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    Bite-Sized Insights: Sweet Snacks

    The category has seen growth in industry dollar sales for the past five years.

    By Danielle Romano, Convenience Store News

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Although healthy snacking is on the rise, today’s convenience store shoppers aren’t shying away from sweet snack indulgences, whose category grew in dollar sales every year for the past five years.

    In the 2017 Guide to Candy & Snacks, CSNews editors provided the latest trends every c-store retailer should know. Here are the top five in sweet snacks:

    Evening Treat. Broken down by segment, sweet snacks are consumed the most after 6 p.m., while consumption of savory and better-for-you snacks peaks at lunchtime, or around 12 p.m., according to research from Mintel. Sweet snacks are also consumed on the go, with muffins and doughnuts serving as top contenders in the portability arena.

    Sweet Start to the Day. A recent Sweet Snacking Segmentation Survey conducted by General Mills Convenience & Foodservice found that c-store shoppers segment sweet snacks into three occasion groups, one being “Sweet Start Mornings.” These a.m.-focused products meet two specific customer needs. One is a.m. bakery-fresh and wholesome, which are baked goods with homemade cues and at least some nutritional value, such as fruit pieces, whole grains or fiber. The other is a.m. bakery-indulgence, which are bakery-fresh and taste-first sweets that are eaten for enjoyment and while on the go.

    Look Who’s Snacking? The 2017 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle Study found that packaged sweet snacks are more popular among women (40.6 percent) vs. men (31.7 percent). Shoppers in the 35-44 age range are also more likely to make a sweet snack purchase (42.9 percent) than consumers of any other age bracket.

    Getting Crafty. “Craft” no longer applies to just beer. According to Michael Strauss, director of marketing at Cookies United LLC, as more consumers look for less mass-produced snacks, they are willing to pay for premium, craft products. To capitalize on this trend, Cookies United recently introduced a more gourmet, bakery-type cookie line called Big Shop Bites.

    The Year of the Wafer. Not exactly a cookie and not exactly a cracker, wafers made a statement in 2016. Opting to go bite-size to appeal to the health-conscious consumer, Dolcetto Wafer Bites come packaged in 100-calorie grab-and-go bags and do not contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, or artificial colors or flavors. Meanwhile, Keebler by Kellogg Co. and Daelmans looked to satisfy chocolate and wafer lovers with their respective introductions of Keebler Chocolate Sugar Wafers and Daelmans Chocolate Caramel Stroopwafels.

     For more Bite-Sized Insights, check out the 2017 Convenience Store News Guide to Candy & Snacks.

    By Danielle Romano, Convenience Store News
    • About Danielle Romano Danielle Romano is associate managing editor for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and CSNews.com. Prior to joining CSNews full-time in January 2015, Romano served as a freelancer for CSNews, with a concentration on social media, while working as product content copywriter/editor for Myron Corp., a promotional product company. Romano has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from William Paterson University.

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