Laurel Orley, who along with her aunt Diane Orley is launching the new snack brand Daily Crunch this month, explained that she initially thought the company’s trio of sprouted almonds, cashews and walnuts “could just be for everybody.” But, she said, “I learned very quickly that if we were not very specific about targeting our key consumers of slightly older millennials and busy moms, then we would lose sight of who we are.”
She explained that as working mothers, she and her aunt are intimately aware of the challenges of eating and feeding their families healthy, easy-to-consume snacks – including what type of packaging they are drawn to, what nutritional claims they seek and where in the store they look for products that meet their needs.
But when Orley considered expanding marketing for Daily Crunch beyond this group she said the brand was pulled in too many directions, the claims became muddied and the products risked not resonating as strongly with anyone – a sacrifice the she believes would have cost the young brand influential early adopters.
Educating consumers about sprouting
And, as with any new brand, early adopters who can help build consumer awareness are pivotal to a successful launch. But this is especially true of Daily Crunch’s sprouted nuts, with which most mainstream shoppers may not yet be familiar, said Orley.
“There is an educational barrier and component to this. A lot of people don’t know what the word ‘sprouted’ means, or the health benefits it represents and the different taste it creates” compared to unsprouted nuts, she said.
“We answer many of these questions on the back of our packaging,” where the brand explains that by soaking the nuts in water and then slowly dehydrating them “the whole texture changes and becomes ‘uniquely crunchy,’” Orley said. She added the process and finished product is “similar to how Bare Snack’s organic apple chips are just dehydrated apples but because of the process they use the whole texture changes.”
In addition, soaking the nuts activates germination, which releases natural enzymes and other nutrients that “that mother nature has locked away for the growing process,” Orley said.
This process also makes it easier for consumers to absorb key nutrients by sloughing off the nuts’ phytic acid, which can cause stomach discomfort, she said.
While the idea of sprouted nuts may be new to many mainstream consumers, Orley said she believes the category is primed for growth as a spike in media coverage and celebrity endorsements – including Kourtney Kardashian – are helping to shine a light on the space.
“You are seeing more and more people talking about sprouted nuts and how they are coming back not just to the super, super health conscious consumer – but to the actual conventional shopper,” she said.
A new look for a ‘dusty category’
While this is good news for the nut and seed category, it also means Daily Crunch will likely be going up against more competition in a category that is already crowded by iconic brands and private label.
“Our bright, bold breakthrough packaging” and pastel colors “really speaks to our target consumer,” and will help set Daily Crunch apart from the competition in “a very trusty, but dusty category,” Orley said.
She explained that most consumers know that nuts and seeds are healthy, and trust them to deliver on taste and satiety, but they also may be bored by the existing brands – many of which have looked the same for years.
Daily Crunch also stands apart from other newcomers by favoring clean, simple lines and messaging that reflect the simplicity of the product in each pouch, she added.
A targeted go-to market strategy
Like how Daily Crunch is laser focused on older millennials and mothers, Orley said the brand’s go-to-market strategy is to focus first on limited markets in Nashville, Detroit and online, before expanding nationally.
“My whole thing is kind of slow and steady wins the race. We are launching in February and the first three months will be very focused” in Orley’s hometown and that of her co-founder and aunt, as well as online at its own website, on Amazon and other ecommerce sites, such as Thrive Market, she said.
After that, Orley said, the brand will expand to 22 states with the help of a distributor and it will be seeking additional partners at trade shows, including the upcoming Natural Products