Squeezing more sales
June 20, 2008
Fruit snacks are creating more and more competition as consumers continue to purchase healthy foods that are low in calories and high in flavor.
Everybody snacks, whether it’s between meals, on a long car ride or during a movie. And what’s a better snack than an individual package containing a tasty treat with real fruit juice? This fruit won’t bruise or squish in your pocket, either. Fruit snacks have allowed consumers to take a snack to go while reaping the health benefits.
That scenario has played out often for families as recent statistics confirm. The category has increased 30.2% in retail value sales from 2002 to 2007 and is predicted to increase another 8.8% from 2007 to 2012, according to Chicago-based research firm Euromonitor.
But fruit snacks aren’t just for kids anymore. Aside from being portable, healthy and colorful, they now come in more sophisticated versions to better appeal to adults.
Au’some Candies Inc., based in Monmouth Junction, N.J., offers fruit snacks for all ages. The company’s goals are providing healthy fruit snacks with real fruit and fruit juice to meet consumer needs.
“As more and more people become health conscious, manufacturers need to keep up with the demands of the consumers, therefore creating more choices for a consumer,” says Rose P. Downey, v.p. of operations at Au’some Candies Inc.
As a result, Au’some Candies introduced new ways to represent its fruit snacks. Florida’s Natural Fruit Snacks and Florida’s Natural Pocket Fruit are high in real fruit and fruit juice content and come in three different types of packaging: Florida’s Natural Strings containing 64% real fruit and fruit juice, Florida’s Natural Nuggets containing 66% real fruit and fruit juice, and Florida’s Natural Stiks containing 68% real fruit and fruit juice. The packaging for these snacks is fun for children and convenient for adults.
The Florida’s Natural Pocket Fruit is just what its name suggests. The fruit snacks are certified organic and small enough to fit in your pocket as an on-the-go snack. But packaging doesn’t seem to be the primary concern in marketing fruit snacks.
“Fruit snacks need to be made with real fruit. Not fruit flavoring, not gummy-based; they need to be fruit-based,” says Downey.
Containing real fruit and fruit juice is what makes a snack a fruit snack instead of a fruit-flavored snack. Florida’s Natural Fruit Snacks also contain beneficial vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, thiamin, zinc, niacin and riboflavin. And they’re all less than 100 calories.
Grapeview, Wash.-based Stretch Island Fruit Co. agrees on the importance of eating and snacking healthy. The company has been creating its Original Fruit Leather since 1976. Recently, Stretch Island Fruit has added three new flavors to its Original Fruit Leather: Country Cranberry Raspberry, Pineapple Coconut Paradise and Strawberry Pomegranate Sunshine. These new flavors contain 98% real fruit with all-natural ingredients and no artificial sugars.
Stretch Island has recently joined with Kidfresh, a New York-based kids store that offers healthy meals and snacks for busy parents. As a partner, FruitaBü fruit snacks will be offered as part of a meal or snack to keep children healthy by incorporating a half or full serving of fruit into their diets.
“We are continuously looking for creative flavor combinations that taste great and deliver a real-fruit sensory experience,” says John Henry Siedlecki, brand manager for Stretch Island Fruit Co. “In addition to fresh fruit, we want to provide health-conscious adults with a convenient way to incorporate more fruit into their diets and our new flavor blends provide even more tasty options to enjoy.”
Each all-natural fruit leather is certified Kosher and organic, contains a half serving of fruit and is equal to one fruit exchange in a diabetic diet.
Stretch Island also offers all-natural FruitaBü Organic Smooshed Fruit, according to www.stretchislandfruit.com. These fruit snacks do not contain any artificial sweeteners or flavors and come in two varieties: Fruit Flats and Fruit Twirls. The Fruit Flats contain over 90% real fruit and fruit juice, which amounts to a half serving of real fruit. They come in several flavors: strawberry, apple, apricot, grape and raspberry. The Fruit Twirls contain one full serving of real fruit and come in flavors: apple, strawberry and grape.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 50% of children between the ages of two and 18 eat less than one serving of fruit daily, said a spokesperson for FruitaBü. Stretch Island aims to get children consuming more fruit products on a regular basis by providing fun, tasty and organic fruit snacks.
Another company promoting healthy snacking is Farley’s and Sathers Candy Company Inc. The company offers Mott’s, Brach’s and Hawaiian fruit snacks. The Mott’s fruit snacks are made with real applesauce and fruit juice. The snacks are a good source of vitamin C, do not contain artificial ingredients and are perfect for mothers and children because they are healthy.
Farley’s and Sathers licenses a variety of brands that offer fruit snacks with real fruit juices. For example, in November of 2007, Farley’s and Sathers acquired Brach’s Confections. Brach’s Hawaiian Fruit Snacks come in six flavors in fun fruit snack shapes. They are made with real fruit juice and contain 100% vitamin C per pouch. Brach’s Fruit Slices offer the same health benefits as the Hawaiian Fruit Snacks.
Farley’s brand offers fat-free cherry, strawberry, wild animal safari and mixed fruit snacks. Each pouch contains real fruit juice and 100% vitamin C. The cherry and strawberry fruit snacks are artificially flavored while the wild animal safari and mixed fruit snacks are naturally and artificially flavored.
“Providing a healthy yet flavorful yet fun snack is our goal ultimately,” says Michelle Graber, marketing services coordinator for Farley’s and Sathers.