Protein snack packs fill US dairy cases

Protein snack packs have flooded US dairy and deli meat cases over the past few years in response to rising consumer interest in eating more protein and less sugar. The most popular combo is currently hard cheese combined with crackers, pretzels or breadsticks, but some packs substitute a spreadable or dippable cheese or yogurt while others add meats, nuts, dried fruit and/or candies. While this might sound a lot like Lunchables for kids, most the latest snack packs are squarely targeted to adults.

Dairy snacks are perfectly aligned with the latest American snack habits. Innova consumer surveys show that 60% of consumers say they sometimes replace meals with snacks because they are busy while 58% prefer to eat smaller portions throughout the day.

US based company President kicked off 2020 with the launch of Pub Cheese spreadable cheese with pretzels. This snack comes in a variety of flavors such as cheddar and jalapeno cheese with pretzels, made with nine-month-aged cheddar cheese, milk and cream for a quality flavor.

President Pub Cheese Cheddar and Jalapeno Spreadable Cheese with Pretzels (US, Jan 2020), Borden Cheese Crisps and Cubes Cheddar Cheese Crisps and White Cheddar Cheese Cubes (US, Dec 2019), Fiorucci Appetaggio Hard Salami Cranberry and Mozzarella (US, Nov 2019), Hormel Natural Choice Mediterranean Style Chicken and Bruschetta Jack Cheese (US, Oct 2019).

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For consumers seeking a high protein snack that is also low carb, gluten free and free from artificial preservatives, Borden Crisps ‘n Cubes is a great new option. This snack combines 100% real cheese cubes with 100% cheese crisps that are oven baked. This snack is well aligned with one of Innova’s Top Ten Trends, The Right Bite, which highlights food innovations that help consumers balance busy lifestyles with healthy food choices. With 9g protein and just 150 calories per serving, this snack has all the right attributes to be a big success.

Another Top Ten Trend evident in the dairy snacks category is Hello Hybrids, which highlights consumer interest in adventurous ingredient and flavor combinations. One recent introduction that follows this trend is Fiorucci Appetagio. These snacks consist of a stick of cheese wrapped in a slice of Italian sausage. One variety features a cranberry-studded mozzarella cheese wrapped in hard salami, while another variety is peach mozzarella and prosciutto. These snacks are all natural and gluten free, with no artificial flavors, colors or ingredients.

Hormel has also incorporated innovative flavor combinations into its Natural Choice snack packs. The Mediterranean Style Chicken and Bruschetta Jack Cheese pack contains pita chips, chicken breast bites and cheese squares. This snack contains 11g of protein and is 100% natural.

Future innovation may be guided by the key nutrients they offer. For example, new combinations of certain nuts, fruit, vegetables and crackers may lead to more high fiber call outs.

“Innovation in US Dairy Snacks,” a recent Trends Insider report from Innova Market Insights, for an in-depth look at innovation trends in this segment by product type, company and brand.

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