Targeting Teens
A recent survey by BuzzBack Market Research entitled “Teen 101: Exploring Teen Lifestyles & Nutrition” asked a representative sample of 570 teens and young adults ages 13-24 about their attitudes toward health, eating and outward appearance. Some relevant findings:
• About 70% of participants said that being healthy is “extremely” or “very important” and that they try to stay healthy by eating healthy foods, drinking healthy and eating in moderation/portion control. They also said healthful foods include 40% or more of each of the following: vegetables, fruits and water.
• Of these respondents, 48% consider themselves “somewhat healthy,” while only 6% say they are “extremely healthy.”
Top Must-Have Snacks
24% - chips
12% - candy
11% - fruit, fruit snacks or vegetables
21% - pizza
11% - poultry
8% pasta
Source: BuzzBack Market Research’s “Teen 101:
Exploring Teen Lifestyles & Nutrition”
• Although 50% of respondents said they “eat in moderation/portion control” as a means of staying healthy, 50% also said that they have never tried 100-Calorie Packs.
• About 80% read nutrition labels at least “sometimes,” especially total fat, total calories and protein.
• This same group admitted that they “must have snacks and foods” that include “chips, pizza and soda.”
OUTWARD Appearance
• When it comes to perceptions, most teens consider themselves “normal weight.” Only 5% consider themselves “very overweight,” while 2% said they are “very underweight.” About 30% said they are “somewhat overweight,” the majority being female. (These perceptions vary from government body mass index (BMI) ratings, which state that 25% of teens are actually “overweight” or “at risk,” for younger respondents to this study, and about 50% are “overweight” or “obese,” among the older group.)
• “Overall appearance” is important to about 70% of teens, and more than half said the same about “the way your body looks.”
Taking the results of this study into consideration, BuzzBack suggests that products focused on health, being healthy and being the “right size” would be appropriate for this target teen audience.
For more information or for more studies from BuzzBack, visit

Hidden Whole Grains
For years, moms and dads have been covering broccoli and cauliflower with melted cheese as a way of getting their sons and daughters to eat their veggies.
Current daily nutrition guidelines indicate that whole grains are just as important as other pyramid foods, not just for adult health, but for children, too. In fact, the guidelines suggest that consumers should eat 3 oz. or more of whole grains a day. As a result, snack manufacturers and bakers — as well as parents — are looking for ways of incorporating said grains into their kids’ diets.
As with vegetables, sometimes the only way to infuse nutrients into a child’s diet is to sneak them in. Even school cafeterias are going covert. For example, Healthy Choice Cinnamon Bakes from ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., provide school foodservice directors a tasty and nutritious option. Each Cinnamon Bake equals one whole grain serving, is made with more than 50% whole grain flour, contains 3 g. of fiber and less than 16% sugar by weight, offers just 200 calories, and takes just 14% of its calories from fat. Each treat — available in Strawberry or Baked Apple — also is made with 30% real fruit filling.
Although the Cinnamon Bakes are for breakfast, ConAgra offers schools whole grain lunch menu items, as well, including The Max whole grain pizzas and el Extremo whole grain burritos.
For a look at other ConAgra products, visit

Editor’s Note
Today’s “after-school snacks” go beyond mere milk and cookies. Products of all flavors, portions and nutritional profiles now compete for attention from kids, as well as their parents. In this new section, we check out the latest items for young snackers, including healthful and organic offerings. With nationwide concern over childhood obesity at an all-time high, America needs to examine just what kids are, could and should be eating … before, during and after that final school bell rings.
Please send comments, questions and suggestions to Deborah Cassell, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery managing editor, at