Sargento Foods has introduced “Sweet Balanced Breaks Snacks,” a combination of savory, natural cheese flavors plus ingredients such as fruits and dark chocolate intended to provide an energy push.
The snack packs weigh 1.5 ounces and have a suggested retail price of $3.69. There are four combinations including Monterey Jack natural cheese, dried cranberries and dark chocolate-coated peanuts; and natural cheddar cheese, raisins, sea-salted roasted almonds and Greek yogurt-flavored drops.
These quick-pick-me-up items offer 5 to 7 grams of protein and fewer than 200 calories per serving.
One challenge of some snacks is they include sugar and other ingredients that a growing number of consumers are looking to avoid to improve their health. But shoppers are moving away from sugar, salt and artificial flavors and colors in favor of whole grains, protein and natural ingredients. More companies are taking notice and reformulating or introducing new products to reflect this change. Sargento has taken notice of this in its new offering.
Sargento, a much-loved marketer of cheese products, can really use a boost. It's been struggling in recent months from a listeria threat at one of it's suppliers. Listeria is a nasty bacterium, and can wreak havoc on food producers unfortunate enough to get in their plant's system. Sargento has cut ties with Deutsch Kase Haus in the wake of the recall. These new products could help drive the discussion away from the recall and toward Sargento's new snacks.
Sargento's move comes as a growing number of people, particularly millennials, turn to snacking as a replacement for a meal or as a pick me up. Almost a quarter of all snack food eating (24%) now occurs during main meals, up from 21% five years ago. As the popularity of snacking grows, it only makes sense for Sargento and other food makers to find ways to tap into this market, or risk ceding share to companies that do.