The convergence of health, convenience, fresh and eating in between meals adds up to surging demand for snacking options in retail grocery fresh produce departments, and suppliers are there to meet the need with a raft of new products.
Yuba City, Calif., Sunsweet Growers offers shoppers a wide choice of delicious dried fruit and snacking products.
Among the most popular are the company’s individually-wrapped prunes, Ones, and its Prune Fruit Packs and D’Noir Preservative Free Prunes. Sunsweet’s 16-ounce Prune Canister is the No. 3 item in the dried fruit category, and its 8-ounce Prune Pouch is a Top 20 dried fruit item.
“They’re healthy options and a breeze to toss into lunchboxes, gym bags, or snack on while on-the-go,” said Camille Saussotte, Sunsweet’s product marketing manager.
In addition to prunes, Sunsweet’s pitted Deglet Noor Dates, Pacific Tropicals Mangos and Mediterranean Apricots continue to be mainstays of its dried fruit snack portfolio. Sunsweet is the top-selling date brand on the market.
Customers have told Sunsweet they want their snacks to be not only delicious, but healthy and convenient, Saussotte said. The company has met that challenge by focusing on incorporating functional ingredients like plant-based protein into its new Sierra Trail Bites, in addition to the naturally-occurring fiber in its prunes and prune juice.
Foods with more fiber and immunity-boosting characteristics are other nutrition-related trends Sunsweet is keeping a close eye on.
In addition to nutrition, convenience and flavor continue to be top of mind.
“Convenience is always top-of-mind, so we’ve developed portable products like our Fruit Packs and Ones to satisfy consumers’ desire for on-the-go snacks,” Saussotte said. “Customers have also become more adventurous with flavor pairings, such as umami and sweet or spicy and salty.