The Hershey Co. calls it “snackfection.” The maker of Oreo cookies calls it “cross-category innovation.” Hybrids are a hot trend across the food and beverage industry, and new snacks on display at the 2016 NACS Show underscore the mashup mania.
Drawing more than 20,000 industry professionals, the NACS Show, hosted by the National Association of Convenience Stores and held Oct. 18-21 in Atlanta, features the latest products from more than 1,100 exhibiting companies.
The U.S. convenience store industry posted record in-store sales of $225.8 billion last year. Nearly 21% of total in-store sales were from food service, which includes prepared and commissary food and hot, cold and dispensed beverages. Another 15% of sales were from packaged beverages, and almost 11% were from center-of-the-store categories, including candy, and sweet, salty and alternative snacks.
Several new products unveiled at the show blur the lines between snack and confection, such as the new Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch range. Available in caramel, vanilla creme and mint varieties, the candy bars contain crunchy cookie bits layered with a sweet filling and are covered in milk or dark chocolate. The products are an example of Hershey’s “snackfection” innovation, combining components of traditional confectionery and snacks to expand consumption occasions.Click here for a slideshow of eight trends from the show.