Last year Yasemin Özdemir, market analyst at Innova Market Insights, stated that while health would continue to define the future of snacks, indulgence must be considered an equal product dimension. And she warned that the small players are driving the innovation, rather than the big ones, because they start from scratch.
“They are new, they look at the market the way it is now, and they can find a new space by launching something really interesting”.
“The market should look to these smaller companies”, she continued, “particularly as snacks continue to diversify. Snacking will be much broader. It is already broader than it used to be. So, basically anything could serve as a snack, which means it’s all about how you position it. It’s really important to think about how you put it in the market”.
With the diversification of snacks in the market we also see a diversification of packaging. Although a fresh wind is blowing through the snack market worldwide, we see significant differences in snacking behaviour between the American consumer and the consumer in the rest of the world.
Euromonitor sees the American Millennial (aged roughly between 20 and 34) as the growing force behind the snacking market, as “Snacking as a meal replacement is a huge trend for millennials”, the market research analyst claims.
And here is the difference: Per capita the US consumer spends on savoury snacks six times more than the global average and the products typically represent 150kcal per person, way above the global figure of 30kcal.
Besides the typical snacks in flow-wraps, as chocolate bars, chips, or similar sweet or salted products, we see the introduction of some interesting alternatives in the market and of course that requires some creativity in packaging also. Let’s have a look at the selection I made.
Note: I didn’t select the snack as criterion, but the packaging.
ZIG Portable Protein Shake
Market research firm ORC International conducted in 2014 a study among 1,000 US consumers. The study revealed that 66% of powder users drink the product away from home at least four times a week. The study also list the consumer’s preferred packaging elements including the desire to eliminate measuring scoops and getting a good, smooth mix.
Perimeter Brand Packaging claims that the only portable solution for many powdered products, are the small on-the-go powder sticks the consumer needs to add to a water bottle. But, adding powder to water is not the best mixing method. It’s better to start with the powder and then add water for a well-mixed beverage. This, according to the company, led to the design of the BlenderPak.
The BlenderPak is a single-serve, just-add-water flexible packaging with a rigid fitment inside that acts both as a gripping structure and mixing ball.
The incorporated MixingMesh technology helps break up the clumps of powder and deliver a smooth shake. The pouch is pre-filled with one serving of powder, so the consumer only needs to fill it with water, shake and drink.
It is this technology that’s used by Luminate Nutrition LLC for its ZIG Portable Protein Shake. Protein shakes are a popular choice for pre- or post-workout nutrition and as a healthy snack between meals and using this flexible packaging makes the Luminate protein products more convenient for on-the-move consumers.
The lightweight packaging features a built-in mixing mesh design for clump-free shakes, comes packed with a pre-measured portion of protein powder, can easily be transported in a gym back and eliminates the mess of mixing by just allowing consumers to add water directly to the pouch.
Fresh Fruit Tubes
Les Fruitiers, a start-up in Paris, launched an original diced fresh fruit packaging concept (a.o. mango, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya) wrapped in fruit like a Makizushi (rolled sushi), in a tube that when twisted pushes up the fruit, rather like a tube of glue or a lipstick, just turn a knob to bring up the fruit.
An ingenious system that makes them nomadic fruit, easy to put in the bag for a healthy snack at any time of the day.
Note: For this idea see also my article about an Australian design for wet pet food.
Each tube contains 55g of fruit and has a 5 day shelf life.
[N.A!] – Mon Fruit Juste Mixé
We stay in France, where Les Nature Addicts in Brunstatt in the Alsace introduced a fruit product in the market in an innovative packaging under the brand name [N.A!]. The brand [NA!] is famous for its innovation and has a habit of frequently creating an uproar in the snack industry. In 2009, the brand invented the first 100% natural snacks without added sugar, preservatives, dyes, or sweeteners. This was a huge revolution in the French snack and food-on-the-go market.
Last year Les Nature Addicts decided to challenge the market with a breakthrough innovation by packaging compotes in an innovative squeezable pouch. To make this possible it used a unique technology, which requires the freshly picked fruit to be transformed into blended fruit, within 24 hours, without cooking.
The packaging, designed by Logic Design, was created from the idea that it had to express immediately what the product is: a pure blended fruit. This obviousness is expressed through a simple concept : the packaging is itself a whole fruit : it has its shape and its form, it has its freshness with the water droplets, it has its codes with the little label, installing the brand, that you would find on your greengrocer’s fruits.
The market for grab-and-go products has never been more competitive as the demand for single-serve snacks continues to grow. Every day millions of consumers worldwide eat a grab-and-go snack. Since 71% of consumers, according to consumer market research firm The NPD Group, state that healthfulness is a major factor in their food choices, bags of chips and candy bars aren’t the answer. Cups and pots of such products as cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, and fruit are healthy, but without a spoon, they are not truly a grab-and-go.
Furthermore market research points to 64% of the consumers buying green products, so that adding or incorporating a plastic spoon is not the solution either.
EcoTensil Inc. announced a new grab-and-go packaging design whereby a convenient, sanitary SpoonLidz “pops out” of its paperboard lid. The PopOut SpoonLidz is made from smooth and sustainable paperboard, similar to a coffee cup, and in one fold becomes a sturdy spoon.
The PopOut SpoonLidz can replace a tab lid or foil with a built in sanitary utensil to enable products to be eaten on the go. They are made from renewable paperboard instead of dense plastic cutlery.
The company claims that EcoTensil’s PopOut can be relatively easily added-on to most existing packaging. In addition, PopOuts can be easily customized.
I know, I know. You could say that this innovation has nothing to do with an on-the-go, grab-and-go or a snack packaging. Indeed the Remind-A-Cap is primarily intended for medical pill bottles. But let`s be realistic. There are a lot of people who are on-the-go and have to take, on a regular base, their medicine. You can see it as an obligatory snack they have to consume, with this difference that it has to be taken with certain, often exact intervals.
And this design is perfect to carry around as the inventor claims that it acts as an easy-to-set day/time reminder on pill bottle and “No batteries. No programming. No learning curve” is needed.
The Remind-A-Cap has a simple mechanical dial that is turned from the inside of the closure by the user after taking a dose. Doing so queues up the day and time the next dose is needed in a small window on the top of the cap, which acts as the reminder.
The inner dial has a wide plastic wing, with raised bumps in the thumb and finger area to help make it easy to grip and spin, even for the elderly or people with limited hand mobility. The dial easily ratchets forward-only with audible clicks, giving users another cue that they are correctly setting the day/time for the next dose.
The current products fits on the majority of the typical pharmaceutical bottles, but the company states that it’s able to retrofit the design to virtually any bottle neck size.
The Remind-A-Cap is a three piece closure, consisting of an “outer cap” where the branding/prescription information can be printed. On the underside of the outer cap is the “dial” tailored to the dosage directions. Finally, there is the “CRC” (child resistance closure), which locks in place. The dial locks into the outer cap, rather than the CRC holding the pieces together.
Note: The design and working of the Remind-A-Cap looks a bit similar as the Vittel water stay-hydrated cap, I wrote about in my article: “Interactive Bottle Caps”.
This is for the time being my selection of on-the-go packaging or useful utensils.