In 2015, we launched the “Best New Snack & Bakery Products” contest to honor outstanding new snack and bakery products. After voting for the 2017 contest concluded in mid-December, TERRA Plantain chips and PowerBar Plant Protein bars emerged as clear victors. TERRA’s Plantain chips took in nearly 50 percent of all votes in the snack category, and PowerBar’s Plant Protein bars secured nearly 40 percent of the bakery products vote—impressive margins of victory that demonstrate the strong, on-trend resonance of these products with today’s shoppers.
In order to learn more, we reached out to Cady Roberts, senior brand manager, TERRA Snacks, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Lake Success, NY, and Nick Stiritz, senior brand manager, PowerBar (a Post Holdings company), Emeryville, CA.
Best Snack Product of 2017
TERRA Plantain chips are available in two varieties: Plantains and Sweet Plantains. The Plantains variety is made with three ingredients: green plantains, coconut oil and sea salt. Sweet Plantains contain just sweet plantains and coconut oil. Both varieties are made with non-GMO ingredients.
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh: What inspired the TERRA Plantain chips line?
Cady Roberts: Hain Celestial is always keeping an eye out for the latest natural and organic trends. With snacks from various cultures being one of the fastest-growing snack forms for new product launches, we developed a tropical snack that was in-line with our TERRA brand.
DJP: What are the differences between the two types of plantains used in the products?
CR: TERRA Chips Plantains are made with green plantains, coconut oil and sea salt, while TERRA Chips Sweet Plantains are made with ripened plantains and coconut oil, which gives them a naturally sweeter taste without the addition of sea salt.
DJP: Why is non-GMO important to the TERRA chips brand?
CR: The TERRA brand supports the principle of transparency and that consumers have the right to know about the use of GMOs in the foods that they buy. We believe greater food-labeling transparency leads to increased consumer trust.
DJP: How have TERRA Chips fans responded to these new products?
CR: TERRA Chips fans are thrilled about the Plantain chips as a light and not-too-salty or sweet alternative to regular potato chips, as well as a unique snack to incorporate into a paleo diet. As a grain-free alternative to tortilla chips, they are delicious by themselves or for entertaining occasions like football parties. Our team at TERRA loves pairing the chips with guacamole. It sounds unexpected, but try it! You’ll thank us.
Best Bakery Product of 2017
PowerBar Plant Protein bars are available in Dark Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cashew, offering 10–11 grams of protein and 7–8 grams of fiber. They’re made with nuts, seeds, crisped rice and dark chocolate. They don’t contain any artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh: What inspired PowerBar to focus on a plant protein bar?
Nick Stiritz: In 2017, PowerBar developed its first-ever plant-based snack bar, which is part of the brand’s Clean Start campaign, an ongoing effort to evolve the product portfolio with cleaner ingredient labels and great-tasting products. In 2016, PowerBar committed to better understanding its consumer and offering products in response to consumer needs for higher-quality ingredients, long-lasting energy and improved on-trend nutrition. The Plant Protein line arrives at a time when plant protein products are gaining popularity due to the rising trend of consumers looking for vegetarian options.
DJP: What is the Clean Start Team?
NS: The PowerBar Clean Start Team was formed in early 2017 when the brand encouraged fans to submit their story on why they deserved a clean start for a chance to win a bib in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. Seventeen deserving runners, each of whom overcame physical or emotional personal hurdles, earned spots at the starting line. I am proud to say each PowerBar Clean Start Team member finished the TCS New York City Marathon on November 5!
DJP: What does “clean label” mean to PowerBar?
NS: PowerBar has established a forward-looking food philosophy designed to maximize taste while using minimally processed ingredients and easy-to-understand labels. PowerBar is committed to continuing to improve the product portfolio to better meet changing consumer demands.
DJP: How have PowerBar fans responded to the new Plant Protein bars?
NS: The response to the new PowerBar Plant Protein bars has been extremely favorable.
DJP: Why is offering “cleaner” products important to bar consumers today?
NS: Since PowerBar pioneered the nutrition bar category more than 30 years ago, sports, food and lifestyle trends have evolved. In addition to evolving trends, consumers have become more health-conscious and savvy regarding their food and ingredient labels. PowerBar wants its products to continue to support consumers’ healthy, on-the-go lifestyle.