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Healthy-Ingredient Snacks in the U.S.: Cereal/Granola, Fruit, and Seed/Nut Snacks and Bars


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Healthy-Ingredient Snacks in the U.S.: Cereal/Granola, Fruit, and Seed/Nut Snacks and Bars

More and more Americans eat smaller portions of food more frequently throughout the day, and there is universal agreement in the food industry that this megatrend is here to stay. Another cultural shift that adds fuel to a hot healthy-ingredient snacks market is the high priority placed by many adult consumers on making sure that the food they—and their kids—eat passes nutritional muster. This new Packaged Facts report shows how these consumer trends are converging to produce a new generation of snackers attracted by the “health halo” surrounding healthy-ingredient snacks and to create the conditions for a vibrant market.

The healthy-ingredient snacks market is marked by a continuous quest on the part of both marketers and consumers for the next best product offering. The market is characterized by a continuous flow of new products based on inventive flavor combinations, exciting ingredient ideas, innovative formats and shapes, exotic fruits and vegetables, “superfoods” claiming to provide outsized health benefits, bold contrasts of  sweet and salty, and novel and unexpected amalgamations of spices and heat from around the world.

Marketers of healthy-ingredient snacks take full advantage of the health-halo effect, a phenomenon that leads consumers to perceive that food products with certain claims, such as “organic” and “natural,” are healthier or safer for them. Healthy-ingredient snacks commonly carry labeling that sets them apart with objective characteristics such as non-GMO, vegan or organic. They also often are labeled more subjectively as being “local,” “pure,” “real,” “natural,” “safe,” “clean,” “minimally processed” and “allergy-friendly.”

One of the key findings of this Packaged Facts report is that the brightest and shiniest health halos encircle healthy-ingredient snacks coming from small, boutique marketers. These often are family-run and given to cause marketing. They frequently use locally sourced ingredients and almost always highlight their concern for the global environment as well as the health and well-being of their customers.

The products marketed by these healthy-ingredient snacks marketers appear all the more safe, healthy and authentic because their founders have a deeply personal story to tell about why they got into the snacks business. These fledgling entrepreneurs are passionate about their products and are able to leverage their enthusiasm with consumers. The reports suggests that one of the challenges facing the mega-marketers dominating the packaged foods industry in America today will be whether they can find ways to make consumers trust the healthy-ingredient snacks marketed by multinational corporations to the same extent that consumers feel confident in the products marketed by small, personalized niche firms.

Market Definition

This Packaged Facts report defines the market for healthy-ingredient snacks based upon the following product categories and types tracked by IRI InfoScan Reviews: cereal/granola bars (including granola bars, breakfast/cereal/snack bars and all other snack/granola bars); snack nuts and seeds (including snack nuts, sunflower/pumpkin seeds and toasted corn nut snacks); dried fruit snacks (including fruit rolls/bars/snacks; apple chips; and dried fruits); and trail mix and other sweet/salty snacks (including nutritional snacks/trail mixes; chocolate covered salted snacks; and carob/yogurt coated snacks). The report also analyzes analogous product categories from two other sources of primary data—Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) and SPINSscan—and highlights healthy-ingredient snack trends appearing in other relevant IRI product categories not included in the main market categories as defined above.

Methodology

The first source of primary data used in this report is IRI InfoScan Reviews as described above. The second is the Winter 2013 Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS), which was fielded between January 2012 and March 2013. The report also includes data from the SPINSscan from SPINS, Inc., which tracks sales in the natural supermarket and specialty gourmet supermarket channels.

The report is also based upon data collected from field surveys of food retailers in various channels as well as a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines; consumer blogs; and annual reports, 10Ks and other releases from public companies.


