Snaxshot #21:Camp Snax-a-way

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A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.

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Greetings from your semi-cringe, unsure what an NFT is, happy that Doge is back, but even more exhausted, Millennial camp counselor, and welcome to Camp Snax-a-way!

I see you’ve got the itinerary, when’s dinner you ask? We don’t do full meals here silly, just snacks.

I’ll let you wander off, and please, by all means, whatever you do, stray from the path.


Snack Paradox 🌌

What’s in a snack, that consumed in any other way would taste just as good? If you ask a Millennial, the answer would probably be, adaptogens, nootropics, some kind of mushroom, and overall, FUNCTIONALITY, if it’s not functional, is it even deemed good enough to be given in tribute to us as ever consuming deities? Alas, our generation has played a pivotal part in their salvation, giving snacks a redemptive arch, considering this behavior used to be seen as a negative habit in days of yore, don’t snack or you’ll spoil your meal, they used to say, little did the non-believers know, that ultimately there was no meal, there were only snacks.

Our generation has changed the way we go about feeding ourselves, whereas our parents grew up sitting around the table in elevation of what they considered, meals, we grew up impatiently waiting for the “ping” of a microwave, a most anticipated message heralding, the time had come —for Bagel Bites. As adults, we are stuck on that same instant gratification sentiment, we’ve just tried to give it a healthier spin. We are the consuming kids, after all, wired to carry extremely online personas, to constantly think of output, the shift from meals to snacks has only strengthened, at times to an extreme, here’s looking at you Soylent. The return of the snack isn’t just all about health consciousness, there is a lot of comforts we still find in nostalgic snacks, even as we tried to swear them off as old vices, after 2020, BigFood thrived as we craved a blanket of security in the familiar, even if that included Little Debbie oatmeal creme pies.

You mean to say that Millennials, a generation that is informed beyond its predecessors, who are trying to clean up their pantries, who are seeking healthier options, cutting out sugar, etc, are still stuck on these snacks, even if said brands are the equivalent of a toxic ex? Welcome to the snack paradox. You see, no matter how much we stray from the path, the reality is we grew up with these snacks that became an equivalent of nourishment, and in many playgrounds, as signalers. No matter how much we try to GOOPify snacks, the truth remains, we are 90s kids to the core, the generation of Dunkaroos, Trix yogurts, and color-changing magic spoons, embedded in our DNAs and we continue to carry them with us because when you’re disconnected from your food source, you are being sold your own experience at a premium, happiness in the form of a snack, isn’t that what we all crave?

—Snacking in 2020 became a $1.2 trillion business

—In 2020, consumers chose snacks according based on this criteria:

  • comfort

  • fun to eat

  • indulgent

  • relaxing

—Around the world, 2/3 of global adults say snack time is one of the few moments of peace.

—In 2020, snacks were utilized by the majority of WFH as a source of entertainment for their kids.

—Mindless snacking hows now shifted to mindful snacking as globally, more consumers report taking time to indulge in snacks.

—Shopping for snacks online has now become part of routine to majority of Millennials entinced by convenience and because it was seenig as a safer alternative during 2020.

  • Most Millennials are seeking mix-n-match bulk pack options

  • Gamified experiences that result in free snacks

  • Subscription snack services

—Snack discovery shifted to URL during 2020 with 60% of US millennial consumers saying they tried new snacks discovered online/social media.

Lunchables Legacy 🍕

In the mid-80s and in true YUPPIE, economic boom era, Oscar Mayer asked themselves, how do we capitalize on scraps and sell more bologna at a time where sales became stagnant? This prompt itself put in motion the creation of Millennials most fond snack, conceived in what I can only imagine being a very sad looking board room, the Lunchable came to be, a promise to Moms all over of convenience, and for all Kids, a modern-looking snack, that screamed FUCK YOU, to every average brown paper bag lunch out there. Oscar Mayer sold over 1.6 billion Lunchables in the first decade, alone.

Trading snacks as a kid is endemic of Millennials, you had top-tier ones like Dunkaroos, Lunchables, your medium-tier ones like Fruit Roll-Ups and strawberry Pop-Tarts, and then the trinket ones like Cry Baby or Gushers, if you’ve seen the 90s animated show, Recess, you knew many a hustler kid in your time. Lunchables in particular created their entire look around resembling a “gift” a way for guilt-ridden, overworked mothers to feel like they were gifting their child a worthy meal as they went off to school. And this phenomenon, that is, snacks as our original external signalers or trading commodities is not just limited to the US, consider a German millennial who revealed to me, in his school, Lunchables were stripped and taken apart, pieces traded individually, and sold at a premium.

Such is this snack’s influence, I personally attribute the exponential rise of charcuterie and grazing boards to the indoctrination of Lunchables. In fact, now that it’s a 30-something alongside fellow contemporaries, their legacy is older than the younger generations that are consuming it. You’ve only got to go through Lunchables tagged photos to see the amount of UGC that is coming from Millennials, GenZ, and Gen Alpha alike. Even despite what kids have had to go through in 2020, snacks continue to serve as external signalers, even moms letting their kids go through grocery delivery apps, allowing them to purchase “snack hauls” which they then pose with for social media, the appeal of Lunchables, transcends generations.

