Pure and specialty merchandise are over-delivering progress in snacking segments, boosted by client diet- and lifestyle-inspired merchandise, in accordance with presenters on the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.

They account for 19 p.c of the greenback worth in snacking; and a whopping 43 p.c of the share of greenback positive aspects within the class, stated Jess Hochman, head of pure insights and innovation analysis at SPINS, a retail client analysis agency centered on pure, natural, and specialty merchandise.

Pure and specialty merchandise are driving all the progress within the $27 billion sweet business, Hochman stated through the State of the Market – Innovation and Alternative in Pure & Specialty Sweet and Snacks session, Wednesday.

Typical sweet accounts for 89.eight p.c of {dollars} spent; however these gross sales are declining, whereas these of pure and specialty objects are up, 2.three p.c to $615 million and eight p.c to $2.2 billion, respectively, throughout all retail channels.

Bigger developments in pure merchandise, similar to truthful commerce concerns, specialty gourmand flavors, well being and wellness eating regimen tribes (paleo, keto), and shifts in attitudes about sugar consumption are driving innovation—even in indulgent classes—with different sweeteners similar to Stevia, agave, and coconut sugar getting used extra, she stated.

“Over time, all of those improvements in chocolate have been mirrored and it has a ripple impact in candies,” Hochman stated.

One other development, the much-hyped CBD, is simply beginning to emerge in sweet and is promoting in each retail channel, she stated.

“It isn’t a giant on factor in sweet proper now,” she stated, “However even with regulatory restrictions and widespread confusion we’re seeing triple-digit progress throughout classes approaching a million-dollar annual market that’s simply getting began.”

Amongst pure snacks, tortillas—fueled by cassava—are driving progress within the salty snacks class.

“The tortilla is the most important section within the class,” stated Eric Lauterbach-Colby, class supervisor for heart retailer grocery and frozen merchandise at meals distributor UNFI. “It’s actually carrying extra progress than all the opposite segments mixed.”

The puff rinds share of the sector grew by about 53 p.c—helped by antibiotic-free and paleo associations—whereas popcorn and pretzels misplaced floor, dropping 7.68 p.c and 5.10 p.c, respectively.

Labeling merchandise vegan had essentially the most affect on gross sales; and people additionally labeled non-GMO bought even higher, he stated.

Grain-free merchandise in puffs—suppose Jackson’s Sincere Candy Potato Puffs and Lesser Evil’s Egg White Curls—are in demand, as are merchandise labeled gluten-free, antibiotic-free, and USDA natural, Lauterbach-Colby stated.

“The variety of SKUs is rising and there’s a variety of recent merchandise coming into the market,” he stated. “When you’re a retailer on the market, we’re going to advocate that you simply broaden that area in an effort to have the appropriate assortment in your prospects.”

— Cheryl V. Jackson