Beverage makers are stealing meat snack’s thunder by adding and promoting protein in everything from milk and yogurt drinks to bottled water and energy shots. Look for dozens of examples soon.
PepsiCo is the mainstream mover here, with probiotics, nut milk and more coming under its Naked and Tropicana juice lines. Campbell’s is on board, too, with the Bolthouse Farms brand. Expect other major beverage makers to join the fray and many independent brands as well.
7. Never enough protein
Seems snacks can’t get enough protein, and we’re seeing manufacturers packing new ingredients into bars and bags to pump it up. No doubt we’ll see more protein variety and unusual snack ingredients like Brussels sprouts and crickets.
8. Eating up the innovators
Big, traditional snacks company such as Kellogg and General Mills have acquired innovation through the purchase of smaller companies that make “better for you” snacks.
9. Will energy boost gum sales?
Gum has been losing steam for the past few years, especially with millennials who seem to favor mints over chewing gum. But the same demographic also drives sales of energy drinks and shots. We expect to see more energy gum in the near term.
10. Cloud movement
Opting for cloud solutions, retailers are turning over any number of operational functions to third-party providers via “the cloud.” Houston-based Shell announced a program to offer point-of-sale (POS) in the cloud, while Greenville, S.C.-based The Spinx Cos. has gone with a cloud-based human-resources provider.
11. Data distribution
With major tobacco manufacturers calling for transactional data from retailers, transferring data to third-party sources will be a new challenge for retailers, said Hubert Williams, vice president of technology and development for Maverik, North Salt Lake, Utah. Providers such as PDI, Temple, Texas, and The Pinnacle Corp., Arlington, Texas, recently debuted such features in their software.
12. Fanning e-cig growth
With NJOY’s bankruptcy filing in early fall, the future of electronic cigarettes seems to be in doubt. The major tobacco manufacturers, however, appear to be pouring new promotional dollars and executing pricing strategies to fan the flames.
13. Legal cannabis
Propositions in major states such as California this November could accelerate the legalization of marijuana for recreational use across the United States. But it may be a while before convenience stores will actually get to legally sell pot.