First in line will be the brand’s best-selling line, Pretzel Nuggets, as the business looks to tap growing interest in healthier and more natural ingredients.
The reformulation follows the recent roll-out of the brand’s Mini Twists which do not contain artificial flavors or saturated fat, and use ingredients from non-GMO sources.
Mini Twists, which the manufacturer will be showcasing at next month’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, are available in three flavors: smoky barbecue, cheese pizza, and salted caramel.
Smaller pack format
Retailing at between $1.49 and $1.99, Mini Twists are sold in 3.5-ounce bags that are smaller than the rest of the Pretzel Pete range.
“The smaller size results in attractive retail price points, which we expect will drive trial through the grocery, convenience and value channels,” said Karl Brown, CEO of the Pennsylvania-based snack company.
Brown added that, while pretzels have been long considered a healthy snack due to their low fat and calorie content, they have lost ground as other better-for-you snack options come to market.
Category sales static
Value and volume sales in the $1.2bn pretzels category were virtually static in 2015, according to IRI data [52w/e December 27 2016].
“Some of this can be attributed to the increasing popularity of ‘gluten-free’ snack options,” said Brown, adding that the gluten-free trend was a challenge to wheat-based products. “As a smaller company, we have been resistant to the idea of jumping into the gluten-free market as the upfront costs of launching new items are very substantial.”
Brown added that Mini Twists were launched to underscore how pretzels can be a great option for consumers looking to snack smartly.