It’s not exactly breaking news that snacking is gobbling up a bigger share of consumers’ food dollars. Almost half of all Americans snack three or more times a day, and 8 percent forgo meals altogether in favor of all-day snacking.

What might not be as well known, however, is a shift in the kinds of snacks consumers crave. Fifty-six percent of all snacking occasions, for instance, show a need for nourishment, and 61 percent of consumers are actively seeking healthier snacks. More than three out of four want more protein in their snacks.

There to meet the need in grocery delis and c-stores across the country is a category that generates more than $100 million in annual sales: grab ‘n go dips.   

The deli is transforming to address consumer needs for more fresh solutions throughout the day,” says John Crerand, brand manager, Hummus: On the Go, for White Plains, New York-based refrigerated dip specialist Sabra Dipping Co.  “Delis that create more mini meal and snacking destinations within their current footprint are going to be the ones that drive traffic and win with bigger baskets and more trips.”

Sabra is committed to helping delis do just that, Crerand says. The company will invest heavily in 2018 in driving more consumers to the store for grab ‘n go products, focusing its largest media plan of the year on its portable items. 

Sabra’s On the Go line features a variety of grab ‘n go dip options. All products feature promotional tie-ins with famous brand names from the center-store world. Three versions of a hummus-and-pretzel product include Sabra hummus products and Rold Gold pretzels.

The 4.6 oz containers pair Rold Gold product with Sabra’s Classic Hummus, Roasted Garlic Hummus and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. All packs have 10 grams of protein and five grams of fiber.

The fourth grab ‘n go dip from Sabra is a guacamole-and-chips product, shipping under the Guac & Go label, featuring Tostitos chips.

Crerand says the company’s grab ‘n go products are typically found in grocery deli dip sets or in grocery refrigerated on-the-go sets. Outside of traditional grocery channels, Sabra also markets the products in c-stores throughout the country and in other retail channels.

Sabra’s grab ‘n go hummus mix has stayed fairly consistent in recent years, Crerand says. The company has stuck to its successful formula of pairing its top flavors of hummus with pretzels. The guacamole-and-chips product was added in 2016. In May, it won a Food and Beverage Industry (FABI) award at the National Restaurant Association’s annual show. “It’s experienced outstanding growth driven by strong velocities and repeat,” Crerand says.  “Everyone knows that avocados are on trend, and our partnership with Tostitos helps us deliver an ultimate on-the-go experience. It’s helped us reach new consumers, and has been highly incremental to the category.”   

In 2018, Sabra will launch a new product pairing its Classic Hummus with pita chips, which Crerand says is the top item to pair with hummus. The product is currently being tested in Sam’s Club stores, and a national rollout is expected by March.

The expansion of the Sabra’s grab ‘n go line is no surprise, Crerand says, given the category’s robust performance. “As consumers look for new ways to add protein to their diet, specifically with plant based products, our ‘on the go’ products really meet consumers’ needs for an all-in-one tasty, better-for-you snack.”