Snack Industry Information  Category

Cookie Jars Runneth Over With Choices Friday, August 29th, 2014


Even the Cookie Monster must be overwhelmed.

The cookie industry is showing no signs of crumbling, in fact consumers are asking for more: more flavors, more nutrition and more allergy-free options. And, manufacturers are doing their best to produce products that cater to the masses.

According to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery’s State of the Industry cookie report, taste still is one of the biggest sales drivers in the cookie category. However, consumers are no longer willing to sacrifice great taste for nutrition. They want the best of both worlds, now knowing that it’s possible.

Innovative sweeteners such as honey, clean labels and attractive packaging are driving recent cookie sales upward. Smaller and thinner cookies are on trend, along with gluten-free (which seems to be a trend in every possible food and beverage category) and convenience. With all of the demands in place, the State of the Industry report states that the opportunities are endless for cookies.

“Fighting for space in a relatively mature category dominated by large companies is a challenge,” the report says.

Back to Nature is fighting for a top spot with its Dark Chocolate & Oats Granola Cookies. They are baked with 100% whole grain, sweetened with honey and made with semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa beans. The cookies have no hydrogenated oils or artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

Enjoy Life is a gluten-free bakery that produces Vanilla Honey Graham cookies. These cookies contain a rich, buttery flavor with honey. They are handcrafted and are gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, peanut-, tree nut-, egg- and soy-free.

A larger company integrating cookies further into the market is Kashi. Its Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Soft-Baked Cookies are kosher-certified and naturally-sweetened with wildflower honey. Each all-natural cookie contains 12 grams of whole grains and four grams of fiber.

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bestbites2014resized 300x168 Delicious Living Names Best Bite Award Winners

Winners included food and beverages that contain nutrient-dense, clean, and/or whole food ingredients. Five of the winners’ products contained honey.

Winning in the Best Low- or No-Calorie Drink category is Harmless Harvests’ 100% Raw Tea. Self-described at the world’s first raw tea, the Namacha Honey variety includes organic honey, raw 100% organic tea leaves, organic peppermint and organic lemon juice.

Best Gluten-Free Bread went to Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain. Sweetened with honey, this bread is soy- and nut-free and replaces wheat with potato and rice, flaxseed, millet, sunflower seeds and cornmeal.

Love Grown Foods Power O’s Honey took the Best Cereal prize. Uniquely made from navy beans, garbanzos and lentils, this cereal sweetened with organic honey provides four grams of protein per serving.

The Best Mission Driven category went to This Bar Saves Lives. For every nut and flaxseed bar sold, this company funds a lifesaving food packet designed to combat childhood malnutrition. The Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey variety contains clover honey, Madagascar vanilla, roasted almonds, omega-3 rich flax seeds and a hint of sea salt.

Numi’s Organic Tea took the coveted Best Tea win, and its Honeybush variety is made from an organic flowering shrub that yields a rich, early brew with sweet honey overtones.

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Honey isn’t just for the adult Yogi Bears out there. Boo Boo bears love honey too! Product manufacturers see this fact and are gearing marketing efforts to children and parents more than ever before. reports that a recent study called Kids Food and Beverage Market in the U.S. 2014-2018 found that food and beverage products targeting kids currently account for 4% of overall industry sales. This dollar figure amounts to approximately $23 billion.

Children under nine years of age are of particular value to marketers, according to the article. Lifelong dietary habits and brand loyalty starts at an early age, and American children can influence the sale of products while Mom and Dad are strolling down grocery store aisles.

While children do influence parents and take a great part in choosing foods and beverages in many households, marketers are quick to take notice that parents must be directly marketed to as well. Marketing focus, therefore, allows for both the child and parent to be involved in mutual purchasing decisions. In a now $639 billion U.S. food and beverage market with unlimited competition, bringing in new customers and keeping them throughout the span of a lifetime is of key importance.

One company going with a direct marketing approach is Alvarado St. Bakery. The company says that its Ultimate Kids Bread is the perfect complement to every child’s lunch box. The bread contains organic honey, organic whole wheat flour, organic rolled oats and sprouted organic whole wheat berries.

Plum Organics takes things a step further and designed an entire snacking line devoted to children. The interactive dipping snacks for tots are honey wheat crackers sized for children. The yogurt dippers are made with organic honey, creamy yogurt and organic fruit.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish S’mores Adventures is a mix of three flavors. Combined with the taste of sweet honey and rich chocolate Goldfish Grahams with marshmallows, S’mores Adventures allows parents to bring wholesome campfire fun to kids. The company says that the product is a great option for an after school snack or as an addition to the lunch box.

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