Kraft Heinz Ingredients plans to invest in the growing nut snacking trend as the demand for healthy snacks increases. According to the CPG giant, nuts provide a great opportunity for Kraft Heinz to capitalize on the growing health and wellness movement.
Earlier this month, Kraft Heinz Ingredients demonstrated their healthy snack ideas by showcasing the prototypes of their new nut snacks at Snaxpo in Atlanta, Georgia. These snacks incorporated popular tree nuts such as almonds, cashews and pecans as well as legumes like peanuts. Kraft Heinz also had unique flavors for these snacks such as gochujang (a popular Korean flavor) spiced nuts and maple bacon-flavored roasted pecan clusters. The company is also experimenting with energy balls made from nuts as a unique alternative to nut-based snack bars.
James Clinton Francis, Kraft Heinz Ingredients’ Associate Brand Manager, told Bakery and Snacks that nuts are a “sweet spot” and that they provide “a new path forward for snacking.” With convenience being a big factor in consumer purchasing decisions, the company will be creating portable snack variations. Francis went on to explain that “snack bars are a crowded space” so that is why the company is investing in portable energy balls “as a fresh way to consume nuts.”
However, this is not the company’s first time in the nuts business. Planters, which is also owned by Kraft Foods, is one of Kraft Heinz’s most successful products bringing in over one billion in sales of peanuts, cashews and mixed nuts. In 2016 alone the brand brought in $26.5 billion in revenue. This makes it easier for the company to transition their portfolio of nut snacks into the health and wellness category by investing in healthier nut variations and recipes. According to the company, they will continue to source their peanuts and pecans while leveraging their California operations for almonds and cashews.
A market research report from Grande View Research found the global healthy snack market to be valued at $21.2 billion in 2016 and this category is expected to continue to grow at a CAGR of 5.1 percent until 2025. The report identified nuts and seed snacks to be one of the key driving factors of this growth with $5.4 billion in market value in 2016.
“Increasing demand for the nuts and seed snacks due to its growing use from vegetarians is expected to fuel the industry growth. In addition, the product is also widely used by the non-vegetarians as well since it provides a sustainable snacking option with an emphasis on protein rich content. Nuts and seeds are also consumed as a pre-workout snacking option, which is anticipated to contribute to the demand from 2017-2025,” said the report’s summary.
Blue Diamond, which is a major player in the healthy nut snacks category, is also looking to diversify their nut offerings. At the company’s Almond Innovation Center, Blue Diamond is experimenting with new almond snack flavors such as orange, honey, coconut and savory flavors as well. They currently offer sriracha, habañero BBQ, sweet Thai chili, wasabi and soy sauce and salt ‘n vinegar flavors in their Blue Diamond Bold almond snack products.
With the global demand of healthy snacks experiencing continuous growth, nut snacks provide a lot of opportunity in this sector. Their nutritionally dense properties and appealing crunchy texture makes them an easy go-to snack for busy millennials. As flavor variations of nut-based snacks continue to evolve, it is likely that consumers will see a lot of variety in this category in the coming years.