The new products will accelerate the growth of these well-known brands by leveraging their equity and heritage and by meeting consumers’ evolving desire for convenience, variety and better-for-you nutrition, President and Chief Operating Officer Vince Byrd said Feb. 17 at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference.
For example, the company will expand the Jif brand into two new, fast-growing categories: bars and peanut powder.
“With more than 70% of households purchasing snack bars, we are leveraging our protein rich Jif peanut butter to launch Jif bars to capitalize on the $5 billion and growing snack bar category,” Byrd said.
“We are also excited to be the first national brand to enter the peanut powder category, which is a smaller category, but is growing quickly and is projected to move than double in the next three years,” he said.
Peanut powder has potential as an alternative to soy and whey protein powders that can be difficult to digest or harder to mask with a flavor. Peanut generally tastes better and pairs well with chocolate, which explains the two flavors launching – regular and chocolate peanut. The powder also touts less fat than peanut butter. (Learn more about the potential of peanut powder HERE.)
Smucker also will expand Jif’s footprint in the specialty spread category, which is worth $500 million, with the launch of the category’s first swirled product – Jif Hazelnut Swirls. The new spreads will “infuse a sweet flavor with hazelnut,” Byrd said. (Learn more about how the spread category could grow HERE.)
Expanding Smucker’s brand
The company plans to enter new categories with its namesake Smucker’s brand later this year, too, Byrd said.
“We are extending the Smucker’s fruit equity to meet consumer demand for a clean label and more flavor” with the launch of Fruit and Honey spreads that will provide consumers who are avoiding sugar with an “alternative, natural sweetener,” Byrd said.
The company also will expand its presence in the $280 million fruit pouch category, which it entered earlier this year, with new fruit and grain pouches. Byrd noted that the combined ingredient pouches are growing faster than the fruit-only pouches.
Finally, the company will expand sales of its Uncrustables handheld sandwiches under the Smucker’s brand with a new chocolate-hazelnut flavor, and by re-entering the USDA school meal program.
Byrd expects the line to reach $150 million in sales this year with 12 straight quarters of double digit growth of sales and volume.
Smucker also is investing in new products to help buoy its beleaguered coffee segment, which it announced last week saw profits fall 17% to $150.5 million in the firm’s third quarter. (Read more HERE.)
The company will launch in select markets Folgers Perfect Measures – a “breakthrough innovation consisting of 100% roasted ground coffee in pre-measured tablets with no additives,” Byrd said.
The tablet will provide “a convenient, no mess solution with traditional roasting grounds” for consumers who “prefer to brew a pot of coffee with a more convenient and sustainable solutions,” he added.
Directly competing with K-cups, the tablets will address some consumers’ concerns about plastic waste associated with the K-cups. The tablets also will indirectly address a micro-trend the firm identified during its quarterly call of some consumers diluting coffee in order to stretch the grounds and delay needing to repurchase the product.
Despite the innovation, Byrd said K-cups remain a significant growth driver for the firm and will not be neglected by Smucker.