Nuts, seeds and trail mix trends

Price leads consumer decisions when purchasing nuts, seeds and trail mix. Due to the fact that main consumption occasion for these products is snacking, expanding the times and occasions that they are consumed will lead to increased sales.

The goal of specialty food and beverage artisan commercial manufacturers is to create a niche product that serves a specific market to increase wholesale product sales. Mintel (August, 2018) the world’s leading market intelligence agency, weighs in on the market for nuts, seeds and trail mix:  two-thirds of consumers say price is prime driver to their purchase of nuts, seeds, and trail mixes “far outpacing the impact of flavor, health, or natural ingredients”. Since consumers view nuts as inherently healthy, different brands are hampered in adding value to influence a purchase.

Mintel reported that two-thirds of consumers say price is a prime driver to their purchase of nuts, seeds, and trail mixes, “far outpacing the impact of flavor, health, or natural ingredients”. Since consumers view nuts as inherently healthy, different brands are hampered in adding value to influence a purchase.

When Mintel asked study participants when and how they used nuts, 74 percent reported they consumed nuts and seeds as a snack by itself with 47 percent reported using them in the afternoon, and 44 percent said they were consumed as part of a larger snack. Mintel points to the need for more marketing and product innovation for nuts and seeds to be used other times of the day to increase nut consumption. “Morning is a relatively untapped opportunity ripe for nut and seed use as an ingredient, a topping, a pairing or even as a healthy mix tailored as a way to start the day” (Mintel, 2018). Additionally, Mintel recommends that other day times could be added by marketing nuts for use on salads, as a dessert topping, and in recipes where nuts are an essential ingredient.

Finally, Mintel points out that consumers are seeking greater and greater amounts of protein for their diet. Nuts and seeds seem “particularly well-positioned to provide an affordable, nutritious, and perhaps more importantly natural option to meet this demand (for protein)”. In addition, “pairing nuts and seeds with other protein-rich components (like meats or cheeses) for snacks or even entrees will provide a significant protein boost” (Mintel, 2018).

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provides business counseling in product development and marketing strategies that help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).


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