Creamy, Crunchy, Sweet and Salty Rule New Peanut Products

Peanuts are a tasty and convenient snack, and new product introductions reflect our love of snacking. Snacks are consistently a top performer for new peanut product introductions and this category shows no signs of slowing down. In the past quarter, new product introductions in the snack category increased 46 percent compared to last year, according to Mintel.

  • Hershey’s has introduced its first new candy bar in 22 years. Hershey’s Gold is a caramelized crème bar with crunchy peanuts and pretzels that delivers a complex combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy. The new product will be promoted with the 2018 Olympic Winter Games with several Olympic athletes including Apollo Ono.  
  • Also from Hershey, the iconic Reese’s brand has a new flavor rolling out in stores in May 2018: Reese’s Outrategeous. “Caramel and crunchy Reese’s Pieces candy surround creamy peanut butter, all covered in smooth milk chocolate,” according to the company.
  • Snickers will launch three new flavors in summer 2018: Espresso, Fiery and Salty & Sweet. Snickers has experimented with different nuts in the past but these new flavors focus on peanuts and the flavor will be included in the inner nougat. Snickers also launched Snickers Peanut Butter Crisper this winter which features creamy peanut butter instead of caramel.
  • M&Ms has launched a new seasonal flavor exclusively at Target. Peanut Brrr-ittle M&Ms feature the sweet roasted taste of peanut brittle.
  • Chobani Flip has introduced a limited batch of Buttercrunch Blast yogurt. It features chocolate low-fat yogurt with roasted peanuts, toffee pieces, chocolate cookies and peanut butter clusters. 
  • Another yogurt innovator, Yoplait, has four-new Girl Scout cookie-inspired flavors of their Whips! variety, including the organization’s classic peanut butter chocolate cookie with creamy peanut butter, crunchy shortbread and sweet milk chocolate.
  • Breakfast and snacks get a whole lot more flavorful with Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios. Bringing together two popular cereal flavors, it’s delicious and wholesome. It’s made with real cocoa and real peanut butter and uses whole grain oats as the first ingredient. General Mills attributed the launch late last year to a 7% spike in its US cereal sales.  
  • Layers of creamy, crunchy, salty and sweet come together in Nature Valley’s new Peanut Butter Layered Granola Nut Bars for an on-the-go breakfast or snack.
  • Doritos’ ventures outside of chips with the new Crunch Nuts and Crunch Mix in Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch flavors. Crunch Nuts are peanuts with a crunchy Doritos-flavored coating. Crunch Mix features the coated peanuts with other salty, crunchy elements like pretzel nuggets, corn puffs, corn sticks. 
  • Trader Joe’s has entered the peanut butter puff market with their own line of the popular Israeli peanut snack Bamba. Think of the classic orange snack puff with a peanut butter flavor instead of cheese. A reviewer called it “a snack that’s just a little sweet and just a touch salty that manages to be crunchy and melt on your tongue at the same time. It’s an addictive combination that inspires fanaticism.”

Smaller brands are also innovating with peanut ingredients.

  • Clover Sonoma’s premium ice cream line has a new chocolate peanut butter flavor.
  • Dairy-free No Cow Cookies in Chunky Peanut Butter have 21 grams of protein and only one gram of sugar.
  • Another new addition in the dairy-free category is Halo Top’s Peanut Butter Cup flavor: 320 calories per pint and 12 grams of protein make this an appealing plant-based dessert.
  • Sola Bars feature innovative snack bar flavors including Roasted Garlic and Sea Salt, Jalapeno, and Cinnamon, all with a peanut base and ingredients that deliver on flavor, texture and nutrition. The result? A satisfying snack or meal-in-a-pinch that’s balanced and not too sweet.

While snacks are a strong category leader for peanuts, additional top areas of growth for peanuts include sweet spreads (+87 percent) and pet food (+ 83 percent).

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