Friday fun

Potato chip tongs, ‘drinkable’ chips and selfie cereal spoons: Snack makers are upping the ante in convenience to attract dedicated snackers

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Doritos, Calbee, Social media, on-the-go, Koike-ya, Takara Tomy, Cinnamon toast crunch

With snack food sales booming, this is creating new opportunities within snacking and adjacent categories.

According to Nielsen, the snacking scenario is a rare global growth story, growing to a $3.4bn global business in 2017.

The market researcher added consumers are particularly eating up the on-the-go snacking sub-category, to the tune of $1bn. Their hunger for convenience grew the category at a CAGR of 10% between 2012 and 2016, and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

We review some innovative thinkers who have devised ways to make snacks even more consumer-friendly and on-the-go.

Simple problem = brilliant solution: Doritos Towel Bag

Doritos Towel bag

When eating Doritos, it’s inevitable that a snacker’s fingers will get covered in oil and crumbs – a condition widely known as ‘Dorito Fingers’.

Thankfully, Doritos Israel has devised a solution to cope with this problem: the Doritos Towel Bag, made out of 100% terry towel cloth.

It’s machine-washable, making it reusable and sustainable. The Towel Bag doesn’t replace the regular Doritos bag, but serves as a novel pouch that suits Doritos bags of various sizes.

Taking the novelty a step further, Doritos has collaborated with gaming retailer BUG to target the country’s gaming community and gaming YouTubers, where Dorito Fingers is a common issue.

The Doritos Towel Bag is the brainchild of Tel-Aviv based creative & innovation agency Gefen Team, which specialize in packaging, special editions and storytelling through packaging.

Grease-free social networking: Calbee’s Chip Tongs

Calbee Chip Tongs

Potato chips and mobile phones are not the best of mates, putting a big divide between snacking and scrolling social media.

Aware of the concern among today’s social media mavens of how to scroll through Instagram and snack without greasing up their phone is Japanese snack giant Calbee Inc, which has developed the Chip Tongs.

The tongs are designed for one-handed eating, freeing the other to swipe.

Darling, hold my hand: Koike-ya’s One Hand Chips

Drinkable chips

Also aware of the concern among young lovebirds of being able to enjoy a snack without having to relinquish their lover’s hand is another Japanese snack producer.

Tokyo-based Koike-ya has devised a method that requires only a single hand to consume – by essentially ‘drinking’ the chips.

One Hand Chips come pre-smashed into small pieces that can be easily tumbled into the mouth.

Koike-ya told The Wall Street Journal the intention was to make it easier for snackers to get to the crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

Mickey Mouse to the rescue: Takara Tomy’s Potato Chip Hand

Potato Chip Hand

According to Koike-ya, its One Hand Chips are ‘a new snack style humankind has been waiting for’, but it’s not the first to tailor snacking around today’s phone-centric lifestyle.

In 2010, Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy launched the Potechi No Te, or Potato Chip Hand, a plastic stick with pincers – which mimic Mickey Mouse’s iconic white gloves – that can grab hold of a potato chip.

At the time, the company said it were targeting heavy computer users who were fed up with potato chip oil all over their keyboard and mice.

Cereal snapping: General Mills’ Selfie Spoon

General Mills selfie spoon

Even cereal makers are joining the fray.

According to General Mills, breakfast snackers shouldn’t have to choose between eating a bowl of the ‘good stuff’ and posting selfies.

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch maker launched the Selfie Spoon in 2015 so it’s ‘awesome fans’ who ‘love to share their obsession with our cereal on social media’.

The selfie stick has a spoon at the end and extends up to 30 inches so cereal eaters can take pics of themselves while eating cereal.

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