Specialty snacks entering mass market with culinary touch, say founder of Snikiddy

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Snikiddy and Good Health are part of UTZ Quality Foods' specialty division. Pic: Snikiddy
Snikiddy and Good Health are part of UTZ Quality Foods' specialty division. Pic: Snikiddy

Related tags: Snack food

Culinary trends, such as using exotic oil, are penetrating the snack category, said Mary Schulman, founder of Snikiddy.

Schulman created the health-focused snack brand for younger audiences in 2007, which was later acquired by Utz Quality Foods in 2015. She now works as VP of strategy for Snikiddy and Good Health, another brand under the Utz portfolio.

The two brands, along with Dirty Potato Chips and Zapp's, make up the specialty division of parent company, UTZ Quality Foods. According to Schulman, the division was launched in May 2015 and has experienced 25% growth year-over-year.

Avocado oil

Good Health Avocado Oil Ridge Cut

Good Health unveiled a line of avocado oil ridge cut potato chips at the Sweets and Snacks Expo held in Chicago recently, with four varieties: Sea Salt, Jalapeno Cheddar Jack, Buffalo & Cool Blue Ranch, and Creamy French Onion.

The company also developed a line of USDA certified organic baked cheese puffs in Mac n' Cheese and grilled cheese, and baked fries made with 70% organic ingredients. 

All the products are non-GMO and gluten-free, and will be available across the US later in 2017, said Shulman.

Natural and specialty

Many big snack companies are capitalizing on the growing natural and specialty category in the US market, as these products become more mainstream. Snyder’s-Lance, for example, created the Clearview Foods division​ in 2015, with a focus on developing better-for-you snacking options.

On the investor side, Clearlake Capital Group also announced it was entering the BFY category a year ago when it acquired premium snacks maker, That’s How We Roll​.

“Conventional grocery stores are carrying a wide range of products for all their customers, and they’ve started to lean towards healthier options,”​ Shulman said.

Good Health and Snikiddy are currently upscaling their consumer bases and have said their new products will be available in both the natural and mass channels.

Related topics: Snacks, Manufacturers, Health, Ingredients

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