New peanut trends: Flavours and packaging

We all know peanuts are one of the healthiest and most cost-effective snack options available. What you might not know is the extent to which peanuts are researched and studied. As one of the most popular snacking items worldwide, much attention is paid to learning more about what retailers and consumers want in a quality snack item.

Mintel, an award-winning consumer marketing intelligence company, recently released their 2008 – 2011 research findings about snacking trends at the 2012 International Peanut Forum. Among many others, two noteworthy trends emerged – new peanut flavours and packaging options.

Overall, the research findings show that nuts are the second most active snacking category worldwide. Here are a few additional findings:

The nutrition of nuts is championed and heavily promoted internationally
Consumers are continuing to look for healthier snack options
Premium launches have been growing across all snack categories
Branded companies continue to launch economy packs
Expanding moments of consumption, e.g. at the gym, pub or home
Extending the concept of “energy” products beyond bars and drinks
Targeting specific demographics, e.g. adults
Overview-of-Nut-Product-Innovations-Mintel-5It’s also important to know what drives the snack sector. Based on Mintel’s findings, the following points remain critical:

“Natural” and “convenience” remain the most important claims
“Minus” claims declined during the review period
“Positioning” claims registered growth and reflect the polarization premium vs. economy
Ethical, environmentally-friendly packaging is important in all food and drink categories

Overview-of-Nut-Product-Innovations-Mintel-17 As for the taste profile, peanut flavour development can add excitement to the category. Though manufacturers are always looking for new flavour inspirations, research shows that Asian flavours remain popular and sweet and salty flavours continue to be seen across all snacking categories. Another finding is that consumers are expressing a desire to be actively engaged in product and flavour development. This has significant marketing potential. To the right is an overview of the top peanut flavours from 2008 – 2011.

Packaging development also has significant potential, as research shows that 71 per cent of consumers expect to entertain at home more often or at the same level as in the previous 12 months (UK). More than ever before, consumers are paying attention to packaging and making a conscious decision to purchase items they believe are environmentally-friendly. Examples of innovative packaging development include unique two-in-one packaging and serving containers, packaging reduction, and resealable packing to keep the product fresh for longer.

With the continued development of trendy peanut flavours and packaging, peanuts have enormous retail potential. They can be cross-merchandised with other partner products, such as flavoured waters and near-beers to increase snack sales and promotional opportunities.

Source: Mintel Group Ltd.