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Not even the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could stop innovation in the snack industry. While innovation may have taken a dip at the beginning of the pandemic, snack manufacturers soon started rolling out new products once again.

“Innovation was still alive and well,” said Sally Lyons-Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader at IRI. “Yes, there was a reduction, but what innovation does every year is provide excitement to the snacking universe, and that was something consumers said in our survey: They are looking for excitement, variety and unique experiences.”

In this second episode of Since Sliced Bread’s state of the snacking industry, Ms. Lyons-Wyatt explores not only how the pandemic impacted innovation but also changed the definition of health and wellness and how immobility changed how consumers snack.

Erin Lifeso, operating partner, marketing, Factory LLC, Bethlehem, Pa., also shares insights into how snacking behaviors from the pandemic are here to stay. Bill Blubaugh, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Utz Quality Foods, Hanover, Pa., explains how the company is experiencing the ups and downs around consumers’ evolving relationship with better-for-you snacks.

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