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19 Apr 18

Modern consumers are re-defining their approach to health, focusing on the fuel going into their bodies rather than the absence of ingredients being left out, this shift has presented the convenience sector with an opportunity to embrace the change. Our MD Clark McIlroy talked all things health and snacking at the National Convenience Show (16 April 2018).

The convenience sector is best placed to own this change

As suppliers and retailers, we have to embrace the change and recognise that the consumer shift towards healthier options is seismic and definitely here to stay. It is now more important than ever to allocate more space for ‘better for you’ categories such as protein bars, energy-based brands and Water+ beverages.

Ideally situated in both the healthy eating and confectionery categories, protein bars such as Fulfil are often found dual-sited in stores, sitting alongside classic confectionery brands, as well as healthy eating bays.

Those of us who are brave and take risks will be able to enjoy profitable growth from creating more space for ‘better for you’ and continuing to fill the void created by the sharp decline in sales of traditional confectionery and cola brands.

The convenience sector is currently seeing a ‘glass half full’ moment and is better placed to own this in-store shift than the grocery sector. Convenience Buyers can lead this change, as they have the autonomy to make decisions and buy produce for all categories, unlike an individual buyer for a grocer, who is often only responsible for one area.

New trends – eco to indulgence

At Red Star we are continually identifying emerging trends through our market insight and trend analysis.

  • Seltzer water – unsweetened flavoured water – is having a moment and there is a huge amount of growth within this sub-category. Although the rates of sale are slow, there is clearly a trend for it, striking a sweet spot because of its lack of calories and unnecessary sugars
  • Environmental packaging is fighting its way forward and we’re particularly looking forward to seeing a new water brand hitting the shelves later this year, in fully recyclable, non-see-through packaging, which will ignite huge change within the category.
  • Water+, with protein and added functionality, will continue to grow as it’s driving 39%* of the growth in the booming Water category, commanding higher price points, outperforming Water and increasing its share of the market.
  • Although there will always be uber-healthy consumers whose primary concerns are health, at the other end of the health spectrum there are those shoppers who are health conscious Monday to Friday but look forward to an indulgent treat at the weekend.
  • At Red Star we believe it is crucial to provide brands that are scalable, having an appeal for the majority of consumers in the middle – those we might call “healthy activists” – who are prepared to make some effort to be healthier. We don’t just want to cater for the extremes at either end of the spectrum.

Protein is here to stay, whether in muffins, cakes or ice cream

One particular trend is a plethora of added protein, whether it is found in standard bars, or premium indulgent snacks such as ice cream.

Fulfil uniquely combines vitamins and protein, containing 100% of an adult’s recommended daily allowance of nine vitamins. The brand is targeting the health-conscious, on-the-go consumer, who is looking for low sugar, low calorie snacks without sacrificing taste, and with the benefit of 20g of protein and a full multi-vitamin.

Historically eaten by body builders and gym bunnies, protein has always been shunned by female shoppers but two thirds of Fulfil’s consumers are female ‘treat abstainers’. It is important that manufacturers now educate people on how much protein they should consume and the benefits.

Innovation rules

At Red Star Brands, we truly believe ‘better for you’ and ‘great taste’ can co-exist. We believe that genuine innovation, has allowed for the paradigm to be shifted once and for all. The days of having to choose between ‘unhealthy and tasty’ versus ‘healthy and bland’ are behind us – there is an exciting new future, and it’s packed with goodness, functionality and flavour.

To speak with our team of experts about the latest industry trends, please get in touch:

* Source IRI Marketplace Data to 25 Feb 18.

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