Progressive Grocer

Grocerant February 2017

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24 SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY 2017 increasingly are buying retail-prepared snacks. In addition, in-store bakery and coffee caf├ęs that sell snacks are seeing rising snack business, according to Technomic. e fact that younger consumers are big-time snackers portends a more permanent change and an impetus for grocerants to go aer these desirable shoppers. According to a study from Chicago-based Y-Pulse, millennials born between 1977 and 1992 are willing to pay $3 to $5 for snacks they perceive as having premium value, including snacks sold in casual dining and supermarket deli venues. at compares with an average $1 to $3 "general expecta- tion" for other snacks, by Y-Pulse's estimation. Y-Pulse also found that millennial men are more likely to purchase snacks at supermarket delis and quick service venues, while millennial women snack at home twice as much as men but are more likely than their male counter- parts to visit supermarket bakeries for snacks. Millennials and the fresh factor Even as snacking stalwarts like chips, cookies, crackers and the like remain popular, freshness is on the minds of many modern snackers, especially among millennials. "Millennials, as a generation, are substituting 'snacks' for meals," says Susan Wagner, marketing strategist for Y-Pulse. "So offering freshly prepared snack-sized 'meals' throughout the day makes a lot of sense. Fresh-made salads, sandwiches and soups are great items to offer from lunch through dinner. Oatmeal with creative toppings that customers can choose, like dried or fresh fruit, nuts or chocolate chips, allows patrons to customize their morning snack and take it with them." Wagner advises grocerants to look to the fast casual restau- rant model for success strategies in delivering fresh snacks to millennials. "Many delis have nailed the fresh/fast/value equation that appeals to millennials, and the grocerant is still an emerging opportunity," she says. Healthy expectations Freshness goes hand-in-hand with nutrition for many snack shoppers. Technomic reports that a third of consum- ers say they would purchase snacks more oen at restau- rants if there were healthier options, a line of thinking that may extend to grocerants too. Chicago-based research firm Mintel also is finding increased demand for healthy snacks, noting that three-quarters of consumers say they wish there were more options for healthy snacks. And nearly half (49 percent) of consumers surveyed by IRI told researchers they look for Smaller portions of fresh sandwiches and other snacks can serve as meal substitutes throughout the day.

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