Slideshow: Dairy central to snack innovation

by Donna Berry
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CHICAGO — Ninety-one per cent of consumers snack multiple times throughout the day and 8% of these consumers forgo the traditional three-square meals in favor of all-day snacking, according to research from The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash.

Food and beverage marketers are down-sizing packages, getting creative with flavors and nutrition profiles to get the snacking consumers’ attention. Dairy foods manufacturers are no exception.

The eating occasion also has evolved into mindful snacking, with nutrition and health, or what the snack provides, increasingly important. This prioritization makes nutrient-rich dairy foods attractive to daily snack eaters.

Borden Cheese Snack Bars
Dairy Farmers of America now offers Borden Cheese Snack Bars  in Colby Jack, Gouda, mild cheddar and pepper Jack varieties.

Marketing dairy as a snack is not a new idea. String cheese and single-serve yogurt cups have been snacking staples for some time. But some shoppers need to be told that a food is intended for snacking.

Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, Wash., labels its new 0.75-oz individually wrapped organic cheese medallions sold in packs of 32 as cheese snacks, with each snack providing 5 grams of protein.

Others have been following suit. Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City, now offers Borden Cheese Snack Bars. Sold in packs of 10, the individually wrapped bars come in Colby Jack, Gouda, mild cheddar and pepper Jack varieties.

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups
Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups contain about 200 calories and come in cherry, milk chocolate, salted caramel and strawberry varieties.

Both cheese snacks contain 70 calories each. In general, most snack packs are designed to deliver around 100 calories, with 200 calories considered the fine line between snack and meal.

Le Mars, Iowa-based Wells Enterprises Inc. wants to ensure shoppers recognize ice cream as a sweet snack. The company’s new Blue Bunny Bunny Snacks come in a resealable stand-up pouch, with each pouch containing six individually wrapped 2.4-oz ice cream treats. The snack comes in four varieties, including chocolate chip cookie, chocolate vanilla twist, cookies and cream and salted caramel pretzel. Each serving contains less than 160 calories.

Chicago-based Kraft Heinz Co. offers refrigerated Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups. The 3.25-oz clear-plastic single-serve cups contain about 200 calories and come in cherry, milk chocolate, salted caramel and strawberry varieties. Cheesecake filling is the first ingredient, with cream cheese the first component of the filling.

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