With every passing year, millennials continue to gain purchasing power in the retail sector. As a result, grocery stores are expanding and adapting what they offer to stay relevant with millennials. For many, an array of different product offerings is key to grabbing the attention of today’s shoppers. Thankfully for the peanut product category, this provides a major opportunity for growth.
Mintel recently took a dive into some of the fastest growing categories and claims for peanuts. The new data reviewed statistics from the past five years (from 2011-2016) and the results demonstrated how much growth and opportunity there is for the almighty peanut. Here is a look into some of those categories and claims.
Peanuts Complement New Product Flavors
According to Mintel, the fastest growing peanut ingredients in new product introductions are peanut flavor, peanut sauce, peanut oil, peanut flour and peanut butter. Consumers, particularly millennials, are becoming more adventurous when it comes to new food products. Many companies are exploring flavor pairings that offer something unique or slightly complex to their product to create new excitement for their brands. A common tactic for food marketers is to pair the new flavor with something that is already loved and familiar– like peanuts.
Functional Nutrition is a Natural Fit for Peanuts
With a more sophisticated understanding of the body beyond basic nutrition, millennials are now focusing on the functional benefits that food can offer them as an important aspect of overall health and wellness. Functional foods and beverages that address the needs of ultra-specific niches continue to gain traction. For peanuts, this means a claim growth in products that are labeled GMO-free, gluten-free, low/no/reduced allergen, vegan or organic.
General Food Categories Continue to Gravitate to Using Peanut as an Ingredient
Mintel data showed that the fastest growing categories for new peanut products are savory biscuits/crackers, corn-based snacks, popcorn, chocolate spreads, and baking ingredients/mixes. Additionally, companies like Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, HEB, Unilever and McKee Foods are among the top organizations introducing peanut products at the fastest rate.
Here are some examples of new trending peanut products:
Awake Energy Granola Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chewy Bars are gluten-free and made with caffeine and B vitamins.
Sargento Balanced Breaks – These include colby-jack cheese, sea-salted peanuts and blueberry juice-infused dried cranberries
RxBar Peanut Butter Protein Bar – These contain 12g protein, three egg whites, 14 peanuts and two dates, and is free from gluten, soy, dairy and added sugar.
Bobo’s Peanut Butter Filled Oat Bar - This kosher certified product is free from gluten, GMO and soy, provides 7g of protein, is suitable for vegans, and retails in a 2.5-oz. pack.
Puffworks Spicy Thai BBQ Peanut Butter Puffs – These are comprised of non-GMO corn, BBQ spices and salt. This bite sized product is made using simply five ingredients, is gluten free, non-GMO, vegan friendly, batch made and high in protein.
Justin's Classic Peanut Butter with Banana Chips Snack Pack – These are gluten free and contain 210 calories and 6g of protein per pack.
Ben & Jerry's Pint Slices Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Bars – These peanut butter cups covered in a dark chocolate coating. According to the manufacturer, this extraordinary dairy sourced from sustainably run family farms.
M&M’s Strawberry Nut Peanut Chocolate Candies - The limited edition kosher certified product is made with the freshest ingredients, artificial and natural flavors, Mars real chocolate, and has been partially produced with genetic engineering.
(Source: Mintel, Stylus, Goldman Sachs)