Entrepreneurs redefine snacking


Monday, 20 April, 2015


From uncool cabanossi to trendy jerky, meat snacks have come a long way. As recently as five years ago, they were viewed as an unhealthy, male-oriented legacy category. Now, sales of meat snacks are booming, with growth of 20% annually for many countries between 2012 and 2014.

The unexpected revival of the meat snack category shows just how much opportunity there is for innovation in snacking by reinventing categories, using new ingredients and product types and creating new brands.

“It’s entrepreneurs like [jerky company] Krave, start-ups and small companies of all kinds that are grasping the opportunity to innovate with snack products in ways that were not imaginable five years ago, creating totally new propositions, new brands and new markets,” said Julian Mellentin, author of a new report from New Nutrition Business, ‘Redefining Healthy Snacking: 20 Case Studies in Growth and Innovation’.

“The businesses that are proving successful are the ones that are creating new markets with new, differentiated snack concepts, often using new ingredients and processes, often sold under new brands (or old brands that have been boldly reinvented) with new messages. They do not follow the market with predictable products.”

Creative ways of reinterpreting existing snacking formats.

Creative ways of reinterpreting existing snacking formats. Source: New Nutrition Business.

The report shows that these smaller companies are succeeding because:

  • Consumers’ beliefs about what healthy means have fragmented massively, creating a wealth of niches that can be used as platforms to build successful brands. Big companies tend to overlook areas that seem too small, leaving the way clear for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
  • For many people, snacking has replaced main meals from breakfast through to dinner - according to Neilsen, between 40 and 60% of consumers in different regions of the globe often replace a meal with a snack.

Snacking has become the prime strategic opportunity for companies around the globe, New Nutrition Business says.

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