Expo West 2016

Bare Snacks overhauls packs & launches new products that underscore its simple, transparent values

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: E. Crawford
Source: E. Crawford

Related tags Organic certification

Fruit chip maker Bare Snacks is overhauling its packaging to create an iconic brand block on store shelves that will better standout from the competition and communicate to consumers its core values of “simplicity, transparency and nothing bad for you,” according to the CEO. 

“Simplicity and transparency is at the root of everything we do,”​ as illustrated by our portfolio of crunchy, baked snacks, many of which are made from only one ingredient – apples, coconut or bananas – and no artificial flavors, preservatives or added fats and sugar, CEO Santosh Padki told FoodNavigator-USA.

“But our old packaging was almost covering up the goodness of our products,”​ which are made with a proprietary dehydration and baking process, by crowding the front and back panel with extra images, words and certifications that complicated the basic message that the fruit inside was as close to fresh as possible, while still being crunchy, craveable and shelf stable, he said.

“We decided to rip away all those extra words and images and come up with a design that really conveys clearly and immediately to the consumer that this is a simple, healthy snack”​ that meets many of the current better-for-you shoppers’ top demands, he said.

One of the most eye-catching elements of the overhaul is the switch to a slate colored background across the entire product portfolio, instead of color coding the bags with a white background for organic products and a black one for conventional versions, said Dana Ginsburg, director of marketing.

“When we updated brand, we wanted to have a more consistent look. We thought that having a black package and a white package made it hard for consumers to see the overall brand and what is in the portfolio as a whole, so we moved to a slate background,”​ she said.

The firm now uses other indicators – such a green banner across the top of the pouch – to indicate when the product is made with organic ingredients. It also carries the USDA Organic seal on the appropriate products, she said.

Padki added that the consistent background also makes multiple facings of the product on a store shelf a more cohesive block that is easier to spot quickly from a distance.

“Consumers make decisions very quickly,”​ he explained, adding, “recent research shows consumers buy eight to 10 different snacks a month. So when you have that many choices available, you want something that will help you simplify your decision-making process, such as clean, easily identifiable packaging.”

The new packaging also features front and center a large photo of the fruit without detracting additional elements such as leaves in order to more clearly communicate that there are not additional ingredients other than what is pictured, Padki said.

He added that the company also brings this message home on the back panel by moving the ingredient deck from its usual location under the Nutrition Facts panel to the middle of the panel, where it is displayed in in large script rather than small type.

Even the company logo on the packs is a photograph of the chips inside spelling Bare, so that each product logo is different – made of apple, banana or coconut chips, added Ginsburg.

“So, when you combine the front panel and the back panel you really go back to what the brand stands for as simple and transparent snack,”​ Padki said.

The company also changed the containers to better help the product standout – switching from pillow bags to standup pouches with reclosable tops that are less likely to slip down on shelves, Ginsburg said.

New product extensions

Along with the brand refresh, Bare launched at Natural Products Expo West a trio of new Banana chips that are crispy and significantly healthier than competing banana chips.

The line includes a basic Banana Chip made only with bananas, Cinnamon Banana Chips made with bananas and organic cinnamon, and Cocoa Banana Chips made with bananas and organic unsweetened cocoa.

Unlike many competing crunchy banana chips, Bare’s chips taste sweet and like bananas rather than like a potato chip or oil. Padki explained that is because most other banana chips are fried, which means they contain about 28% to 30% oil, which coats the fruit and essentially covers up the original sweet taste. Some competitors compensate by adding artificial banana flavoring, but that also does not taste exactly like a sweet, fresh banana.

The oil in competing products also significantly reduces the product satisfaction for many consumers, Padki said. He explained most people buy banana chips because they want something crunchy but also healthy. The competitors are crunchy because they are fried, but that also makes them less healthy

Bare’s banana chips can deliver on both aspects – crunchy and nutritious – because it uses a unique baking technique that doesn’t require deep frying, Padki said.

New products on the horizon

Bare will continue to innovate and bring consumers healthy, crunchy snacks, Padki said.

While he wouldn’t say for sure what the new products would be, he said vegetable chips “seem very plausible.”

He said: “There are a lot of good veggie chips out there in the market, but even the best veggie chip that is out there still have about 16% oil. So there is nothing that is a true veggie chip that can deliver all the things that make up our brand, including the simplicity, the crunch and minimal processing.”

Those values are uncompromising, and Bare will not launch products that are not healthy, simple and craveable, he said. “If the end product does not meet exactly what we stand for, then it won’t be a Bare chip.”

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