Food For Kids: This Saves Lives expands in children’s snacks, shares tips to launch during the pandemic

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food for kids, coronavirus

When it comes to creating snacks that are irresistible to children and parents alike, the mission-based brand This Saves Lives says its recipe for success combines equal parts indulgent flavors and whimsical packaging for kids, plus for parents a pinch of nostalgia, a sneaky serving of fruits and vegetables and a promise of safety.

The brand is fine-tuning this formula with the recent launch of its Kids Krispy Kritter Treats, which are a modern take on a beloved sweet treat, and two new flavors of its Kids Snack Bars, which have the added benefits of being portable, low in sugar and low in mess.

The brands is also fine-turning its communication to children and parents to catch their attention at a time when fear of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has many shoppers reaching mostly for brands and products they know to reduce their time shopping in crowded grocery stores.

Meeting parents’ needs

Even though COVID-19 currently has sequestered families at home, This Saves Lives’ CEO Jensen Thome says most parents still want products that are portable, low-mess and high in nutrition – three boxes that the brand’s new Krispy Kritter Treats line checks.

He explained that the Krispy Kitter Treats come in small portions that are easy for parents to pass to children in car seats or otherwise eat on the go. Beyond the convenience factor, he said, the snacks offer a low-sugar option that comes with a full serving of fruits and vegetables packed into a sweet square that children will eat – which makes them appealing to parents.

Parents also will recognize the treats as a better-for-you version of a classic snack many likely had growing up, which creates a sense of nostalgia and a way for parents to connect their childhoods to that of their children, Thome said.

Finally, the individually wrapped packaged treats also put parents’ minds at ease because they are school safe, which means they are free of the most common allergens.

“Today it is really difficult for parents to send their children to school with something … because there are so many allergens and people need to be careful about exposing others to an allergen or a product that could have peanuts or tree nuts. So, our kids line is meant to be something you can put in a lunch box. … You can write a note on it and send it to school and are safe to take to a birthday party at school. The are meant to be anxiety-free for parents and children,”​ he said.

Packaging that bridges parents’ and kids’ priorities

Before families can fall in love with the taste of This Saves Lives’ new products, the treats need make it into parents’ shopping carts, and to do that the brand is relying heavily on packaging that is both bright and whimsical and makes succinct call-outs to parents on what they care most about.

Packaging is particularly important in the current environment because brands that previously relied on sampling or promos to help sell new products, no longer have those options.

“You have to catch their eye. You want to use great art. You want to use good call-outs on the packaging,”​ Thome said.  

For the Krispy Kritter Treats, this includes callouts on the front of the box that the products are “school safe,” with more details on the side panel including that all recipes are free from peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, soy, fish and shellfish.

Beyond that, the packages are colorful and simple with a repeating background pattern of the key ingredients and a cartoon image of the flavor’s namesake animal, including bigfoot, a mammoth, unicorn, crocodile or dragon.

This Saves Lives’ mission is a central selling feature

Beyond the packaging, the brand relies on its name to pique consumers’ interest and given parents and children an opportunity to talk This Saves Lives’ mission to help feed severely malnourished children around the world.

“Kids like to help other kids,”​ and our products and brand name is “a way to start a conversation around social impact for parents and children,”​ Thome said.

“This Saves Lives is a provocative name. People wonder what it means and we like it when people wonder what it means and they ask questions because that means they go dig for it or they ask someone who knows or they ask us. But when [children] ask their parents, it opens a conversation that happens at an earlier age and you get to talk about how fortunate we are,”​ Thome added.

He explained that in many parts of the world severe malnutrition threatens and takes the lives of children daily. But by purchasing This Saves Lives products, shoppers can know that part of the proceeds will go towards making sure malnourished children have access to life saving nutritional products.

An accessible price point

Finally, This Saves Lives’ is increasing its chances of landing in shoppers’ carts, by lowering its unit price, which is a top concern for most parents – especially now that many people have lost jobs due to measures designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“If you are a company looking to do good these days, whether it is underserviced families in states where there is a need, I think if you can donate products [that is one option]. If you can create a lower price threshold to become available, I think accessibility is something very, very important,”​ he said.

On that note, he explained, that This Saves Lives two years ago worked to lower its price point to under $2 so that more families could afford their products.

Innovating for the future

While the launch of Krispy Kritters didn’t go exactly as This Saves Lives planned, due to the ongoing pandemic, the company still sees it as a success and as a first step down a much longer road of innovation and evolution for the brand.

“Innovation is something we are really passionate about. Core to us is bars, and obviously we have branched out. We changed [our name] from This Bar Saves Lives to This Saves Lives for that purpose – to be a snack platform versus just a bar brand,”​ Thome said.

He noted the Krispy Kritter Treats are only the beginning of the brand’s innovation beyond bars. He said it will further develop other snacks that “we consider car seat friendly, meaning it is not going to make a mess,”​ but will deliver nutrition on the go.

With that in mind, Thome said, the brand likely will stick to the snack space, but push beyond bars “into maybe the cookie space, maybe the brownie space, maybe the breakfast space. We have a lot of innovation we are working on.”

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