There may be demand for premium snacks made from novel ingredients packed in glossy packaging, but key findings from the Snackworthy’s survey, which was conducted with the firm Applied Research West, found that affordability was a top priority for most of the Millennial generation of snack shoppers.
In fact, 87% of the survey respondents said that they expect snack food to be healthy, even if it were a cheaper ‘value’ snack.
“We know that [they] definitely are moving towards healthier eating, they’re shifting their spend to organic and natural foods, but the key there is value,” Taylor said. “They’re still very price-conscious. As a demographic, they tend to be the most price-conscious out of all the demographics out there.”
To honor this demand, Lehi Valley Trading Company launched Snackworthy in April 2016, which has 69 SKUs of snack foods such as nuts, trail mix, dried fruits, as well as confectionery items like chocolate-covered pretzels and gummies.
Finding the sweet spot at $5.99
According to Taylor, the sweet-spot of better-for-you is when the product is priced below $5.99, but still has attributes such low sodium, zero trans fat, no high fructose corn syrup, free from artificial colors and flavors, or certified USDA organic (though not all products in the range have this certification).
“Our entire line is between $1.99 and $5.99, and nothing more than that,” she said. And while there is a pervasive conception among US consumers that healthier is synonymous with more expensive, Snackworthy is trying to thwart that image by publishing and marketing a list of 100+ ingredients its products are free from that the company thinks are 'unworthy,' such as high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats and oils, sucralose, and so forth.
To meet this low price-point, Taylor said that snacks are sold in smaller portions. “If you look at our various pack-sizes, it’s uniform packaging sizes but they’re also smaller, hence we can make it affordable.”
The new brand’s distribution is still fairly small—it’s sold online on the company’s site, as well as Amazon. In terms of brick-and-mortar, the 69 different SKUs were meant to be merchandised together on racks or peg hooks, Taylor said.
In addition to several Northeast and Arizona local grocers, such as the Arizona chain Bashas, Snackworthy is sold at hospital gift shops, and the company is aiming to target more retailers and foodservice spaces (like universities or transit hubs) to market Snackworthy.
“By showing the assortment and variety—we really want to show that you don’t have to break the bank to be able to afford better-for-you,” she added.