- Kellogg will launch three snack innovations in January based on some of the Michigan-based CPG company's most popular brands, the company said in a statement.
- The three new products are Cheez-It Snap'd thin and crispy cheese crackers in four flavors; Pringles Wavy in four varieties featuring a thick, wavy texture; and chewy, bite-sized, coated Rice Krispies Treats Snap Crackle Poppers in three flavors.
- "Snacking culture continues to evolve and is an industry ripe with innovation and momentum," Yuvraj Arora, senior vice president of marketing for Kellogg’s U.S. Snacks division, said in a release. "We’re committed to meeting hungry consumers' demands and delivering new experiences with our snacks."
Kellogg has decided to innovate by introducing some new twists on old favorites. The new variations of Cheez-It will alter them to be more chip-like crackers, Pringles are getting wavy and Rice Krispie Treats are becoming bite-sized and coated.
Approaching product innovations this way instead of coming up with entirely new snacks is less of a risk. The company already knows consumers like the tried-and-true products on which the debuting items are based so they could have a better shot at success. From M&Ms, Lay's, Oreos, Twinkies and Cheerios, many products on the market have tapped into that strategy. The risk, of course, is that a spinoff of an old brand fails or draws unwanted attention to the classic product, hurting sales.
Lester Wilson, a professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, said that as Big Food struggles with falling or stagnant sales, the pressure to find a way to grow intensifies. It's logical, he told Food Dive, to try new products closely related to one that has already performed well to try to increase market share.
These products "are all in the same family so people are more likely to try it," Wilson said. "You're trading on a known product."
Kellogg is also tapping into recent consumer trends with these launches by appealing to shoppers' craving for more flavor and texture in snacks. The new Cheez-It Snap'd product is made with real cheese, while Pringles Wavy is thicker for more crunch and the Rice Krispies Treats are coated in a smooth, silky topping. By introducing these reconfigured products, Kellogg can also aim both at indulgence trends with the new Rice Krispies Treats and also focus on the healthy, better-for-you audience that might be intrigued by slimmer Cheez-Its.
The company could use some big marketplace hits and a profit boost. Kellogg has gone through a lot of change recently. The company restructured its North American business, cut jobs, changed its method of distribution, refocused on its core products and decided to divest its underperforming cookie and fruit snacks business.
Snacks aren't the only place where Kellogg is rolling out new takes on well-established brands. The company also just announced that it will debut a new flavor of Rice Krispies in January — Kellogg's Strawberry Krispies — which will be the brand's first new flavor in more than 10 years. The company is undoubtedly hoping the three new snack innovations and the new cereal flavor will add up to a brighter and more profitable new year.