April, 2014

Snack Bars: The Next Generation Thursday, April 24th, 2014


There is no doubt that today’s world is a fast-paced frenzy of grab-and-go, eat-on-the-run consumers.

However, manufacturers are taking notice that not everyone wants to skimp on the nutritious value of their snack foods, even if they aren’t eaten at the kitchen table.

Snack bars have been a traditional snack to grab while on the go for decades, and the trend shift is offering more for consumers who are demanding gluten-free, high in fiber and high in protein products. In addition, all-natural sweeteners, such as honey, are a focus for manufacturers who want to keep great tasting flavor in tact.

Cascadian Farm, who according to CandyIndustry.com launched a new line of protein bars in January, is recognized as a leader in converting regular farms to organic. Its Oats & Honey granola bar is a crunchy snack bar with just seven wholesome ingredients.

ZING’s Nutrition Bar—Coconut Cashew Crisp, is a great example of a nutritious snack bar sweetened with honey. This bar is wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free. Professional nutritionists who wanted all-natural food ingredients with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein and beneficial fats created the ZING bar.

For consumers seeking a high in fiber on-the-go snack bar, reach for the Fiber One Chocolate 90 Calorie Chewy Bar. Sweetened with honey, these snack bars provide 20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber and 10% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. As an added “green” bonus, the bars’ packaging is made with 100% recycled paperboard. Variations include strawberry and peanut butter and jelly.

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Barney Butter Almond Butter Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


Barney Butter Honey + Flax is an almond butter made in a peanut-free and almond only facility.

Ingredients include powdered honey, palm fruit oil, evaporated cane juice and blanched roasted almonds. The product is gluten-free, Kosher and made with no trans fats or hydrogenated oils.

Barney Butter started with a mom in her Fresno, Calif. home, when she started making it for friends and family. Unsatisfied with other almond butters on the market, she started making her own. She manufactured her first batch of 20 cases in 2006, and now Barney Butter is sold nationwide.


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Nuts and seeds have entered must-have territory at the food mix party.

Not only are nuts good for you, but they also have an additional crunch and flavor that adds a kick to any snacking or creamy dairy product. In fact, Innova Market Insights says that more than 37% of snack launches in 2013 contained nuts or seeds.

In the dairy industry, consumers who consume dairy products with nuts and honey included are getting the most bang for their precious buck. Individual-packaged yogurts such as Ehrmann Mixim Fat-Free Greek Yogurt can be eaten at any time of the day. Low in calories and high in protein, Mixim Greek Yogurt contains honey, mango, pineapple, coconut and almonds.

Pistachios also are the snack food hit of mid-2014, and CandyIndustry.com cites Norman Love’s Pistachio Nougat Bar as a must-have for pistachio lovers. Made with a whipped honey and pistachio nougat folded into sun-dried cherries, almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios, the mixture then is topped with a thin layer of Swiss white chocolate.

Nuts’ availability year-round is another key driver for manufacturers, and Innova says that exotic nuts such as the pistachio are “increasingly being used to add value and interest in the market.” With consumers reaching for more all-natural products, honey to sweeten and nuts to satisfy are great ways to increase sales in any snacking or dairy product.

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