- Mini foods, such as 100-calorie snack packs, were popular, but then began to disappear from shelves. Now mini foods are returning to suit a new set of preferences for consumers today, according to The Lempert Report.
- Past mini foods were often formulations and packaging that helped consumers monitor their consumption of calories and fat. Consumers today aren't as concerned with calories and fat in their definition of what's "healthy" to eat and drink.
- Smaller products and packaging sizes are now more in line with consumers' demand for indulgences that allow them to easily enjoy smaller portions of sweet or salty foods that they feel can be part of a "healthy" regimen.
Consumers also said that smaller-portioned foods of the past often didn't have enough of the snack or treat in them, according to the report. Now that perceptions of portion sizes and better-for-you ingredients have changed, mini foods have regained their relevancy against a new backdrop of balancing health and cravings.
Manufacturers may not be able to easily associate their legacy products with better-for-you eating. But they can reformulate the product's serving size and packaging to become an appropriately-sized indulgence that fits consumers' pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
Mini foods can also become a more profitable pricing strategy for manufacturers while they deliver the portion sizes consumers demand. Soda companies have found mini cans to be a profitable packaging innovation in recent years, as manufacturers can charge more per ounce of soda. Consumers appreciate being able to have a smaller can of soda that doesn't have as much sugar because of its smaller single serving size.
Mini foods have also led to innovations like more "thin" snacks, such as Mondelez's Oreo Thins and Wheat Thins Even Thinner crackers. Consumers can enjoy the same flavors of their favorite legacy brands but in portion sizes that are smaller and may contain fewer calories or grams of sugar or salt per piece.