According to a recent SupermarketNews article, supermarkets are offering healthier and smaller fresh snack options.
Chains on both coasts are reacting to consumer demand for the same level of quality and freshness in their snacks that they demand from other prepared foods.
For example, Roche Bros., a 20-store chain based in Wellesley, Massachusetts has responded to the increased interest in fresh, prepared snacks by offering “salad toppers,” which are displayed alongside prepackaged salads. The small containers, which sell for about $2.50 to $3, include varieties of shrimp, chicken, steak tips, hard-boiled eggs and other proteins that are designed for either combining with a salad or eating as standalone snacks.
“It allows people to get a quick bite of protein on the go, without spending a lot of money,” said Adam Laliberte, kitchen director. “There’s definitely an increase in demand for little bites to eat.”
Similarly, KeHE Foods’ Monterrey, Calif., fresh foods division has rolled-out a new line of cheese-based fresh snacks to about 50 retailers, said Amber Mahin, director of marketing and merchandising.
“They have proven to be very popular,” said Mahin. “The trends we are seeing are fast, fresh and healthy. People are eating smaller meals and meals with less calories.”
It seems like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be providing support to health-conscious consumers as well, as their final rule for the new menu labeling provision of the Affordable Care Act has been published. This new law will impact supermarket deli and bakery departments for chains of 20 or more stores operating under the same name. Labeling will be required for restaurant-type food such as:
- Made-to-order sandwiches, ordered from a menu or menu board at a grocery store
- Food items shoppers serve themselves from a salad or hot food bar at a grocery store
- Grab-and-go items such as muffins at an in-store bakery