  • Executive Summary
    • Market Definition
    • Methodology
    • Market Overview
      • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks, 2008-2013 (in million $)
      • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks, 2013-2018 (in million $)
    • Insights and Opportunities
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snack Marketers Leverage Health-Halo Effect
      • Major Food Marketers Capitalize on Snacks Mania
      • Helping Consumers Eat on the Go
      • Marketers Turn to Ancient Grains
      • Seaweed Is the New Kale as Superfoods Flood the Market
      • Gluten-Free Snacks Key Part of Market
      • Bold and Spicy Flavors Heat Up Market
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Can Boost Center-Store Prospects
    • The Competitors
      • Operating in a Competitive Environment
      • Shares by Market Segment Analyzed
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • Saving the World, One Healthy Snack at a Time
      • Personal Connection with Consumers Key
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snack Marketers Vie for Shiniest Health Halo
      • School-Based Gardening and Healthy Eating Programs Favored
      • Traditional Marketing Approaches Still Work
      • Most Successful New Mass-Market Products Analyzed
      • Superfoods Lead the Pack of New Products
    • Consumer Trends
      • Continue Radical Transformation in Eating Habits
      • Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Growing at Rapid Rate
      • All Kinds of Snacks Appeal
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers More Physically Fit
      • Demographics of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Differ
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snacking Part of Broader Regime
      • New Food Products Popular
  • Insights and Opportunities
    • Topline Insights
      • Changes in Eating Habits and Elevated Concerns about Food Safety and Health
      • Major Food Marketers Capitalize on Snacks Mania
        • Table Snacks as Percent of U.S. Dollar Sales of General Mills, 2011 vs. 2013 (in million $)
        • Table Snacks as Percent of U.S. Dollar Sales of Kellogg Company, 2010 vs. 2012 (in million $)
      • Marketers of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Leverage Health Halo
      • Upstart Entrepreneurs Raise the Bar and Set the Tone
      • Helping Consumers Eat on the Go
      • Marketers Turn to Ancient Grains
      • Seaweed Is the New Kale as Superfoods Flood the Market
      • Gluten-Free Snacks Key Part of Market
      • Bold and Spicy Flavors Heat Up Market
      • Snack Flavors and Ingredients from Exotic Global Sources
      • Almonds and Pistachios Set the Pace
        • Table Almonds as Percent of Total Sales of John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., 2011 vs. 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Marketers Bid to Place Healthy Halo around Popcorn
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Can Boost Center-Store Prospects
      • Drugstores Look to Chip Away at C-Store Share
    • Market Opportunities
      • It's a Women's World
        • Table Gender and Age of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Volume of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Consumed (in thousands)
      • Kids Matter in Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Market
        • Table Households with Adults Consuming Healthy-Ingredient Snacks by Presence of Children and Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Consumed in Last 30 Days (in thousands)
      • Young C-Store Shoppers Offer Significant Potential
      • Wide Range of Marketing Approaches
      • Web Marketing More Effective with Healthy-Ingredient Snackers
        • Table Types of Internet Advertising Leading to Purchase: Healthy-Ingredient Snackers vs. Other Adults
        • Table Online Purchasing Patterns: Healthy-Ingredient Snackers vs. Other Adults
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Heavily Involved in Social Media
        • Table Number of Times Visiting Facebook and Twitter in Last 30 Days: Healthy-Ingredient Snackers vs. Other Adults
        • Table Impact of Social Media, Healthy-Ingredient Snackers vs. Other Adults
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Open to Cellphone Ads
        • Table Receptivity to Ads on Cellphones: Healthy-Ingredient Snackers vs. Other Adults
      • Coupons Sway Healthy-Ingredient Snackers to Try Out New Food Products
      • Grassroots Marketing Efforts Can Fall on Fertile Ground with High-Volume Healthy-Ingredient Snackers
      • Celebrity and Sports Event Marketing Efforts Are Effective
      • Ads in Traditional Media Effective Too
        • Table Impact of TV and Magazine Advertising and TV Product Placement on Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
  • Market Trends
    • Historical Trends
      • Over Half of Adult Population Are Healthy-Ingredient Snacks
        • Table Healthy-Ingredient Snackers as Percent of Adult Population by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Consumed in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 20013
        • Table Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Consumed in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • High-Volume Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Drive Growth in Market
        • Table Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten by Adults in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten by Adults in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • Granola Registers Largest Increase in Consumer Interest
