Snacking: everyone does it. It’s the bowl of cereal at 12:35 a.m. That bite of cheesecake around 2:30 p.m. staring at you from the refrigerator. That pizza-flavored product you grab after a run.
Wait — was that last one?
That’s right: savory flavors. As companies like Kind and Clif Bar invest in savory flavors — Clif Bar featuring pizza and sweet potato flavors — there’s also another trend in the works. Hershey recently announced it would be acquiring Krave, a meat snack company. So what exactly is the deal with these moves?
The Huffington Post reported on this trend in October. “‘Right now, I think we’re on the beginning edge of protein in different forms,’ with customers lusting after protein ‘on the go,’” Sherry Frey, vice president of Nielsen Perishables group, told the site. The article also mentions Krave.
Savory over sweet
“These savory flavors are a big breakthrough,” Chris Randall, senior brand manager for the performance athlete segment at Clif Bar & Company, told Food Dive in an email. “Our athletes asked us for something non-sweet, in particular, more like a potato chip or a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza. Something that is a bit more savory and not so sweet. After about the two-hour mark, you may start to build an aversion to sweet stuff. You hit a point where you’ve had enough gels and drinks and you need something different. You want something that is savory and salty that’s made from real food.”
Meet meat snacking
Hershey declined to comment on the acquisition, but provided Food Dive with a statement from Krave’s founder, Jon Sebastiani. “Krave has the rare opportunity to help Hershey make their way into the protein-based snack category with our gourmet jerky and in turn, they will help us with extending our resources for innovation and grow our access to consumers nationwide,” he said in the statement.
Also, hello “meat bar” — apparently, Krave wants to take on the granola bar sector around grocery checkout.
A shift from candy? Not so fast
These interests should lead to many, many developments on all these fronts this year in the industry.