- Packaged salads offer manufacturers an opportunity to appeal to the two-thirds (66%) of consumers who say they are maintaining a healthier diet than they were two years before, according to a recent Nielsen report.
- Almost the same number (63%) of consumers say eating healthy is challenging, Nielsen found. Packaged salads allow consumers to eat healthier while also being fast and convenient.
- Packaged salads overall saw an 8% sales increase in the 52 weeks ending April 2, for a total of $3.7 billion. Complete salad kits were the fast-growing category with 31% growth, and organic packaged salads also beat the category average with 12% growth.
Packaged salads present an opportunity for processed food manufacturers to fill in the gap: Manufacturers can use "better-for-you" ingredients and nutrient-saving processing methods while maintaining convenience.
Adding protein ingredients, such as chicken, ancient grains like quinoa, or a Greek yogurt-based dressing, can make packaged salads an even more appealing choice while also opening opportunities for brand partnerships. For example, WhiteWave Foods' Earthbound Farms packaged salads brand could partner with a chicken producer, such as Tyson, and Chobani, which could develop a Greek yogurt-based dressing in line with its new dips and drinks extensions of the Greek yogurt category.
Making "healthy" foods snack-friendly for quick bites on the go is another strategy that manufacturers can use to revamp stagnant brands or product categories. About one-third of snackers identified themselves as "healthy snackers" in a FoodThink survey last year.