Category and product line growth comes in many forms in this industry. And not everything is about clean label and better-for-you. A foundational rubric of snack product success is pure enjoyment. If the customer doesn’t enjoy a snack, there’s a very good chance that they won’t buy it again.
We see this truism regularly play out across the snack industry. While health and wellness increasingly factor into the success of select snack products and lines—which have been responsible for bringing more people back to traditional snacks, offering incremental growth revenue for snack companies—tried-and-true traditional snack brands continue to do well. These are the Cheez-Its, Goldfish, Doritos, Lay’s, Ruffles, Pringles, Funyuns, Cheetos, Cracker Jacks, Combos, Fritos, Tostitos and Bugles of the world. They’re multimillion-dollar brands with established and dedicated fan bases that see very strong repeat purchase. They’re craveable and have high sensory appeal. In a word, they’re delicious, and flavor is at the fore.
Some snack brands are taking a powerfully bold and flavorful approach toward product development. This includes forward-trending brands like Barcel’s Takis Fuego and Churritos (part of Grupo Bimbo), Doritos Sabritas Dinamita, and the fast-growing Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels. For these brands, clean label is not part of the plan. Their target demographic isn’t interested. They want bold, signature, craveable, fun flavor. Period. And it works.
Much of the same approach can be seen in the strong pork rinds segment of late. The entire product area is seeing strong growth, with companies like Rudolph Foods and its Southern Recipe brand and 4505 Meats and its upscale-leaning 4505 brand of chicharrones and cracklins—with flavors like Chili & Salt, Jalapeño Cheddar and Smokehouse BBQ—seeing great numbers this year.
After all, snacking should never lose its sense of fun and flavor adventure.