Specialty Food Magazine

MAR 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 48 of 63

FOODS IN FOCUS Whole Foods. And I'm sure we will be seeing more in a variety of flavors as the category continues to grow." "Even though they are expensive [ringing up to more than $8 for 2.5 ounces], kale chips move because people know they are a healthy choice," explains Sunny Chauhan, manager at the Natural Green Market in New York City. The specialty natural grocer sells Brad's Raw Leafy Kale, a dehydrated kale chip in flavors such as Natural Nacho and Nasty Hot (with jalapeño and vegan cheese). New Seasons' Dahll reports that vegetable chips—such as Terra Chips' line made with taro, sweet potatoes and parsnips, among others—are showing growth of about seven percent over 2010. Fruit chips, too, are garnering customer interest. Epicure Market's Dean says customer favorites include Danielle Snacks Crispy Fruit and Veggie Chips in Roasted Coconut (2009 sofi Gold Winner for Outstanding New Product), Okra and Honey Banana, which have healthy characteristics such as being trans fat–, gluten- and preservative-free, and CrispRoot Chips, made from cassava root, in BBQ Bliss and Thai Ginger. Wai Lana's Yogi Chips have also seized the power of cassava. The company makes 10 varieties ranging from Pizza to Sweet and Sour. "All of these new types of chips are packed with flavor, which is key to snacking, especially for those who snack just to put something in their mouths instead of satisfying hunger," Richter explains. If something packs a flavor punch, it is likely to be more satisfying and prevent overindulgence. Spicy and herbal flavors like sweet chile, jala- peño, wasabi, ranch, and lemon and pepper go a long way, she adds. "Flavors do rate," notes Harvest Market's Galliani. "Over the years the flavors on these types of chips have improved so much that people do not feel guilty about indulging, especially when they are choosing a healthier option." The Chip Evolution Continues With Americans' ongoing effort to better their snacking habits, Nielsen believes alternative chips can only improve, offering new tastes, textures and flavor choices in the future. "Rice chips will even- tually come in more sophisticated packaging so they can compete with bigger brands on the shelves," she predicts, adding that black rice chips may soon come to market, being claimed in some studies as a healthier alternative to brown rice. With so many new options in the alternative-chip category, Mrs. Greens' Bodie often pulls slow-moving snacks off the shelves to rotate in something new to try. "The alternative-chip category has grown substantially over the past two years," she says. "New options come in every day." Merchandising is key for sales success. "Some stores have large snack sections," says Beanfields' Glidden. "A virtual sea of flashy snack marketing that a small, new chip brand can get lost in." He suggests eye-level placement with signage that highlights alternative 46 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com DON'T COUNT OUT THE POTATO W hile alternative chips are on the rise, potato chip manufacturers are tapping into innovative flavors to keep their products fresh and exciting. According to the 2011 Mintel International "Salty Snacks" report, potato chips—along with pretzels, snack nuts and seeds—have posted consecutive years of growth, fueled in part by aggressive new-product launches. In 2010, total U.S. potato chip sales reached $6.8 billion with growth of 4.3 percent, about one-third that of 2008 and 2009 growth levels. Among salty-snack manufacturers, potato-chip makers have shown the most willingness to develop more interesting and out-of-the-ordinary flavors, which engages potential new shoppers in a younger audience. Here are some companies showcasing innovative flavors: Blair's Death Rain Buffalo Wing Chips: extremefood.com Covered Bridge Creamy Dill: coveredbridgechips.com Deep River Snacks Kettle Cooked Potato Chips in Asian Sweet & Spicy: deepriversnacks.com Good Health Avocado Oil Potato Chips in Chilean Lime: goodhealthnaturalfoods.com Gourmet Basics Smart Fries in Cinnamon Swirl: gourmetbasics.com Herr's Heinz Ketchup Potato Chips: herrs.com Kettle Brand Potato Chips in Fully Loaded Baked Potato: kettlebrand.com North Fork Potato Chips in Cheddar & Onion: northforkchips.com Popchips Parmesan & Garlic: popchips.com Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetable Chips: snikiddy.com Route 11 Potato Chips Dill Pickle and Chesapeake Crab: rt11.com Walkers Roast Chicken Potato Chips: walkers-crisps.co.uk Zapps Cajun Dill Gator-Tators: zapps.com Find more innovative potato chips by searching the Product Finder at specialtyfood.com attributes like non-GMO or locally made. "It comes down to manufacturers looking to differentiate themselves," Nielsen says. "And there is a lot of opportunity in this category." |SFM| Nicole Potenza Denis is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine. COURTESY OF KETTLE BRAND

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