Crackers: A back-to-the-future frontier for food marketers

Crackers: A back-to-the-future frontier for food marketers

In the world of snacks, crackers are fast becoming the next big thing for snackers and the final frontier for food marketers. As harried, on-the-go Americans increasingly turn to snacks to satisfy their cravings and replace sit-down meals, they are discovering that crackers can offer an exciting and healthy alternative to traditional salty snacks such as chips, popcorn and pretzels. In a virtuous circle that promises to provide a significant boost to the market for crackers, major marketers in t...


Kids food and beverage: It’s a juggling act

Kids food and beverage: It’s a juggling act

The dynamics of the kids’ food business have changed dramatically in recent years. In a nutshell, typical macaroni and cheese isn’t going to cut it when a kid can have noodles shaped like their favorite cartoon character. Or, what fun is using a spoon to eat yogurt or applesauce when you can squeeze it? Taste is no longer the only qualification needed to be a kid-friendly food. In fact, it’s become quite a juggling act for any company or brand that tries to break into this growing market.

Shif...


Not all salty snackers look like Homer Simpson

Not all salty snackers look like Homer Simpson

Nearly everybody eats salty snacks at one time or another. More than 90% of households in the country report using a salty snack in the past 30 days. Potato chips are eaten by 85% of American households. Corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks rank next in popularity (72% of households), followed by popcorn products (71%) and pretzels (55%).

Although salty snacks are a ubiquitous part of American diets, some of us crave salty snacks much more than others do. There are 50 million Americans who say th...


More Mediterranean on the menu

More Mediterranean on the menu

Food from Italy, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Turkey and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea have long been popular in the U.S., but today’s curious eaters are digging deeper to find new dishes and turning to new outlets for fresh and healthful meals.

At the National Restaurant Association Show in 2013, the popularity of this fare was on display in everything from tapas-centric heat-n-serve foods, flatbreads and wraps, to Mediterranean-inspired stuffed meat and cheese items.

Newly p...


The minnows may outswim the whales in the healthy-ingredient snacks market

The minnows may outswim the whales in the healthy-ingredient snacks market

American consumers have permanently changed their eating habits. The era of three square meals a day has gone the way of the typewriter and vacuum tube. 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 fueling the healthy-ingredient snacks market is the high priority placed by many consumers on making sure that the food they-and their kids-eat ...


The K-cups avalanche in the coffee aisle

The K-cups avalanche in the coffee aisle

After getting its foothold in the office segment of the market, single-serve beverage brewing has experienced tremendous growth with widespread and continued adoption in the retail market. Research conducted by the National Coffee Association (NCA) in 2012 found that 36% of respondents who had a single-serve brewing system obtained it within the last six months, indicating just how fast this segment of the beverage market has been growing.

As a result, the packaged coffee category at retail is...


Seafood sustainability consciousness and the price of a can of tuna

Seafood sustainability consciousness and the price of a can of tuna

Why are many retail groceries stressing that the fresh fish on display in their seafood departments is from sustainable sources? After all, according to Packaged Facts’ June 2013 National Consumer Survey, less than 20% of consumers make a seafood purchasing decision factoring in the sustainability of the catch.

Partly it goes to show the power of the interplay between leading edge shoppers, seafood suppliers, and retailers. The issue is already reaching critical mass in consumer consciousness,...


A final rule from the FDA on gluten-free

A final rule from the FDA on gluten-free

The FDA’s ruling on the use of “gluten-free” labeling is a triumph for consumers who suffer from Celiac disease, wheat allergies, or other grain-based food intolerances. When the regulation goes into effect a year from now, consumers who follow a gluten-free lifestyle out of necessity or choice will be able to shop for groceries with more confidence. The FDA’s final rule is setting a gluten limit of less than 20 ppm (parts per million) in foods that carry this label. The FDA explains that is the...


Worldly snack tracking: Brazilian brigadeiros

Worldly snack tracking: Brazilian brigadeiros

Move over Parisian macarons and Pennsylvania Amish whoppie pies: Brazil’s beloved brigadeiro (pronounced bree-gah-day-ro) may be next in line as America’s latest sweet snack trend. A traditional treat at Brazilian social events, this humble confection is made with chocolate, condensed milk and butter that are slowly cooked down to a smooth, creamy consistency. Once cool, the chocolate is scooped into rounds and rolled in toppings such as chocolate or multi-colored sprinkles, nuts or coconut. Bri...