Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Pilar Arellano, marketing director at Nature's Bakery, about pandemic trends, snacking changes, and consumer demand.
Liz Parker: How has Nature’s Bakery been able to diversify its product portfolio to meet pandemic changes in consumer demand?
Pilar Arellano: At Nature’s Bakery, we are always looking for whole ingredients that are already part of our consumers' everyday lives and that they enjoy, such as whole grains and real fruit. Including organic fruits & veggies in snacks are growing trends sought out by our target audience and customers. It brings an incremental buyer to our brand and fills whitespace opportunities within our portfolio, strengthening our position as a leader in the better-for-you soft-baked bar category. Consumers can trust that Nature’s Bakery is thoughtfully baked to make better-for-you snacking a deliciously easy and appealing choice.
Our company was founded on the idea that clean label products should be accessible for everyone, and we continue to have that as our guiding mission when developing new products. We keep our health-conscious consumers top of mind throughout the product development process and will continue to keep their preferences and dietary parameters at the forefront of our ingredient selection.
LP: What consumer attitude shifts has the brand seen during the pandemic?
PA: With the pandemic accelerating the growth of snacking and heightening the general consumer’s desire to be healthy, the demand for better-for-you snacks has substantially increased. Consumers continue to look for nutritious snacks that help them lead better lives, and are more aware of the link between having a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body. The future of the snack industry is not simply a pursuit for healthier options, but also for plant-forward, delicious, and convenient products that cater to a variety of dietary needs. Additionally, consumers are looking for more purity in their foods, whether it’s very few ingredients in a label, or using whole ingredients like dates or apple sauce instead of sugar.
At Nature’s Bakery, we are continuously looking for ways to deliver on key trends and consumer needs, such as the continued growth of whole grains and protein as key product benefits. For example, our Double Chocolate Brownie is a great afternoon pick-me-up snack made with whole grains, cocoa, and dates. Our Oatmeal Crumble Bar is also made with oats, real fruit, and dates, containing 3g of fiber and 14g of whole grains, making it a great option if you need to have breakfast on the go. Additionally, our newly launched Baked-Ins, an organic, plant-based snack line that also provides a great source of fiber (3g), features whole grains, real fruits, and veggies, are available in Banana Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Oat flavors.
LP: Any predictions for 2022 snacking trends?
PA: For 2022 trends and beyond, the idea of reducing one’s consumption of dairy or meat-based products is top of mind among consumers. Committing to a fully vegan regime or adhering to a plant-based diet is hard and expensive, and frankly has taste tradeoffs. In 2022 it will be important to provide options that allow consumers to find the right balance to fit their lifestyle. Healthy snacking doesn’t have to be bland. To stand out product developers can incorporate great tasting flavors into their products to ensure consumers love the product. At Nature’s Bakery, we bring a variety of flavor choices including favorites like Pumpkin Spice, Pomegranate, Double Chocolate, and Strawberry, among others.