Thins and minis
Companies may unlock growth in the marketplace by offering products positioned as permissible indulgences, Ms. Dornblaser said. One way in which this trend has taken shape is through thin and bite-size formats.
Oreo Thins, introduced in 2015, has achieved $70 million in sales, inspiring similar introductions from other cookie brands, including Chips Ahoy! and Kellogg’s Keebler.
“Thinness is an important characteristic when it comes to this idea of permissibility,” Ms. Dornblaser said.
Many other brands are going mini, adding bite-size versions of popular treats to the portfolio. From Kind, Healthy Grains Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Popped Snack Bites deliver double the permissibility with its popped format, Mr. Jago said.
“Consumers understand that popped is the new baked is the new fried, and that anything popped is better for you than anything else, practically,” he said.