Bare Snacks’ coconut chip line rides in the wake of a mega trend, its marketing head says, but not all future R&D will be reactive to market skews.
The natural snack specialist launched two new baked coconut chip variants – Chocolate Bliss and Sea Salt Caramel Crunchy – at Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago last month, following an initial coconut line launch in March, 2014. The new products join Simply Toasted, Show me the Honey and Sweet ‘n' Heat.
Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, vice president of marketing for Bare Snacks Cristina Genovese said the company wanted to ride the coconut water wave.
“Coconut has been such a hot trend and it’s really here to stay. You’re seeing all sorts of innovation around coconut and double-digit growth across the whole category.
“It really started with coconut water and all the coconut drinks – these really started the category. And now you’re seeing anything from personal care products; toothpaste and mouth rinses that are coconut-based and tons of other items and then foods. There’s even coconut bacon,” she said.
Proactive v. reactive innovation
Bare Snacks’ coconut line was developed after dropping ‘fruit’ from the company name – previously Bare Fruit Snacks. The company already had a baked apple line.
“We see Bare as a healthy snacking company and we think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of innovation. So, by dropping the ‘fruit’ name, it obviously left us very open. We see Bare as a very elastic brand in terms of where it might go. We think it can stretch into all sorts of different areas, from sweet snacks to savory and salty snacks and across the various aisles in store,” Genovese said.
The company had plans to launch another three products over the next year or two, she said. Each of which would stick to Bare’s nutritional promise of seven ingredients or less, minimally processed and baked, she added.
“Anything that is a whole, real food is something that’s interesting to us. We’re looking at many different categories right now,” she said.
Asked if future launches would be reactive to market trends, like the coconut line, she said there was a mix of both in the pipeline. “We’ll look at open space and we’ll also look at what is hot. Coconut is hot. But at the core, whether we go to an open space and are on the beginning side of the trend, or if we see something that is hot that consumers are demanding, it’s really going to be about minimally processed.”
Targeting different day parts
Genovese said Bare was focused on appealing to a wide range of consumers across different day parts. The sweeter coconut variants for example, she said, could be eaten as alternative, healthier desserts or as an afternoon snack.
“This product delivers the taste and the crunch, so it’s very satisfying for people, but without the guilt, and without all the empty calories. These are more responsible calories,” she said.
Bare had already secured deals in a host of retailers across the US for its coconut line, including Walmart, Shaw’s, Wegman’s, Amazon and T J Maxx, but interest was continuing to grow, she said.