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Industry Trends

2017 Food & Beverage Trends

According to a recent survey from Mazars USA, The 2017 Food & Beverage Industry Study reports that healthy/nutritious food, “Free from” foods (Allergen free, gluten free, Non-GMO) and private label foods are the top three industry trends that are projected to increase sales among convenience stores.

Survey results found in this report are meant to define industry trends and build a knowledge base of food & beverage challenges, opportunities, and other factors that are critical to shape the future of the food & beverage industry. The ranking was consistent across large and small firms, pointing uniformity in how the top trends are affecting food companies of different sizes.

Below are the top trends that are expected to have the greatest effect on the increase in food sales this year are as follows:

Healthy & Nutritious Foods

29% of consumers report purchasing more healthy snacks this year, and 43% of millennials have indicated they buy more of these items, according to a May 2017 consumer survey conducted by NACS.

Grab and go items from the cooler, such as fresh cut fruit from Fruit Ridge Farms, Chobani Greek Yogurt and Drinks, and Eggs on the Run’s PRO-GO Protein Packs which pair hard boiled eggs, cheese and nuts provide healthy options and quick snacks. Good Natured Lentil Twists and Harvest Snap Snapea Crisps offer better-for-you choices in the salty snack aisle.

Free From – free from gluten, GMO ingredients, etc

Sales of natural products have grown by $63 billion in the past 10 years. In the convenience industry, those numbers are up 14%—more than any cross-channel competitor, according to data from SPINS, a Chicago-based provider of retail consumer insights for the natural, organic and specialty products industries.

New GFB Power Breakfast is loaded with good stuff but free from Gluten, Soy, and GMO’s.

Garden Fresh Gourmet Soups are packaged in single-serve containers for grab-and-go convenience and made without MSG, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.

Even those seeking a treat can enjoy a taste of “free from” on the sweet snacks shelf – Lenny & Larry’s “The Complete Cookie” is a single-serve Vegan, Non-GMO, Kosher, Egg- and Dairy-Free cookie with 16g Protein and 8g Fiber. Three flavors will satisfy any sweet tooth – Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut.

Private Label Foods

Partnerships between manufacturers, distributors and retailers can offer opportunities for growth among various channels.

Organic Foods

While traditional options for organic products may not be as readily available in the Convenience Store channel as in full-service grocery stores, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, options abound for non-traditional organic offerings. Stringles from Organic Valley (organic string cheese),  and Black Forest Organic Gummies from Ferrara are two options that may not be at the top of consumer’s minds when seeking organic.

Locally grown/produced foods

Many of the items in the SAS warehouses are locally produced in Michigan, as well as other states within the distribution channel – Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In fact, several items are produced within miles of the SAS Walker Distribution Center (Grand Rapids, Michigan): Savory Popcorn and Cookies, BeanBoy Chocolate Espresso Beans, Soymix from Love Your Health, and Dean’s Country Fresh Dairy.


Vea World Recipe Snacks are one product in Mondelez International’s new snack portfolio focused on natural ingredients and globally inspired recipes. The Tuscan Herb World Crisps, and Thai Coconut Mini Crunch Bars both contain no artificial colors or flavors and are verified non-GMO.

Plant based

PowerBar is introducing its first plant-based snack bar made with 10-11 grams of protein. The bars are available in Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cashew flavors. They contain no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners and are Non-GMO Project verified.

HearBar Oatmeal Squares are made with 0.8g plant sterols (typically naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables) and offer a delicious soft & chewy texture, 6g protein and 5g fiber in four flavors – Banana Walnut, Chocolate Chip, Blueberry, and Oatmeal Raisin.


For additional resources and information, see below:
Snacks’ Healthy Halo (source: CSP magazine)