Sweets & Snacks Expo 2016

Bigs seeds spices up sunflower with Tapatío and brings innovation to pumpkin

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Both BIGS’ new products are non-GMO and contain around 10 grams of protein per bag.
Both BIGS’ new products are non-GMO and contain around 10 grams of protein per bag.

Related tags Sunflower

Seed brand Bigs is aiming to tap demand for hot sauces - and bring innovation to the pumpkin seed category - with two new products.

Unveiled at last month's Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, the new products are Tapatío Chile Limón sunflower seeds and cracked pepper pumpkin seeds.

“Tapatío is among the top three selling hot sauces in the country and number one on the West Coast, so we feel this flavor will really appeal to consumers,” ​Bigs founder Justin Havlick told BakeryandSnacks.com.

He added that pumpkin seed was in strong growth but had lacked flavor innovation.

"Offering a cracked pepper flavor brings consumers a different and well-liked flavor option beyond traditional salted pumpkin seeds,"​ he said.

The suggested retail prices are $1.99 for a 5.35-ounce bag of the sunflower seeds and $3.49 for a five-ounce bag of pumpkin seeds. Both products - which are non-GMO and contain around 10 grams of protein per bag - will be available primarily in c-stores, grocery chains and drug stores across the US.

Seeds: an overlooked snacking option

Havlick said more than 21 million households in the US purchased seeds. He added that although most associate in-shell sunflower seeds with baseball games, the usage occasions for seeds are actually very broad.

“Seeds often get overlooked by some consumers when it comes to snacking. A lot of people eat nuts due to their high protein content, but seeds can be equally high in protein and are more affordable."

'Brand loyalty is high'

Thanasi Foods-owned Bigs entered the US market relatively recently compared to brands such as David and PepsiCo-owned Frito-Lay, said Havlick, adding this is a challenge for the business.

“Many seed consumers entered the category when they were young and have continued to purchase the same brand. Our plan is to continue to invest in marketing programs in order to drive trial of Bigs' products. Our loyalty is high, so when people switch to Bigs they usually stay loyal to Bigs.”

Havlick added there are synergies between Bigs and its stablemate at Thanasi Foods, jerky brand Duke’s​. 

"The two brands definitely collaborate," he said. "Both brands focus on flavor and ingredients and there are some synergies here. We also benefit from a combined sales force and a number of other sales and distribution-related efficiencies.”

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