Progressive Grocer

Grocerant February 2017

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23 SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY 2017 expanded because people's lifestyles are changing. More people see snacking as a healthy way of eating—there are smaller households today, and people don't have set meal times." Likewise, IRI projects that 84 percent of the growth in snacks during the next five years will come from "core" snacks, and 15 percent will come from "extended" snacks. Core snacks, according to IRI's analysis, include products like string cheese, dried fruit, dry fruit snacks, salty snacks, popcorn, pretzels, cookies, snack/granola bars, trail mix, meat snacks, toaster pastries, frozen novelties and crackers. Extended snacks encompass foods like refrigerated juice and drink smoothies, peanut butter, baked goods, soups, fresh eggs, pizza, cold cereals and breakfast drinks, among other items. ese redefined snacking options offer lots of opportu- nities for grocerants to cater to shoppers who prefer to graze, say industry observers. "As a food retailer, you can capitalize on the notion of noshing," says Jim Hertel, senior vice president for Willard Bishop, Long Grove, Ill., which provides consumer products data, analysis and insights. "It's definitely a grazing generation," agrees Burt Flick- inger, managing director of New York City-based Strategic Resource Group. "We're seeing stores like Lunds & Byerlys, BJ's Wholesale Club, [Canada-based] Longo's, and Stan- dard Market operate outstanding snacking programs." Flickinger notes that average sales are higher among retail- ers that have an active snacking program. "ese stores see snacking as an investment to drive profitable sales growth, whereas some other retailers may see snacking as an ex- pense and myopically make the mistake of sub-optimizing snacking," he says. Store-prepared snack appeal Technomic's snack report also found that, aligning with the overall growth in retailer meal solutions, consumers Center-store aisles already go head- to-head with convenience stores, dollar stores and mass merchandisers for packaged snack sales, but they increas- ingly are vying with online purveyors for sales as well, particularly for products with longer shelf lives. According to a report released in November by NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y., "the online channel is one of the fast- est-growing channels for consumer reported purchases of ready-to-eat snacks, while traditional channels, like grocery and discount clubs, are steadying or declining." By offering unique items that deliver on flavor, freshness and variety, grocerants can help give brick-and-mortar food retailers an advantage in the snack arena. Instead of getting a bag of branded tortilla chips and a jar of guacamole, for instance, a snack shopper can turn to the grocerant for on- trend homemade tortilla chips and fresh-made guacamole, or fresh cookies, vegetables or fruit. CORE SNACKS Carob/yogurt-covered snacks Cheese (string and cubes) Sensible salty snacks Reduced-fat cookies Reduced-fat crackers Salsa and picante Snack/granola bars Trail mixes Bakery snacks and desserts Dips Refrigerated appetizers/handheld entrées Pastry/doughnuts Regular-fat cookies Regular-fat crackers Regular-fat salty snacks EXTENDED SNACKS Refrigerated juice and drink smoothies Specialty nut butters Peanut butter Refrigerated baked goods Fresh eggs Frozen and refrigerated pizzas Soups Luncheon meats Refrigerated tortillas/egg rolls/wonton wraps Source: How America Eats: 2016 State of the Snack Food Industry, IRI Competing with online packaged snacks

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