5 Healthy Snacks to Keep an Eye On

healthy snacks

Healthy snacking certainly has room for growth. Natural snacks account for less than 3% of the overall snacking segment in convenience stores, said Aaron Mace, category manager for Dash In Food Stores/The Wills Group, La Plata, Md., during CSP’s recent Convenience Retailing University conference in Glendale, Ariz.

But Mace said he's noticed a pattern in consumers' snacking habits. Consumers begin each week in high spirits, ready to take on the days ahead, which leads to a day or two of healthy eating, he said. By Thursday, however, they’re so stressed out that they resort back to less healthy comfort foods. Keeping this in mind, retailers looking to up their healthy snack sales may benefit from finding a balance between healthy innovation and traditional flavors.

Here are a few new products to consider while walking that fine line.

Bolthouse Farms 1915 Beverages

bolthouse farms

Bolthouse Farms is adding a new protein drink line, with added attention to packaging sustainability.

The company’s 1915 Organic juice brand has introduced plant-based beverages made with pea protein and also added two new cold-pressed juices to its existing portfolio. The launch aligns with recent trends: Sales of plant-based foods have grown more than 8% in the past year, according to the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute.

The organic protein options come in three flavors—vanilla, chocolate and coffee—and aim to meet consumer demand for more protein, less sugar and fewer calories, the company said. Each cold-pressed flavor—available in watermelon and cucumber—contains 12 grams of protein, 9 grams of sugar and a maximum of 160 calories. They’re also soy-free, USDA-certified organic, vegan and Non-GMO Project verified. They come in 12-ounce bottles and have an SRP of $3.99. 

The new products are packaged in sustainable and environmentally friendly bottles that use nearly 25% less plastic than other packaging.

Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese and Bunny Grahams

annies organic mac & cheese

Berkeley, Calif.-based snack manufacturer Annie’s Inc. will launch a limited-edition Organic Mac & Cheese and Organic Bunny Grahams in April. The wheat and peas contained in the Mac & Cheese and the wheat and oats in the Honey Bunny Grahams are grown on two separate farms in Bozeman and Fort Benton, Mont. These organic ingredients are grown through regenerative farming, which aims to build healthy soil, increase biodiversity, reduce greenhouse gases and empower farming communities.

“We are showing consumers that food choices matter and can make a positive impact on the planet,” said Carla Vernon, president of Annie’s.

Wasa’s Gluten Free Crispbread

wasa gluten free

Wasa Crispbread has announced the addition of new Gluten Free Crispbread to its roster of crackers, which are available in two flavors: Gluten Free Original and Wasa Gluten Free Sesame & Sea Salt, both for $3.99. The Northbrook, Ill.-based manufacturer combines potato, sourdough and amaranth to make its gluten-free crispbreads. The snacks are Non-GMO Project verified, lactose-free, vegetarian, baked without palm oil and packaged to avoid cross-contamination.

“We felt it was important to develop a crispbread line for the increasing number of people who are adopting gluten-free lifestyles, while still ensuring that it delivers the taste and texture crispbread cracker lovers expect from Wasa,” said Melissa Tendick, marketing vice president–Americas.

Growing Roots Corn and Coconut With Seeds

growing roots

In December 2015, consumer goods company Unilever launched its Growing Roots initiative to improve access to fresh food and provide cooking education in low-income American neighborhoods. Now Growing Roots is launching organic, gluten-free, plant-based snacks made with flax, chia and sesame seeds. The two snack types—organic corn with seed clusters and organic coconut with seed bites—come in four flavors: coconut curry, pineapple coconut rum, maple bourbon and cocoa chipotle.

Although the snack will be available only in New York to start, it will expand to other areas throughout the year, the company told Food Business News.

Biena Chickpea Snacks

biena chickpeas

Boston-based manufacturer Biena will release a new line of chickpea snacks this summer, available in seven flavors: Thin Mints, Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Sea Salt, Honey Roasted, Barbeque and Habanero. The Thin Mints option, which is licensed by the Girl Scouts of the USA, will be sold in 3.15-ounce packs for $4.49. Biena’s chickpea-centric snacks are gluten-free, vegan and Non-GMO Project verified.