        • Table Number of Adults Consuming Healthy-Ingredient Snacks by Type of Snack Used Most, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
    • Market Size and Composition
      • Market for Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Registers Steady Growth
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks, 2007-2012 (in million $)
      • Snack Nuts and Seeds Most Successful Snack Category
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks by Type, 2012 (in million $)
    • Retail Distribution Channels
      • Convenience Stores Key Outlet
      • Nutritional Snacks/Trail Mixes Show Fastest Growth in Mass Market
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks by Type, 52 Weeks Ending June 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Volume Sales Down in Many Categories
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks by Dollar and Volume Growth, 52 Weeks Ending June 16, 2013 (in thousands)
      • Fast-Growing Products Analyzed
        • Table Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Products with the Fastest-Growing IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales by Category and Type, 52 Weeks Ending June 16, 2013
      • Smaller Marketers Are Responsible for Majority of Fastest-Growing Products
        • Table Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Products with the Fastest-Growing IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 52 Weeks Ending June 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Natural Supermarket Channel Sales Show Major Uptick
        • Table SPINSscan-Tracked Dollar Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks in Natural Supermarket Channel by Type of Snack, 52 Weeks Ending August 3, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Specialty Gourmet Channel Registers Less Robust Growth
        • Table SPINSscan-Tracked Dollar Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks in Specialty Gourmet Channel by Type of Snack, 52 Weeks Ending August 3, 2013 (in thousand $)
    • Factors Affecting the Growth of the Market
      • Snacking Mania Here to Stay
      • Demographic Shifts, Especially Increase in Latino Population, Will Support Growth
      • As Moms and the Government Place Higher Priority on Healthy Eating for Kids, Sales Will Rise
        • Table Households with Adults Consuming Five or More Healthy-Ingredient Snacks in Last 30 Days by Presence of Children (in thousands)
      • Continuous Product Innovation Will Aid Market Growth
      • Small, Agile and Inventive Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Marketers Will Help Stir Consumer Interest
      • Government Regulations Will Promote Healthy Snacking
    • Projected Market Growth
      • Robust Market Growth Anticipated
      • Market Expected to Grow 30.4% through 2018
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks, 2013-2018 (in million $)
  • The Competitors
    • Overview
      • Operating in a Competitive Environment
      • Private Labels Major Force in Market
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks by Leading Marketers and Their Major Brands, 52 Weeks Ending June, 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Nature Valley Maintains Consumer Loyalty
        • Table Percent Change in Number of Consumers Using Nutritional Snack Brands Most Often, 2011 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
    • Marketer and Brand Shares by Market Segment
      • Private Labels Lead Snack Nuts and Seeds Segment
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Snack Nuts and Seeds by Leading Marketers and Their Major Brands, 52 Weeks Ending June, 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Kellogg and General Mills Brands Tops in Cereal/Granola Bars
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Cereal/Granola Bars by Leading Marketers and Their Major Brands, 52 Weeks Ending June, 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • General Mills Leads Marketers of Dried Fruit Snacks
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Dried Fruit Snacks by Leading Marketers and Their Major Brands, 52 Weeks Ending June, 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Marketers of Trail Mix and Sweet/Salty Snacks Show Gains
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Trail Mix and Other Sweet/Salty Snacks by Leading Marketers and Their Major Brands, 52 Weeks Ending June, 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
    • Competitive Trends
      • General Mills Bets on Healthy-Ingredient Snacks and C-Stores
        • Table Retail Sales by General Mills 2011-2013, Snacks vs. Other Divisions (in million $)
      • As Mondelez Steps Back from Healthy-Ingredient Snacks, Brynwood Partners Gains
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Products of Brynwood Partners, 52 Weeks Ending June, 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Annie's Set to Push into Mainstream Channels
        • Table Dollar Sales of Snacks by Annie's, 2012 vs. 2013 (in million $)
      • NatureBox Plans to Compete by Selling Directly to Consumers
  • Marketing and New Product Trends
    • Marketing Trends
      • Saving the World, One Healthy Snack at a Time
        • Table Excerpts from Websites of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Marketers Pledging Environmental Responsibility and Global Stewardship
      • Personal Connection with Consumers Key
        • Table Excerpts from Websites of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Marketers Telling Personal Stories of Founders
