Snacks or junk food? Brands add new items from cereal, chips to minis

2023-04-19 09:31:08 By : Mr. Jason Ye

Miniature Twinkies, Cocoa Puffs popcorn, Dr Pepper-flavored cotton candy: Food manufacturers know Americans are snacking more, and they're busy pumping out irresistible new junk — er, snack — foods.

Why it matters: An explosion of new products is generating buzz and profits for food makers and surprise and delight for shoppers — but helping make Americans fatter and unhealthier than ever. Square Bottom Bags

Snacks or junk food? Brands add new items from cereal, chips to minis

Driving the news: A bevy of new reports on U.S. eating habits conclude that snacking rose steeply during the COVID-19 pandemic — and has continued.

For example: Cereal, chips and granola bars have turned into all-day snack foods rather than just breakfast or afternoon-break options.

Newer products turn snacks into appealing toys, with colorful packaging, novel shapes and modern flavors — Spicy queso! Sweet chili! Asiago cheese! Buffalo cauliflower!

Check out: A new cereal from Post called Sweet Dreams — made with "a nighttime herbal blend of lavender and chamomile" — is meant to be munched at bedtime to help you sleep.

What they're saying: "There are three Vs in the snacking world: value, velocity and variety," Carlos Barroso, a food R&D executive who has worked at PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble, tells Axios.

By the numbers: Sales of snacks — in convenience stores and elsewhere — rose about 12% in 2022 and continue to grow, C-Store Dive reports, citing data from IRI and 210 Analytics.

How it works: We may piously reach for zero-calorie sweeteners and plant-based proteins — but some of us become sweet-and-salty demons when let loose in a 7-Eleven. (Jennifer raises her hand here...✋🏼)

Between the lines: Snackmania is fueling product development at all the big food companies, from Kellogg and Mondelez to PepsiCo, Hostess and Kraft Heinz.

Snacks or junk food? Brands add new items from cereal, chips to minis

Buckwheat Husk Pillow What's next: "Grilled Cheesies," a grilled cheese sandwich made with Kraft Singles that kids (or adults) can microwave for 60 seconds, will debut later this year.