Expo West 2018

Beech-Nut takes on toddler snacks with new bars, melty yogurt and produce bites and easy packaging

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Beech-Nut is hoping to do for the toddler snack space what it did four years ago for the ‘tired and dated’ baby food category by launching new products in revamped packaging for young children that are inspired by what parents make at home, but more convenient.

“In 2014, we relaunched our Naturals line … [with] just real fruits and vegetables, and it is prepared simply. We were inspired by the way that moms were making baby food at home, and we wanted to provide them with something within our category to help meet that need,”​ Patrick Haughton, marketing director at Beech-Nut Nutrition Co., told FoodNavigator-USA at Natural Products Expo West.

The consumer response to the change has been “tremendous​,” and in the past three years Beech-Nut has seen double-digit growth and 20% growth in just the past quarter, he said.

Hoping to repeat this success and make life easier for the parents as their children continue to grow, the brand recently launched several new toddler snacks and updated its cereal packaging for easier munching.

“We do realize that as children grow up, moms are growing up as well with their snacks that they are feeding their kids. So, as they move from jar puree to pouch puree to snacking, Beech-Nut wants to be there as well,”​ Haughton said.

One way the company is doing that is with its new cereal packaging, which launched in the past year, he said.

“What we did there was we went from the old style boxes to a new style canister that provides portability, pour-ability and measurability,”​ he explained.

New bars and bites

The company also launched two lines of snack bars: the Quinoa Crispies and Fruity Oat Bars.

“The idea behind both our bars, the Quinoa Crispies as well as our Fruity Oat Bars, is finding the minimal amount of ingredients possible and preparing them in a very simple way – so similar to everything we do at Beech-Nut. We want to keep it simple,”​ Haughton said.

The company also launched a line of Yogurt Melties and Fruit & Veggie Melties, which are freeze dried snacks packaged in a reclosable pouch for easy snacking on the go that does not compromise nutrition, he said.

Looking forward, Haughton said, Beech-Nut will continue to “meet mom’s needs in cereal, jar purees, pouch purees and snacking, and we want to make them as accessible to all moms as possible.”

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