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Beanitos rolls out gluten-free, preservative free Hint of Lime bean chips

BY Barbara White-Sax

AUSTIN, Texas — Beanitos, creator of the Original Bean Snacks, recently expanded its signature line of bean chips to include a new Hint of Lime variety. Made from a proprietary blend of U.S.-farmed whole navy beans and non-GMO ingredients, including sea salt and natural seasoning, the better-for-you chips offer 6g of fiber and 4g of protein in every serving. The new chips also are low-glycemic and gluten-free, and contain no preservatives and no artificial flavors or colors.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

Beanitos Hint of Lime joins the company’s full line of bean chips, including Original Black Bean, Chipotle BBQ, Nacho Cheese, Restaurant Style, Simply Pinto Bean and Better Cheddar, as well as its savory assortment of baked Bean Puffs. Suggested retail is $3.49 for a 6-oz. bag.

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Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt makes healthy natural

BY Barbara White-Sax

LA FARGE, Wis. — This fall, Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, launched Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt. Offered in plain and vanilla flavors, the yogurt is made from organic whole milk produced by 100% grass-fed milk cows that eat no grains, only fresh green pasture and dried forages. Organic Valley Vanilla Grassmilk Yogurt is flavored with organic, fair-trade vanilla and lightly sweetened with unrefined organic cane sugar; carries the USDA Organic seal; and is produced without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or GMOs.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

The yogurt has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3, and a more healthful ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids than other milks. The new yogurt has a suggested retail price of $5.29 per 24-oz. tub.

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Consumers snacking healthier through the day

BY Barbara White-Sax

Consumers are blurring the lines between meals and snacks, and are increasingly choosing healthier options. In response, retailers are increasing refrigerated space devoted to fresh sandwiches, as well as precut fruit and vegetable selections, particularly in high-traffic locations.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

They also are bringing in smaller brands with innovative products once found only in specialty stores and Whole Foods, and they are using the products to support their health-and-wellness positioning by giving those products prominent placement in the front of the store and at checkout locations.

In its new store format, which rolled out in 2015 to roughly 500 stores across the country, CVS has positioned refrigerated units packed with healthy, on-the-go snacks in the section once occupied by photo. More than 500 items have been added to the section, including Chobani yogurt, Kind snacks and Panera soups. In many stores, the front aisle of bagged candy has been converted to healthy snacks like nuts.

“We know that customers are changing how they shop, behave and eat. They are no longer sitting down for three meals a day but are snacking through the day, and they want a place that is convenient where they can snack in a healthy way,” Helena Foulkes, EVP CVS Health and president of CVS/pharmacy recently told DSN.

Research from The Hartman Group found that 64% of consumers said that they are eating fruits and vegetables as a snack more often; 61% said they are choosing healthier snacks.

“There’s very little distinction between snacks and meals,” said Susan Viamari, editor of IRI New Product Pacesetters. “Forty percent of consumers are snacking three or more times a day, and they are looking for snacks they can eat in the car or on the go.”

Walgreens also is responding to evolving consumer needs by offering fresh fruits, cheeses, snack trays, pasta salads and sandwiches in its high-traffic locations. Some Walgreens’ stores in Washington, D.C., and New York City offer frozen yogurt and sushi.

Yogurt, a category that continues to show strong growth, is given prominent placing in a refrigerated set in the front of the store with well-established brands like Chobani sharing space with boutique brands, such as Siggi’s, Liberté, Dreaming Cow and Alpina. The selection also includes Powerful Man’s Powerful Yogurt, which contains 21 grams of protein and is targeted to male consumers.

“In the yogurt category, we’re seeing targeting to more specific niches, such as calorie-controlled, indulgent, kid-friendly and frozen products,” said Viamari. Nondairy yogurts also are becoming a bigger part of the category. “Non-dairy milk has been growing, and we’re seeing that trend migrating to the yogurt category with the addition of Silk dairy-free yogurt alternative, So Delicious cultured coconut milk and Almond Dream non-dairy yogurt.”

Indulgent snacks also are becoming healthier, with new options flooding the market. “Consumers are very open to veggie chips, kale chips and other varieties of healthier chip options,” said Viamari. Hartman research showed that 28% of consumers said that they are open to exploring and/or sampling new foods and beverages.

Walgreens’ Washington, D.C., Penn Quarter store recently featured kale chips from The Kale Factory, dry roasted eda-mame from Seapoint Farms and Enlightened Chips veggie chips on the endcap facing the store’s entrance. At a nearby CVS, the front endcap featured Bobos Oat Bars, Naked’s granola cookies and NuGo Nutrition’s Fiber d’lish bars.

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