In the coming year, bakers might want to steal a page from savvy snack manufacturers who position their products as components of a broader meal solution. By doing so, they’re able to combine pretzels with cheese, crackers with meat snacks and other protein-based foods.
Go Picnic, for instance, merchandises its black bean dip and plantain chips as a non-G.M.O. nutritionally balanced meal. Some foods just belong with one another. That’s why snack producers are partnering with food manufacturers to create meal kits or combination products that once were only found in school lunchboxes into premium meal replacement options.
“They are being marketed as convenient accompaniments for anyone on the go, and they offer a nutritional or indulgent appeal,” noted Nico Roesler, managing editor, in his December trends report in Baking & Snack. “Their evolution is driving growth and blurring several snacking channels into one. They are jumping out of the snack aisle to find new consumers. Although many new kits are merchandised in the refrigerated section of supermarkets and c-stores, their appeal is not cooling off.”
According to I.R.I., refrigerated meat, cheese, cracker and dessert snacks’ dollar sales were up 13% for the year ending June 10, 2018.
Mr. Roesler observed that mixing and matching snacks with other foods can also provide products with additional energy, protein and other nutritional benefits. As consumers make their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and eat better, snack producers and bakers need to find alternative ways to drive sales by making it easy to grab a snack or create a nutritious meal for anytime during the day.