How Mariani Packing Co. aligns with healthy snacking trend, launches two products

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/	igorr1
Source: Getty/ igorr1

Related tags healthy snacking Dried fruit

Mariani Packing Co.’s portfolio of dried fruits aligns with the ever-expanding food as medicine movement where nutrition and functionality meet.

Mariani’s President, George Sousa, Jr., explained to FoodNavigator-USA that the company provides functional food with a clean label, particularly with the “food as medicine” emphasizing the use of food to manage health.

Food as medicine is “where a lot of the food businesses are going. And because of our core products, and the ability to enhance [them] with things like probiotics, or other types of attributes … [dried fruit] is a really good carrier for those things,” he said.

For the company, building on the food as medicine movement means developing clean label products and focusing on the functional food category by “eliminating any kind of additives or preservatives as much as we possibly can,” Sousa added.

Mariani introduces Dried Berries & Cherries, Dried Strawberries to lineup

mariani_strawberries (1)
Source: Mariani Packing Co.

Mariani features a wide variety of dried fruit varieties, from traditional raisins, cranberries, prunes, apricots, to tropical fruits like pineapple mangoes, to berries and cherries, among others, Sousa said.

The brand launched two new snacks in its lineup, Dried Berries & Cherries and Dried Strawberries. Dried Berries & Cherries is a 5-ounce mixed bag of cranberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries, which contain 2 grams of dietary fiber and 29 grams of sugar per serving (50 grams). Dried Strawberries contain 3 grams of fiber per serving in each 5-ounce bag.

Sousa explained that the brand’s impetus for launching the two snacks was around quality and leveraging its existing relationships with suppliers, particularly for strawberries, which is a “difficult product to get a good quality, dried version of.”

Sousa emphasized Mariani’s packaging and portability with its stand-up zipper pouch. which was introduced in the late ’90s, which “changed the appearance on the shelf.”

He added that as the organic food industry took off, so did consumers’ desire for healthier snacking options.

Beyond taste, consumers seek functionality and convenience in their snacks

Probiotic Prunes, which contain GanedenBC30 probiotic cultures and do not require refrigeration, are Mariani’s bestselling item, which Sousa notes were traditionally more popular with older consumers; however, “the demographic that buys this product … in the 25-45 year age range,” understand the benefits of functional foods driving the food as medicine movement.

mariani_berriescherries (1)
Source: Mariani Packing Co.

Sousa highlighted the advantages of the dried fruit category as a convenient and healthy snack, with the brand’s lineup “[inspiring] healthy living.”

Convenience is important when snacking to 44% of consumers under the age of 44 years,  according to 84.51 data​. Taste and flavor are the most important, with 72% saying these attributes influence their snacking decisions, while 58% are influenced by flavor and texture. Almost half (48%) say that snacking curbs their appetite, while 62% choose a snack that fulfills a craving.

“In general … [dried fruit] are all very portable and shelf stable, so you do not have to refrigerate, you do not have to have it in a sealed container. … [It is] an easy snack on the go … Then it has the [advantage of] good nutritional values,” Sousa said.

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