      • Marketers Compete for Shiniest Health Halo
        • Table Excerpts from Websites of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Marketers Promising Pure and Healthful Products
      • Marketers Support School-Based Gardening and Healthy Eating Programs
      • Enjoy Life Foods Sponsors Food Allergy PSA
      • Most Successful New Mass-Market Products
        • Table New Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Products with the Highest IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales by Category and Type, 52 Weeks Ending June 16, 2013
        • Table New Healthy-Ingredient Snacking Products Ranked by IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 52 Weeks Ending June 16, 2013 (in thousand $)
      • Navitas Naturals Launches Dragonfruit Slices
      • Snikiddy Introduces Kale
      • Momma Chia Debuts the Chia Squeeze
      • Himalania Adds Hemp and Black Chia Seeds to Its Product Line
      • Sahale Snacks Unveils New Products
      • Kellogg's Special K Introduces Nutrition Bars Made with Quinoa
      • Kind Healthy Snacks Debuts Gluten-Free Granola Bars
      • Mrs. May's Naturals Introduces New Line of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks
  • Consumer Trends
    • Trends in Eating and Snacking Behavior
      • Consumers Continue Radical Transformation in Eating Habits
        • Table Importance of Meals, 2004 vs. 2013
        • Table Changes in Eating Habits, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands of adults)
        • Table Changes in Eating Habits, 2004 vs. 2013 (% of adult population)
      • Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Growing at Rapid Rate
        • Table Number of Adults Consuming Snacks in Last 30 Days by Type of Snack, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • Healthy Snacking Population Grows Faster in Households without Children
        • Table Snacking Trends among Adults by Presence of Children in Household, 2013 vs. 2004 (in thousands)
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Indulge in All Kinds of Snacks
        • Table Household Consumption of Snacks by Households with High-Volume Healthy-Ingredient Snackers and without Children
    • Demographic Insights
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers More Physically Fit
        • Table Number of Times per Week Participated in Physical Fitness Program: Healthy-Ingredient Snackers vs. Other Adults
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers vs. Other Consumers
        • Table Demographic Profile of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Volume of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Consumed
      • Different Snacks Attract Different Folks
        • Table Demographic Profile by Type of Healthy-Ingredient Snack Eaten Most Often
      • Vast Differences between Latino Healthy-Ingredient Snackers and Other Latinos
        • Table Demographic Profile of Latino Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Volume of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Consumed
    • Consumer Attitudes
      • Healthy Snacking Linked to Strong Views on the Environment
        • Table Attitudes of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers toward Environmental Practices of Corporations by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
      • Early Adopters and Trendsetters
        • Table Potential Impact of Grassroots Marketing on Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
      • Advertising and Product Placement Effective
        • Table Receptivity to Advertising by Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
        • Table Impact of Product Placement on TV on Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
      • Cable Channels Popular with Healthy Snackers Skew toward Younger Viewers
        • Table Cable TV Channels More Likely to Be Watched by Healthy-Ingredient Snackers
      • Magazines Ads Attract Attention of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers
        • Table Importance of Magazines to Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
        • Table Magazines More Likely to Be Read or Looked Into in the Last Six Months by Adults Consuming Five or More Healthy-Ingredient Snacks in Last 30 Days
    • Food and Food Shopping
      • Healthy Snacking Part of Broader Healthy Eating Regime
        • Table Attitudes of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers toward Healthy Eating by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Have Ecumenical View of Food
        • Table Attitudes of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers toward Food by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers Like to Experiment with New Food Products
        • Table Attitudes of Healthy-Ingredient Snackers toward Trying out New Foods by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
      • Healthy Snackers Spend More in the Grocery Store
      • High-Volume Healthy-Ingredient Snackers More Likely to Choose Organic Foods
        • Table Use of Organic Foods by Healthy-Ingredient Snackers by Number of Healthy-Ingredient Snacks Eaten in Last 30 Days
      • Healthy-Ingredient Snackers without Kids Have Calories on Their Mind in the Supermarket
        • Table Household Use of Groceries by Presence of Children
      • Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Not the Only Grocery Chains to Draw Healthy-Ingredient Snackers
        • Table Percent of Shoppers Eating 8+ Healthy-Ingredient Snacks in Last 30 Days by Supermarket Shopped in Last Four Weeks

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