Look for ways to innovate, incubate

by Dan Malovany
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Snack maker Savor Street Foods serves as a co-developer to take original ideas from small or even established businesses to a larger scale.

What drives sales growth and new product innovation in the snack industry?

“There’s new technology and ingredients out there that we can create new products from,” answered Michael Sands, executive vice-president of snacks, B&G Foods.

Specifically, snack makers rely on sheeting, extrusion, co-extrusion, compression popping systems and other emerging technology to combine untold number of ingredients — multigrain, whole grains, rice, flaxseed, vegetables, fruit, sprouted grains or ancient grains — into snacks that look like conventional tortilla chips, sticks, fries or puffed chips. But they aren’t. Additionally, many co-manufacturers are excited about the opportunities from various “incubators” in this arena.

“There are niche companies that are doing very well, and if they are successful, that’s when we do well,” said Rex Parrott, president and c.o.o., Wyandot, Marion, Ohio. “Some are virtual companies where they don’t want to have bricks and mortar. They just have an expertise in research and development, and sales and marketing.”

Meanwhile, Savor Street Foods, Wyomissing, Pa., actually serves as a co-developer to take original ideas from small or even established businesses to a larger scale, noted Scott Carpenter, president and c.e.o.

“We want to incubate new brands who want to get into the category,” he said. “We want to work with them to explore new recipes and offerings in the marketplace.”

When it comes to finding new ways to expand a market, look for ways to innovate — or incubate — using the latest advances in technology.
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