How the Health Trend Will Impact Kids’ Food Products

When developing food products for kids, brands must focus on appealing to the child and the actual buyers, mom and dad. Packaged Facts states that when parents shop for kid’s food products, nutrition is most important followed by convenience, pricing and flexibility in pricing. Since nutrition has the biggest impact on whether or not parents choose to purchase a food product, how can brands adapt to this new health trend?


Brands and food distributors must remember that 42% of all households with children belong to Millennial moms and dads. There has been endless research on Millennials’ desire for healthier, all-natural foods, and this preference applies to the foods they buy for their children as well. Even lower-income Millennial parents prefer to pay more for healthier foods for their children than buy cheaper, “junk” foods.


Packaged Foods predicts that categories including ready-to-eat cereals, fruit snacks and other lunchbox foods will be hit the hardest by the health trend. These brands need to focus on improving their products by removing artificial ingredients and sweeteners while still maintaining the popular taste.


These categories should also focus on incorporating more fruits and vegetables without changing the taste of their products. This move will appease health-conscious parents while still attracting kids, who influence over 25% of parents when it comes to deciding what products to buy. Food distributors will see an increase in kid-friendly foods such as pizza, spaghetti, smoothies and desserts that find a way to sneak in fruits and vegetables and adapt to the “stealth health” trend.


Brands such as Ian’s Natural Foods and GoGo Squeez have captured the attention of Millennial parents because they take a healthier approach to classic kid-friendly foods. Ian’s Natural Foods, a line of frozen meals designed for kids, are gluten free and pride themselves on being a cleaner choice in the frozen food aisle. GoGo Squeez, a product line of conveniently packaged apple sauces, appeal to parents because they are all natural and made from 100% fruit. Both of these brands take foods that are normally considered to be packed full of sugar and artificial ingredients and put a healthy twist on them to gain parents’ approval. Food distributors should look to capitalize on the success of these products by delivering more healthy options to retailers.


Ready to launch a new kid’s food product? Contact Mr. Checkout Distributors to talk to a team of experienced and knowledgeable distributors that service over 35,000 grocery and convenience stores.

Will Snacking Transform Breakfast Goods?

Jared Koerten, senior analyst at Euromonitor, a global insight and consumer research firm, recently stated at SNAC International’s SNAXPO conference that Americans are snacking more, especially when on-the-go, a habit that will completely disrupt how consumers view breakfast.


Consumers are increasingly turning to snacking on-the-go, specifically when in the car, to save time in the morning on their way to work. This means that traditional breakfast foods including cereal, bacon and eggs, pancakes and waffles will no longer fit the average consumer’s morning lifestyle. Because of this, it’s no surprise that ready-to-eat cereal sales fell around $4 billion between 2000 and 2015.


To stay competitive in the breakfast market, brands must not only focus on health-conscious options, but also convenience. Food distributors should merchandise healthy breakfast foods around the register and towards the front of the store to immediately grab rushed consumers’ attention as they stop in for gas on their way to work.


As more and more consumers turn to replacing meals with snack products, food distributors and retailers must increase the number of high-protein product offerings. This is because consumers perceive high protein products as being more filling and acceptable for a meal replacement snack. Brands should advertise the protein content clearly on the front of the package to ensure products fly off of the shelves, especially during peak breakfast hours.


Food distributors and retailers should not be afraid of introducing uniquely flavored products, even if they’re not considered “normal” for breakfast. Millennials, a growing and powerful group of consumers, are always looking for unique flavors, textures and ingredients, even for breakfast.


Products such as breakfast biscuits, yogurts, and meal replacement bars will be sought after from these snack-happy consumers. One brand of breakfast biscuits, Belvita, saw an increase in sales from $75 million in 2012 to $150 million in 2014! Brands are finding ways to innovate and create new products to surprise this consumer group, including the Lance Quick Starts breakfast biscuit sandwiches that combine whole grain crackers with Greek yogurt. Retailers and food distributors should be on the lookout for new products such as these that marry together nutritional content and convenience to create a full, satisfying breakfast meal.


Want more insight on the changing demands of your customers? Contact Mr. Checkout Distributors to talk to a team of experienced and knowledgeable distributors that service over 35,000 grocery and convenience stores.


In early 2014, Congress passed and President Obama signed a comprehensive Farm Bill that ensures convenience stores can continue to play a meaningful role in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or the Program).

Leading up to the Farm Bill’s passage, NACS spent almost two years educating members of Congress and the Obama Administration on the important role that convenience stores play in the Program, particularly for financially challenged Americans that live in rural and deep urban environments. This education effort was in response to the 2012, Farm Bill, which was never enacted into law, that included language that would have prohibited any food retailer — including convenience stores — from redeeming SNAP benefits if 45% or more of the retailer’s revenue is derived from combined sales of hot food, tobacco and alcohol. NACS data indicates that this provision would have precluded most convenience stores in the United States from participating in the Program.

