Hershey Mints

Five trends in snacks from the Sweets & Snacks Expo 2014

Euromonitor International visited the 2014 Sweets and Snacks Expo and identified five key trends in snacks. Based on its observations, mini products, such as mini York Peppermints, are even bigger in 2014 than at the 2013 show. Products such as Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews, which start out as a gum and melts away, are driving mint innovation.

Meat companies are releasing small-batch varieties of jerky and sausages made to fill a premium gap in the segment. Due to the success of Skinny Pop, ready to eat popcorn is booming with varieties such as sea salt and vinegar and sriracha making appearances at the show.

Finally, thinner versions of existing snack products such as pretzels and cookies are being marketed as an easier portion control.

Hershey playing it Cool

Determined to lift stuck sales in the gum category, the Hershey Co has developed a product with proprietary technology to “revolutionize breath freshening.”

Set for a September debut, Ice Breakers Cool Blasts chews like a gum but dissolves like a mint. Hershey unveiled the product at a Feb. 19 presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton.

“Recent declines in the gum segment indicate that some consumers are looking for another breath freshening solution, one that provides some of the attributes of gum, yet with some different benefits,” said Michelle Buck, president, North America. “These consumers are looking for discreet breath cleansing without continuous chewing and without the need for disposal.”

Cool Blasts will be packaged in “an innovative slide pack” for on-the-go consumption, she said.

The product is part of a year of breakthrough innovation for the company, with launches that include Hershey’s Spreads, Lancaster caramel crèmes and York Minis bite-size peppermint patties.

“While our primary focus is against expanding our robust advantage core confection business, we are also innovating to on-trend snacking segments that leverage our strengths,” Buck said…..

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