Americans reached for 386 billion ready-to-eat snacks in 2018, and snacking is trending up at most times of day, according to NPD Group's 2019 Future of Snacking Report.
Commenting on NPD's report, David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor, said, “Snacking is no longer just about eating when you’re bored or eating for additional sustenance. Today and in the future, snacking is about solving small problems for consumers, and those problems present opportunities for food marketers across a variety of dayparts and needs.”
'The right ingredients at the right time of day'
Addressing the rising consumer behavior of snacking at all times of day, Good Source Foods launched three products: Morning Jump (made with ginger, green tea, blueberries, almonds, pea protein, pomegranate, and chia seeds), Afternoon Boost (pea protein, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, dried apples, and walnuts), and Evening Calm (turmeric, lavender, honey, dried cherries, walnuts, pea protein and oats). Each product is enrobed in 70% dark chocolate infused with extra virgin olive oil.
Co-founders of the brand, Scott Repinski and John Byrnes, were intentional about ingredient selection and how they could aid consumers during different times of the day. Dried cherries, the main ingredient in Evening Calm, are a natural source of melatonin, a chemical claimed to aid sleep. In addition, the cayenne pepper in Afternoon Boost can help boost metabolism while reducing appetite, according the company.
"I wanted protein and I wanted to select that from a plant, and I wanted fiber. I wanted to use soluble fiber over insoluble fiber because it had a better effect on the body," Repinski told FoodNavigator-USA. While both forms of fiber (insoluble and soluble) have health benefits, the advantage of soluble fiber is that it can dissolve in water, transforming into a gel-like substance, which passes more easily through the digestive tract vs. insoluble fiber which remains largely intact throughout the digestion process.
The nutritional profile of each of the three snack products achieves what the company refers to as 'Nature's Glycemic Index (NGI),' referring to a combination of low sugar, high protein, and high fiber to create 'slow-digesting carbs,' which release energy over an extended period of time without a rapid spike in blood sugar, explained Repinski.
"The NGI is basically the insulin release on your body [based on a 100-point scale]. We don’t go over the number 55," Repinski said.
But are everyday consumers paying attention to the glycemic index of their foods rather than simply noting the sugar or protein content?
According to Steve Winkler, Good Source Foods' VP of sales, mindful snackers (those who pay attention to nutrient labels and have a more advanced understanding of ingredients and nutrients) do increasingly care about the glycemic index of their food choices.
"We had done consumer research with Eurofins and consumers were very well aware of the balance we had with fiber and protein, to not create that [blood sugar] spike," said Winkler.
Where does this product belong?
The company is adamant that despite being covered in dark chocolate, Good Source Foods products do not belong in the confectionery aisle or next to any other 'snackfections' (an industry term referring to chocolate brands adding ingredients such as nuts, dried fruit, and granola to position themselves as more of a snack than candy).
"We’ve done some consumer testing and they all agreed that this is not candy. Ideally, this would belong in the better-for-you snack section of the grocery store," said Winkler.
"We’re really thinking that this product could live the snacking nut section, in the granola section, in the energy bar snack bar section; really anywhere where we are going to find those consumers that are going to read the label."
The company's consumer testing also revealed that consumers responded well to the day-parting concept and added to the brand's 'snack with purpose' perception, according to Winkler.
The product will first be available online through the company website and is set to enter brick-and-mortar retail shortly after.
"In terms of distribution and channels, we are going to be in distribution with UNFI/SUPERVALU and Neiman's Family Markets and we have some other national retailers pending," noted Winkler.