New snack trends you'll see on store shelves soon

New snack trends you’ll see on store shelves soon

The annual Sweets and Snacks Fair kicked off to Chicago last week, filling the usually sober McCormick Place Convention Center with giant posters, fancy mascots, brand-name race cars, and smiling salespeople handing out bite-sized samples in folded paper cups. There were chocolate bars, chocolate truffles, marshmallows, jelly beans, chewing gum, regular skittles, dried skittles, crunchy fruit, frozen fruit, nut butters, actual nuts, snacks, popcorn, energy drinks, protein bars, and powerfully strong mints. , heavily sour sour balls, strongly spicy flamin cheese puffs, jerky made from the meat of all kinds of animals and a few fruits and vegetables to the side, and chips of every kind: potatoes, corn, plantain, sweet potatoes, beets, beans, parsnips, dragon fruit, and carrot.

It was a spectacle filled with bright colors and lights, the buzz of sales and merchandising, and the scent of artificial sugar being pumped up by Hershey’s to mimic the scent of a candy factory. The confectionery and snack industry generates $37 billion in sales each year, a number that is expected to rise to $45 billion by 2026 according to the National Confectionery Association, which sponsors the show. And while the purpose of the fair is to keep the vending machine running by encouraging stores and wholesalers to place generous orders, it also highlights the next new thing Americans will devour. These “new” things follow the long-running trend of rehashing an already familiar flavor: expect lots of s’mores, more brand blends, and yes, more Flamin’s hot flavor will appear on shelves in the coming months.

S’mores was by far the most popular “new” flavor, beating out even birthday cake and churros. “I think everyone wants a taste of summer,” says NCA spokeswoman Lauren O’Toole Poland. It was everything they could afford, from candy bars and chocolate bunnies to popcorn and Rice Krispies to venerable Keebler Fudge Stripes cookies, which now come with an extra tub of marshmallow fluff for dipping. But the vast majority of these sables are a mix of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers—without the stickiness or burnt sugar flavor that makes a real sable so delicious. The product that got the most attention was Stuffed Puffs, a brand of marshmallows filled with hard chocolate designed not to melt, even over a campfire. This year, the brand introduced Big Bites, which is nothing more than their signature product wrapped in graham cracker crumbs: sables broken down and cleaned for on-the-go snacks. (There are Oreo and Christmas cake flavors, too.)

What the stimulation actually does is make the sweet thing sweeter. Boland says Americans want more flavour. They want more acidity, more salinity and more…more.

This impulse is the driving force behind Flamin’s recent Hot-ification event for the world, and the official chip for Sweets & Snack Show 2022, available to all conference-goers in off-floor boxes, was Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Doritos, a blend of Frito Lay’s most iconic flavors. (It tastes like the classic Cool Ranch Dorito, but the Flamin’ Hot seasoning makes the mouth burn a few minutes longer.) But that wasn’t the only unholy union on offer. This year, the general philosophy of manufacturers of sweets and snacks looked like this: if one thing is popular, why not combine it with something else that is also popular, which, according to the laws of mathematics, will make it even more popular?

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Well-known brands are combined in different contexts: Oreos and Twix in the form of popcorn? surely!

Two instant breakfast classics, Eggo waffles and Pop Tarts, marry and spread Eggo Pop Tarts, which taste like maple syrup. Bazooka took a page out of Fun Dip and reconstituted Juicy Drop into a stick form, packed with a sour gel dip that’s supposed to enhance flavour. Froot Loops, Peeps, and Jell-O have launched a new gummy candy — all designed to match the original taste and, in the case of Froot Loops and Peeps, look like it too — while Oreos have adopted a lighter cake texture for Oreo Cakesters. Cheez-Its have become bloated and puffy, like Cheetos, except they are still in tidy squares, not puffy bars, while Apple Jacks have grown into a bona fide snack (which is the number parents of young children have been serving them to for years).

This was the case throughout the rest of the show. Some of the truly more innovative products—like Carrot Bacon, a crunchy, air-dried snack made by a friendly Canadian named Tyler Steeves, and Crack Corn, a kernel-free, orthodontic-friendly popcorn that comes in flavors like French toast and chili lime—have been overshadowed by companies. The bigger ones with bigger marketing budgets, which didn’t really offer anything new, but simply mixed two popular brands or reformulated their beloved snacks into slightly different variations.

Will Big Food adopt something that isn’t Cool Ranched or gummied in the same way that mangoes, lemons, chili, Tajín seasoning, crunchy seaweed, and everything are gluten-free and fat-free? Or will it disappear into the underworld of forgotten snacks? Maybe it all depends on whether it can be combined with Flamin’ hot salt or good old s’mores.

2022-06-03 16:32:38

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