In 2013, the Senate modified this language to grant the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) substantial leeway to deny retailers the ability to participate in SNAP based on a variety of factors (the House farm bill did not contain similar language). Specifically, the Senate bill would have allowed USDA to promulgate regulations that restrict food stores’ ability to redeem SNAP benefits based on sales of items excluded from the Program, such as alcohol, hot food and tobacco. These items are referred to as “excepted items.”

Due in large part to education efforts by NACS, the House and Senate reached a compromise agreement that imposes some additional obligations on SNAP retailers, while preserving the important role convenience stores play in the Program.

First, it will require SNAP retailers to implement point-of-sale technology systems that will not redeem SNAP benefits for the purchase of ineligible items, and will further preclude cashiers from manually overriding this prohibition. A majority of convenience store operators already have such systems in place. For those that do not, they will eventually need to upgrade their systems, although this provision does not become effective until the Department of Agriculture issues regulations implementing it. This is likely to take at least several months.
Second, the compromise agreement requires SNAP retailers to stock at least seven different items in each of the four “staple food” categories. (Prior law required only three items in each category.)

Finally, the compromise requires SNAP retailers to stock at least one “perishable” food item in at least three of the four staple food categories. (Prior law required perishable items in only two of the staple food categories.)

Retail Impact

Many financially challenged Americans that reside in both urban and rural communities rely on convenience stores to redeem their SNAP benefits. More than 18,000 convenience stores currently reside in so-called “food deserts” where SNAP beneficiaries do not have access to traditional grocery stores, and the local convenience store is their only outlet to redeem this benefit. Prohibiting convenience stores from accepting SNAP benefits will negatively affect not only retailers but their customers and communities.

NACS Position

NACS supports the compromise agreement because it represents a dramatic improvement for the convenience store industry compared with earlier iterations of the Farm Bill. Most importantly, it allows convenience stores to continue to participate in the Program on a level playing field with other channels of commerce.​

Latest Action

President Obama signed the Farm Bill into law on February 7, 2014. NACS put together a compliance document outlining SNAP retailers’ obligations under the new Farm Bill.​​​​​ A document detailing new regulations regarding retailer use of SNAP-related Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) equipment, supplies, and related services is also available,as well as an FAQ document issued by the USDA.


LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The debut of chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s new healthy fast food restaurant, LocoL, is poised to open soon with another fresh offer: $1 gourmet coffee.

The chefs have partnered with Tony Konecny, co-founder of Tonx Coffee, to offer $1 cups of gourmet coffee at LocoL in Watts, California, reports The beans will be procured via an in-house roasting operation.

Beverages that customers won’t find at LocoL are soft drinks, notes the news source, adding that instead diners can choose from aqua frescas and coffee.

The celebrity chefs announced in 2014 that they were planning to open the first of their healthy fast-food restaurants in early 2015, designed to compete in areas with fast-food chains such as McDonald’s.

According to its website, LocoL is “real fast food made with the ideology, heart and science of a chef.”

“We believe that fast food restaurants can truly empower the communities they currently underserve. We believe that the giant corporations that feed most of America have degraded our communities by maximizing profits over decades. We believe that chefs should feed America, and not suits,” notes the website.


Consumers spent more than $602 billion dollars last year between Halloween and Valentine’s Day, which means most businesses can expect to see an uptick in sales in the coming weeks.

Here are three ways to set your business up for success with holiday marketing efforts.

Don’t Underestimate Your Customer Base

Consumers are savvier today than they’ve ever been. Most buy Google products, read reviews and compare pricing before making a purchase, so don’t hit them over the head with your message.

Unless your target market is younger than 12 years old, don’t treat them like children. Subtle, understated tactics often speak volumes. For example, the design team at Brilliant Earthreworked the home page of their website to showcase their stunning jewelry, with just a few small color tweaks to gently nudge the user toward a “holiday-themed” experience. The header features golden bubbles suggestive of fizzy champagne or Christmas lights, as well as rich swaths of berry reds and mossy greens to convey holiday cheer.

Embrace Design and Content Tools

Not every business has a full-time design team able to accommodate every holiday marketing whim. Instead, try a design platform like Canva to easily make professional-looking designs on the cheap. Connor Jones, founder and editor of, swears by the program: “When I want to make an attention-grabbing graphic quickly, or when I just want to make adjustments to an existing piece of copy, Canva is a lifesaver.”

Start Planning Early for Next Year

Even though your marketing team might not be in the Christmas spirit in May, the earlier you start brainstorming ideas, the more time you have to tweak and perfect them.

“Set aside time to brainstorm specific holiday marketing strategies way before you think it’s necessary to ensure that you can launch an expertly crafted campaign come December,” advises Andrea Berit, a representative from artificial Christmas tree retailer, Treetopia.

Aligning your brand’s message with the holidays doesn’t have to be a complicated process, but it does take some additional time, thought and effort. Start early, address your audience as savvy consumers and don’t feel guilty about turning to design or copywriting platforms to help crank out expertly crafted content.

 Kat Haselkorn is new media manager at NFIB-member business Go Fish Digital, an Internet marketing firm in Washington D.C.