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Trends and Strategies in Healthy Snacking 15 Key Case Studies

Snacking is the over-arching driver in the food industry, affecting every category. This report examines innovations in format, ingredients and marketing and includes 15 detailed Case Studies of healthy snacking brands (see full list of case studies below). Among the case studies are the three most successful snack launches of the last two years – one of them offering “natural functionality” and fun marketing, another the natural health benefits of fruit, while the third is a brand that has legitimized the idea of snacking at breakfast for slow-release energy.

This 122-page report is written by experienced food marketers to be a practical guide to strategy:

- The three Key Trends in snacking that provide the greatest opportunities – and which are the focus of the most successful brands – are detailed in a concise 45-page introduction, along with a step-by-step guide to practical innovation strategy and brand positioning for snacks.

- The 15 Case Studies detail which strategies snacking brands have adopted to become successful with oats, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, protein, fibre, cocoa, nuts and berries.

- Each Case Study addresses packaging, choice of ingredients, nutrition profiles, product messages, marketing communications strategy, pricing strategies (and why some brands are able to earn premium prices), which consumers buy them and why, all supported with supermarket sales data.

- The Case Studies will enable you to understand how to communicate a range of benefits – from “slow-release energy” to “a serving of fruit” – and why some brands succeed and others fail.

This report provides practical insights and examples for any company, large or small, aiming to create a successful snacking proposition and better-manage the risks of new product development and innovation.

Each Case Study gives our usual independent and opinionated analysis, based on interviews with executives at all of the companies concerned, as well as independent industry experts.
Executive summary

1. Healthy snacking: a wealth of innovation opportunities
1.1 Four factors for success in snacking
1.2 Innovation without limits
1.3 The essential qualities needed for innovation

2. Key trends in healthy snacking
2.1 Trend 1: Naturalness
2.2 Trend 2: Fruit & vegetables
2.3 Trend 3: Higher protein, slower carbs

3. Brand positioning in healthy snacking
3.1 Targeting the right consumers
3.2 Distribution & routes to market: smart thinking finds smarter ways to take health to market
3.3 Marketing communications

4. Seven strategies to increase your chances of success in healthy snacking

5. Case studies
Innovation in format
Case study 1: Popchips - new product format delivers healthier chip at premium price

Innovation in ingredients
Case study 2: Mars - exploring how to make cocoa the next ingredient success in snacks

Targeting the technology consumer
Case study 3: Probake 50 - new format brings a healthy dose of protein

Targeting the lifestyle consumer
Case study 4: Smaller, leaner, kinder: bars tap into womens needs
Case study 5: ThinkThin Bars wellness platform resonates with women

Targeting the mass market
Case study 6: Kraft Belvita Breakfast - giving people permission to have a sweet snack at breakfast
Case study 7: Fiber One - an expert brand in digestive health

Naturalness - the biggest trend
Case study 8: PepsiCo transforms the snack food aisle into the natural food aisle
Case study 9: Wonderful Pistachios - making natural into a super-premium success
Case study 10: Nairns - product innovation, natural energy from expert brand in oat-based snacks

Fruit & vegetables
Case study 11: Nature Addicts - Europes most successful new snack brand
Case study 12: Castus fruit snacks - a hit with Danish children
Case study 13: Frito-Lays fruit and vegetable snack brand ambitions fall to earth
Case study 14: Ocean Spray - from bog fruit to big fruit
Case study 15: Berries - convenience, indulgence and natural functionality drive a super-premium success story


Chart 1: Percent of food & beverage new product Pacesetters offering health & wellness benefits vs historical trend
Chart 2: 2010 New product Pacesetters
Chart 3: Fruit & vegetable snack product launches 2009-2011 (YTD)
Chart 4: Change in body weight during the Diogenes study
Chart 5: The nutritional product life cycle – how it works
Chart 6: Technology consumers, a key segment for health brands
Chart 7: Lifestyle consumers, a key segment for health brands
Chart 8: Mass market consumers
Chart 9: Mass-market sales of Luna Bar, the leader in the women's nutrition bar segment
Chart 10: Recession-proof digestive health – the rise and rise of Fiber One
Chart 11: The nutritional product life cycle – how trends evolve
Chart 12: The irresistible rise of the Wonderful snack brand
Chart 13: The decline and fall of Flat Earth
Chart 14: US sales of Ocean Spray Craisins 2004-2010
Chart 15: Health and convenience enables the lowest volume product to command the highest value
Chart 16: Berries – the super premium success story


Table 1: Popchips and Flat Earth: a comparison
Table 2: Label messages for healthy snacks in our case studies
Table 3: Popchips – A comparison
Table 4: What's in Probake50?
Table 5: Tasty organic pumpkin pie cereal bar nutrition facts
Table 6: Nutrition and ingredients facts for ThinkThin protein bar (dark chocolate)
Table 7: Fiber One Oat & Chocolate bar ingredients & nutrition facts
Table 8: Lay's “All-natural” potato chips ingredients & nutrition facts
Table 9: Ingredients and nutrition facts for Castus fruit bars (strawberry)
Table 10: US and UK berry sales to May 2011


Box 1: Portion control a “win win” strategy in snacking
Box 2: Naturalness is a key element in brand success
Box 3: Even Mars chooses ingredients with a health halo
Box 4: Slow release carbs message from Kraft
Box 5: Simply Eight keeps it simple for consumers
Box 6: Applied Nutritional Research
Box 7: Slow release energy a key part of Kraft Brand positioning
Box 8: Belvita TV advertising
Box 9: Natural foods are the new standard in the supermarket: Pepsico's stated goal is to transform the snack aisle into a natural food aisle
Box 10: Wonderful Pistachios' quirky television advertising
Box 11: Oats' natural “slow release energy” advantage
Box 12: Creating a free-from advantage for oat snacks
Box 13: Televison advertising for N.A!
Box 14: Ocean Spray Craisins advert
Box 15: Good merchandising boosts Craisins sales
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