cents; they will be available in March 2020. The supplier offers more than 20 flavors of almonds, ranging from Bold varieties to Oven Roasted.

Photograph courtesy of Blue Diamond

9. Jack Link’s

Available in January 2020, Jack Link’s Wild Heat is regarded as the hottest flavor in the Jack Link’s portfolio, delivering a balance of flavor and heat, according to the company. Hot-flavored meat snacks have seen substantial growth in retail channels, offering the opportunity to engage consumers seeking adventurous ingredients, according to the suppler.

Photograph courtesy of Jack Link’s

10. Cheesewich Factory

Cheesewich Factory has upped its innovation game to produce a shelf-stable version of its signature Cheesewich, for which no refrigeration is required. Cheesewich features one slice of meat sandwiched between two slices of cheese. It comes in two flavors: Beef Summer Sausage with American cheese (which has 11 grams of protein but no sugar or carbs) and Beef Pepperoni with Mozzarella Cheese (12 grams of protein but no sugar or carbs). Both are gluten-free and available in 16-count caddies of 2-ounce shelf-stable packages.

Photograph courtesy of Cheesewich Factory