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Range of snack food options expands.

NEW YORK--The snack category continues to become more segmented as suppliers introduce a mixture of more healthful items while adding new products to their established brands.

One clear sign of the impact that healthy snacks are having can been seen in the performance of nutritional/intrinsic health value bars, which Information Resources Inc. data shows have seen double-digit increases for most of the past year.

Meanwhile, many of the suppliers that have come to define the snack market continue to add to their lines.

PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America unit, for instance, has recently rolled out a slew of new items, including roasted garlic and sea salt-flavor potato chips, Tapatio Limon-flavor potato chips, Tapatio-flavor Cheetos, sweet and spicy barbeque-flavor SunChips and beer-battered onion ring-flavor Ruffles potato chip.

The expansion of new flavors has also seen Pinnacle Foods Group add a cracked black pepper and sea salt flavor to its line of Hawaiian Kettle Style potato chips.

Marketers say the new flavors being introduced to snacks reflects a combination of satisfying time-honored preferences and consumers' evolving tastes.

"Garlic is a tried and true flavor--one our consumers have loved for decades," Frito-Lay senior director of marketing Jennifer Saenz says about one of the company's new items. "With Lay's Wavy Garlic & Sea Salt, we've brought the popular flavor back with a sophisticated sea salt twist--for an entirely new ridged potato chip taste experience."

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Date:May 6, 2013
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