While some retailers are still debating whether they should add healthy snacks to their product mix, others are creating entire programs based on healthier concepts. Entire brands, in fact, have sprung up in recent years based solely on the notion of better- and good-for-you offerings.
One such chain is Green Spot Market and Fuels, a concept in Dallas centered entirely on healthier snacks. “We’re a typical convenience store when it comes to what you can get, but we’re very conscious about what ingredients go into it,” said Alvaro Garza, co-owner of The Green Spot.
Similar convenience retailers are filling a niche in markets where there’s a a strong demand for fare free of harmful ingredients. Even national retailers like ampm have rolled out gondolas positioned as “health and wellness” centers.
It’s a good move, as long as the retailer knows the market. “Moving into health and wellness and areas of sustainability is potentially a smart thing to do,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights for The Nielsen Co.
Energy bars are another leader in the healthy snack segment, according to Chicago-based Mintel. The category remains a mainstay at convenience stores that have a well-rounded offering of healthier or energy-based products.
Eighty-one key decision makers in CSD’s Brand Preference Study identified Chex Mix (General Mills), Planters Trail Mix/Sunflower Seeds (Kraft Foods Inc.) and Kellogg’s Special K Nutra Grain Bar as top performers. Gardetto’s (General Mills) and Keebler (Kellogg Co.) were honorable mentions.