Nestlé's frozen fruit bar brand Outshine is launching Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie Pouches, the first shelf-stable, portable snack offering in its nine-year history.
The rollout comes as Outshine, with $480 million in annual sales, is thriving as the brand's single-serve delivery and feel-good snacking mantra resonate with consumers looking for more nutritious options. Sales at Outshine, the third highest-selling frozen novelty behind private label and its sister brand Drumstick, are increasing at a compound annual growth rate in the "high-single, low-double digits," according to Nestlé.
The Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie Pouches address what the company has identified as an unmet need in the marketplace: a portable, nutritious snack that, much like its fruit bars, is popular among both adults and kids. The new smoothies are made with real fruit blended with non-fat yogurt and are available in four flavors: Blueberry Pear, Peach Raspberry, Strawberry Coconut and Pear Vanilla.
"It's one of those brands that have the ability to travel across categories because [it] doesn't stand for just fruit bars," said Doug Munk, who oversees innovation and new products as Nestlé's senior director of New Business Ventures. "In the consumer's mind, it has the ability to flex into new spaces."
Munk said Outshine, which was known as Nestlé Fruit Bars until 2013, also plans to introduce smoothie cubes that could be used to make the drink in a blender, or mixed with regular or plant-based milks. And, Nestlé is considering other future possibilities with Outshine in the refrigerated snacking space, like bars or bites.
The new smoothies piggyback on Outshine's feel-good snacking profile built around its use of fruit as the top ingredient as well as the absence of GMOs and artificial colors or flavors. In addition, the shelf-stable pouches contain fewer than 10 grams of total sugar and zero grams of added sugars, according to Nestlé.
A survey conducted by Outshine found 60% of parents prefer kids’ snacks over those targeted to adults, and 86% are interested in snacks that appeal to the whole family. By targeting kids and parents, Outshine could have a single product that appeals to everyone and makes it less likely for them to gravitate to other brands, Munk said.
Outshine also is cognizant of the fact that, as the world reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers may not be at home as much as they have been during the last two years when they could eat one of the brand's frozen bars. As consumers commute and return to the office, engage in more travel and pack additional lunches for themselves and their kids, a portable, healthier solution that taps into many of the same attributes as its bars could be a boon for the Outshine brand.
"We are launching one of our biggest innovations in years," Munk said. "It's a really big jump for us."
Nestlé first tested out a smoothie option made with Greek yogurt two years ago in club stores. Executives found while it delivered the protein sought after by some health-focused consumers, it didn’t deliver on the taste needed to win over an entire family. The Switzerland-based food giant took the feedback and made tweaks to the smoothie, a process that took only seven months.
"That was where the big 'aha' came from: How can we design something that really fits both the wants and needs [of kids and adults] from a taste perspective?" Munk said. "We ... really try to drive with the speed of a startup that also leverages the scale of Nestlé."
In December 2019, Nestlé sold Outshine and a portfolio of ice cream brands to Froneri, a joint venture the Swiss company created in 2016 with PAI Partners, in a deal valuing the business at $4 billion. Even though Froneri currently licenses the Outshine brand from Nestlé, the development and sale of the smoothies will continue to be handled by the food giant.