Rolling out from March, the new products feature added functionality such as antioxidant benefits, and have been developed to target consumers who snack at three specific time slots - 10:30am, 2:30pm and 9:30pm.
Research conducted by Illinois-based Enjoy Life - which was acquired by Mondelēz International last year - shows these are the times when people start looking for healthy snacks, the business’s chief sales & marketing officer Joel Warady told BakeryandSnacks.
‘Big eight’ allergens
Like the rest of the Enjoy Life line-up – which includes cookies and baking mixes – the new snacks are free from GMO and the ‘big eight’ allergens (defined by the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybean).
The ‘big eight’ account for about 90% of all food allergies in the US, and Warady added: “When our consumers see our brand, they know it is going to be safe for them. Our goal is to reach ubiquity: any customers can find what they want.”
He said Enjoy Life’s allergen-free positioning set it apart from major bakery manufacturers and helped give it a competitive edge.
Continuous business growth
Enjoy Life’s products are distributed to about 35,000 stores across North America, including national chains such as Walmart and Kroger, as well as independent specialty stores, according to Warady.
“We’ve experienced significant growth over the last four years,” he said, adding that the company is looking to raise awareness of the brand by increasing the variety of products on shelf this year, and also plans to export to other parts of the world in the future.
Retail analysts SPINS show Enjoy Life’s baking chocolate and cookie are top sellers in their category, but Warady said he believed there was opportunity to grow and gain market share.
Allergy-free is not a fad business
“Consumers are going to purchase products with cleaner ingredients, more unique and sophisticated flavours, and with more functionality,” he said, adding that manufacturing allergy-free products is not a fad business.
“It’s trust,” he added. “Our consumers trust our brands, because it’s what we do.”
Enjoy Life’s primary consumers are people who live their lives with food allergy or intolerance, Warady explained.
“That’s 75 million people in the US.”