Amplify Snack Brands will return to Natural Products Expo West from March 9–11, 2022, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, to showcase occasions and trends in the better-for-you (BFY) snacking space.
Amplify, which was acquired by The Hershey Company in 2017, is currently the number one BFY Salty Snacking player across measured channels. Since the cancelation of Natural Products Expo West in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amplify has seen sales soar with its brands, further showcasing the company as a leader in the BFY snacking industry. During the first in-person trade show the company has attended since the start of the pandemic, visitors to the Amplify booth (#4916) will discover how the company has witnessed changes in consumers’ needs and how it has evolved to keep up with the changing trends.
SkinnyPop soars during pandemic
As the leader in the ready-to-eat category, SkinnyPop’s brand promise—to deliver a light, crunchy, perfectly popped popcorn made with a few simple ingredients that allow consumers to enjoy SkinnyPop without the baggage that comes with enjoying other salty snacks—continues to resonate with consumers.
As some consumers pick up SkinnyPop for the first time, and current consumers increase their purchase frequency, the brand is focusing its next growth phase on introducing new packages to address expanding consumer usage occasions. One example that Amplify found is that SkinnyPop Popcorn is the go-to choice for mid-day snackers who want a delicious salty snack that fuels them through the afternoon snacking occasion.
“During the pandemic, we heard from our consumers that those afternoon occasions were no longer solo eating occasions, but now a family occasion shared with a partner or children,” said Jimmy McClain, director of marketing. “While our existing portfolio satisfied their needs previously, consumers wanted a package that would allow the entire family to snack throughout the week. In response, we launched SkinnyPop Family Size, an 8 oz. bag of pure popped perfection that allows us to better meet the evolving needs of consumers during the afternoon slump.”
While many consumers continue to spend more time at home due to the pandemic, SkinnyPop’s positioning as a BFY snack that people can feel good about consuming the “whole bag” of has helped fuel the brand’s growth to three times the category rate year to date. Based on this, the brand continues to strategically lean into this unique product benefit as it expands into new channels, seasons and categories.
Armed with these insights for larger pack sizes and based on social listening technology, Amplify also found that people flooded social media with messages of staying cozy at home instead of going out to events and parties, such as New Year’s Eve events. With this in mind, the brand developed the campaign, “Whole Bag Kinda Night.” This campaign focused on sacred moments that only a bag of SkinnyPop could complement, including canceling fancy dinner plans or parties, locking yourself in the bathroom for some "me time," and shutting down Zoom. The campaign allowed Amplify to continue honing on these everyday occasions that consumers relied upon with a brand they trusted and continue to count on.
Trends in the better-for-you space
Over the past two years, Amplify has seen consumers try fewer new and different snacks and instead opt for the familiar snacks they have come to know and love. This reliance has led to a steep growth in sales for the snacking powerhouse.
“Being a known and trusted brand, we’ve grown our purchase size and frequency with existing customers by nearly 30% during the pandemic. As we begin to see a return to pre-pandemic consumer behavior, it’s the right time for us to accelerate our growth through form, flavor and pack type innovation,” said McClain.
The most significant trend the brand has seen recently is the explosion of multi-packs across the “Salty Snack” category.
“We continue to see multi-packs serving a unique need within large households. Not only do they provide flavor variety, but they also provide portion control for busy parents who are looking to make healthy decisions for themselves and their children and don’t have a lot of extra time,” said McClain.
SkinnyPop multi-packs have nearly doubled their growth rate over the last year, according to insights from Amplify. This explosion of multi-packs allows the brand to introduce more flavors and varieties by leveraging its entire ready-to-eat flavor portfolio and other owned brands, such as Pirate’s Booty and Paqui.
For more information about Amplify Snacks, please visit www.amplifysnackbrands.com or stop by booth #4916 at Natural Products Expo West.