Packaging change offers lower price point
Freeze-dried snack category continues to evolve
Through re-engineered packaging, Crunchies Natural Food Company is now able to promote a lower retail price point of its freeze-dried snacks. “We’re looking at our core selling items that can be merchandised and promoted, like two for $5 and an entry level pack that’s 10 for $10,” says Scott Jacobson, president and CEO of Crunchies Natural Food Company. “We think that the household penetration of freeze-dried products is still quite low. The best, fastest way to get people (to buy) was to reduce that entry point price.”
Alternative for traditional snack bar category
While marketed as a perfect snack on the go, Jacobson says consumers also mix the various fruit varieties into cereal, smoothies and baking. He says it’s also a competitive alternative to what he feels is a replacement for the snack bar category. “Certain areas are doing well but, it’s a common iteration of chocolate and nuts and I think the consumer may be tired of it. The fact that Crunchies is a one-ingredient snack is also a big plus.”
The snack category continues to evolve, and even though the consumer’s interests may change, taste and convenience are always priorities, according to Jacobson. “There’s been a real big influx of different types of snacks and we’re trying to tout the features and benefits of freeze dried.” Specifically, there’s no sugar, and no preservatives, as well as nearly the same nutrient value as fresh fruit – “which is what many customers don’t realize,” he says.
Display in fresh produce
Something that can be displayed in the fresh produce aisle is where Jacobson wants the product to be. “The consumer of freeze dried is a fresh fruit consumer – that’s our number one consumer. We want to connect with produce managers and category managers and educate on why it should be there. It’s the closest thing to fresh fruit as a snack.” A national launch in Walmart has already yielded results far ahead of projections. “The product is doing extremely well.”
Fruit is sourced from around the globe, as it’s in season. “We’re buying fruits from all over the globe,” explains Jacobson. For example, strawberries are purchased from Chile, Morocco, Poland, and in the United States.
Minor packaging change
The packaging change itself was very slight at just a half-inch narrower and half-inch shorter. “We compressed the amount of product in each pack. It’s the same quality, but that’s how we got to (lower) the price point. With any pack changes there’s always risk to it. Our strawberry item right now is the (best selling) brand in the USA, so even though we’ve had price pressure from other suppliers we’re still the number one branded item,” he says.
Savoury category expansion
In the savory category, the freeze-dried beets are Jacobson’s favorite. “It still has a mild sweet flavor but it tastes fantastic. It eats like a chip.” It’s dippable too. “Beets are on trend and freeze dry into a great product. Others may work but challenges have to be ironed out during processing. New products will likely be launched at the Expo West next March,” Jacobson says. “We’ll be aggressively adding to the line in the future.”
For more information:
Crunchies Natural Food Company
Publication date: 9/29/2017
Author: Rebecca D Dumais
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