Anyone who has been following the snack and beverage industry in the last few months, and this past year, has noticed that certain markets have started to show a bit of a decline in sales. One of the primary causes of this decline of sales was last years hard-hitting economic slump, which many American workers felt in different ways. The economic slump ranged from layoffs at large to small businesses, to the prices of food rising, and many additional financial concerns.
Another reason for the decline of sales in some snack and beverage markets is the increasing attention afforded to obesity in America. In particular, initiatives that have been started by the federal government, first lady Michelle Obama, and other popular American leaders, figureheads and celebrities.
This particular attention towards the obesity problem in America has shifted the landscape of snacking for the American snack consumer. As many consumers now are focusing their efforts on diets with healthier attitudes towards snacking. While the demand for the traditional candy bar is still great, so is the demand for exciting snack food or beverages with an added health benefit.
Consumers in America are being presented with all kinds of information with respect to healthy eating in general. From television media, to Internet videos gone viral, the regular consumer is more aware of what is happening to the consumer environment around them.
As the economy still recovers this year, big-name snack and beverage companies are focusing on improving their product lines, and working to avert any possible future decline of sales. Recently, it was announced that the big names of the snack food industry pledged support to Michelle Obama’s initiative, “Let’s Move.” Her campaign is focused on improving the advocacy towards childhood obesity and also fighting against it.
The companies announced that by 2012 they hope to cut 1 trillion calories total in their products. Overall, these big-name snack food companies are planning to reduce the calorie counts in snacks, reworking recipes and designing new ways to offer great tasting snacks, without all the sugar, fat and calories.
For example, PepsiCo recently announced the introduction of a “designer salt.” They worked on creating a salt crystal that was specially designed to reduce the amount of sodium a consumer takes in when snacking. In addition, other companies have refined some recipes to include less sodium, fat and calories.
Snack food companies realize the need to adapt to a changing landscape such as this. With efforts from both sides of the fence, to improve the image and overall product lineups, sales can improve. What does the near future look like? The change in attitude from sugary sodas and high-in-fat snacks, to healthier options should continue, as additional companies look to improve their product lineups.
What can we expect from this change? One should not worry about the sales of traditional snacking items. Everyone will always enjoy a candy bar once and awhile. What a healthier attitude speaks to effectively is the fact that as companies, and advocacy groups alike argue in favor for healthy snacking, the market for healthy snacks will improve and balance out other potentially declining markets.