November 19, 2018
Boosting interest in seasonal flavors and holiday snacks
All-day grazing, for many consumers, is nothing new. And that trend extends, of course, to noncommercial foodservice facilities such as healthcare locations, colleges and universities, office buildings and more.
But while consumers might still be visiting foodservice outlets regularly for a mid-morning, mid-afternoon or even late-night snack, a great way to keep them engaged and encourage incremental sales is to spotlight seasonal flavors and holiday favorites on shelves along with better-for-you options. Take a look.
Promoting healthier snacks during the holiday season
As holiday parties and gatherings stack up on everyone’s calendars, it might seem like diners will be less inclined to stop in and grab a snack—after all, they could just wait until 3 p.m. when there’s a meeting in the conference room for a pick-me-up. But for noncommercial foodservice retail, it’s important to remember that while holiday gatherings are indeed more common, they don’t happen every day, so plenty of customers are still going to be looking for something to tide them over to their next meal or satisfy a sweet tooth or craving. In fact, more consumers now than in 2016 say they are skipping or replacing one meal a day with snacks, according to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion report.
Promoting more snacks could be as simple as highlighting the healthier options available—protein and vitamin-packed snacks, for instance, could be a great alternative to sweeter options such as candy. When choosing a snack, according to Technomic’s Snacking report, some of the top nutritional attributes consumers look for are high in protein (52% look for snacks like this), high in vitamin C (44%) and high in fiber (43%), so whole-grain snacks, as well as high protein options such as Greek yogurt parfaits, are popular choices.
Offering seasonal flavors
For those who still want sweets, though, offering seasonal flavors can draw them in. According to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report, about a third (32%) of consumers say their preferences tend to change depending on the season, while 65% say that a “seasonal” descriptor impacts their opinion of an item’s flavor. In fact, nearly a quarter (23%) say it greatly enhances the flavor. And according to Technomic’s Snacking report, 20% of consumers ages 18- to 34-years old say they are consuming more sweet snacks compared to two years ago, so offering seasonal peppermint chocolate options, as well as caramel apple or pumpkin-flavored sweets can be appealing to those snackers.
Additionally, consumers say that 67% of their snack purchases are packaged items, so it’s ideal to offer grab-and-go options that evoke the changing seasons. For instance, breakfast grab-and go sections can feature pumpkin-spice granola bars, fall-appropriate cranberry orange belVita Breakfast Biscuits, maple-pecan instant oatmeal packets and gingerbread muffins. For the 29% of consumers who say the reason they buy a snack is because they want to give themselves a treat, these seasonal sweets are ideal.
Consumers are always going to snack—but as the weather cools down, it can be beneficial for operators to tailor their offerings to the season. Offering healthier options to combat overindulgence at parties, as well as offering seasonal flavors, are two ways to increase interest in seasonal snacking.
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