What are customers looking for in good-for-you snacks with healthy ingredients?
By NACS Online
Two years ago, organic product sales increased more than 10% year-over-year, nearly tripling the growth of the food market overall, according to the Organic Trade Association. Today, 75% of households now regularly purchase organic foods, especially in urban and suburban markets.
Despite this overwhelming uptick in what customers are searching for, convenience stores are often behind the curve when it comes to providing their patrons with “healthy” options that also qualify as inexpensive and fast—the hallmarks of food offered in c-stores.
What are customers looking for in a “healthy” snack of beverage? Here are a few major characteristics:
- “Real” Ingredients. Due to the understanding of adverse effects that many common chemicals in food can cause, it’s important to health-conscious purchasers that they can easily read and understand ingredient lists of packaged food.
- Protein Content. A focus on the need for quality protein is a hallmark of most healthy diets, making high-protein foods a must.
- No Sugar. Foods with low or no sugar are much harder to come by than most people realize when they begin examining food labels, so providing tasty foods that don’t contain sugar is a massive plus for any healthy product lineup.
- Diet-Friendly. Whether it’s organic, vegan, kosher, Non-GMO, gluten free, or any other specialty dietary need, it’s helpful for consumers to recognize their need listed on displays or packaging. This shortcut is especially key for convenience stores, allowing customers to decrease the time they spend making a selection.
- Meal Replacement Snacks. In recent years, dietitians have impressed the importance of several small meals throughout the day, rather than the three to which many people have become accustomed. Providing nutrient-rich snacks that can serve to replace a meal is a must-have when it comes to quick and healthy options.
For many convenience stores, this product line development can be an arduous task that requires a lot of trial and error. However, more companies such as Esstar, provide an easy way to bring healthy snacks to retail. Esstar founder Krista Anderson wanted to bridge the gap between consumer demand and c-store owners with “Krista’s Healthy On The Go” displays that give customers information and healthy options.