While the better-for-you (B.F.Y.) movement continues to flourish, consumers are redefining what B.F.Y. actually means.
“There have been products that have been launched over time that aren’t necessarily good for you or healthy for you, but they may be better than something else,” noted Venessa Yates, vice-president of snacks for Walmart, during SNAC International’s Executive Leadership Forum.
Transparency is driving that change.
“Better-for-you is evolving in terms of what you’re expecting to see inside a pack or in the store,” she added.
Fewer artificial ingredients, an emphasis on sourcing and earth-friendly packaging all play a role when it comes to B.F.Y. products.
“Is it just a better-for-you play, or is it a better-for-me, better-for-my-family, better-for-the-environment conversation?” she asked.
Ms. Yates urged extra diligence when rolling out B.F.Y. versions or changing formulas of existing snack products to avoid compromising consumer trust and loyalty.
“When removing artificial flavors and ingredients, be very thoughtful in the bridge between what core consumers love today and rolling out the reformulated or reimagined product,” she said.
Meanwhile, Karl Schroeder, president of the Seattle division for Albertsons Cos., said major retailers and snack producers — seeing the successful innovation coming from start-up companies and incubators — are upping their game on new product innovation, which can only mean good news for the future of the center store.
“A lot of the C.P.G.s (consumer packaged goods companies) are figuring out natural and organic and healthy and premium whereas a few years ago, so many iconic brands were on their heels,” he observed.
Today’s resurgence in product innovation among all companies is not only good news for retailers but also for the impulse-driven snack market.