—According to Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), almost 50 million Americans used Lunchables in 2020

—In 2017, Kraft Heinz sold $1.36 billion of Lunchables, alone.

—There were many contenders prior to landing on the name Lunchables, including On-Trays, Crackerwiches, Snackables, and Fun Mealz.

—Lunchables picked up more than two points of market share in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Hungry, Hungry Alphas 🤤

In the most poetic of ways, from the consuming generation, Millennials, the eco-conscious, Gen Alphas are born, kids who when asked what they want to do when they grow up, seem to respond, that whatever it entails, they want it to help save their inherited ruins, planet Earth.

Millennial parents seem committed to ensuring their descendants indulge in healthier habits, consider 1/3 Millennial parents are making their own baby food, to no surprise the more allegations like high levels of arsenic in BigBabyFood brands come to light. The eldest of Gen Alpha are now 10 years old and the generation bracket caps at 2025, these are digitally native kids, whereas Millennials grew up with digital as a novelty, GenZ with it as utility, for them, it is their entire existence.

—By 2025, Gen Alpha will be 2 billion strong, or 1/4 of the world population

—Alphas are expected to have purchasing influence as children, that is higher than both their predecessors

—Whereas Millennial and GenZ grew up consuming via TV, laptop, mobile devices, Gen Alpha is going to grow up completely influenced by algorithms and different kids of AI.

—Millennials obviously making food decisions for Gen Alpha so they will grow up with

  • Less sugar

  • Less red meat in lieu of alternatives

  • More exposure to ethnic flavors

  • More whole grains, fruits and vegetables

—Visual appeal of food plays a huge part, being kids of the Instagram generation color, size, shape and texture are increasingly important

GenZ preferences can also indicate stumbling upon the same paradox mentioned above, as recent surveys have Lay’s as their favorite salty snacks,  Cheez-Its for crackers, Kit-Kats in the chocolate category, Nature Valley for a snack bar, Oreo for cookies, and Sour Patch Kids as favorite candy. (Which according to this thread, seems to be true for Alpha as well) However, Gen Alpha seems to have a more sense of awareness than predecessors, kids growing up post-stereotype, in a space where gamification is how they digest information and countering the 90s kid nag factor, they’ve shifted dynamics that seem to be counter marketers original formula, as in they want their purchases to be more meaningful, and they will pester less about a product, but more around the activism around it.

Generation SnaX đź‘…

Dino Bars: Gen Alpha loves a good edible…wrapper. These fun bars are allegedly mess-free, and waste-free.

Green Mustache: Their Mustache Munchies are here to upgrade your Goldfish snacks.

UNREAL: They are here to be Gen Alpha’s Mars Inc. alternative and I’m genuinely here for it.

Gigantic: Better for you chocolate bars that are equally as nostalgic that you won’t feel guilty letting your Alphas indulge in.

Sr. Mango: Hailing from Mexico and in favor of poorly drawn aesthetics, they are dried mango snacks that include dark chocolate and chili flavors.

Wild Fruits: 90s parents rejoice, they are a better-for-you alternative to the classic Pop-Tart that is still equal parts as fun.

Unite: Protein bars that include flavors from around the world, a good way to satisfy literal cravings for novelty.

Flexy: This Colombian brand provides a healthier alternative to fruit rollups.

Dreampops: Obsessed with the geometric play not to mention plant-based frozen treats that I’m sure will become a staple amongst Gen Alpha kids during summer.

Snow Days: Don’t cry for me Totino’s rolls, Millennials parents and Alphas alike can rejoice in this alternative to unhealthy pizza rolls.

BEAR: A UK brand whose Yoyo snack is also a healthier alternative to the iconic fruit roll up.

Biotiful: This can only be described in TWO WORDS: KEFIR GOGURT!!!!!

Mmmly: These cookies are seeking to be a better and more functional alternative to curb sugar cravings amongst Alphas.

Schoolyard Snacks: They not only offer a better-for-you Hot Cheetos alternative but also dived into cereal puffs.

Know Brainer: These keto, paleo, low sweetened marshmallows can and probably will take on Jet Puffed.

Smash Mallow: The Rice Krispies treat snack got disrupted, for the betterment of humanity and Alphas.

Muddy Bites: Bite-sized waffle cones filled with chocolate!

Real Handful: Another healthy UK brand focused on children's snacks, I’ve decided to include here because I’m a huge fan of their poorly drawn aesthetics, let Alphas make this aesthetic cool again.

Noshi: EDIBLE FOOD PAINT, EDIBLE FOOD PAINT, I REPEAT EDIBLE FOOD PAINT. *ADDS TO CART*

Sundays: Launching soon and here to challenge Oreo directly by offering a healthier alternative.

Munchachos: A curated box filled with kid snacks that feature different flavors from around the world.

Cub Pantry: Healthy snacks for babies, toddlers, and kids delivered to you monthly, to the relief of every Millennial parent out there?!

Spoonful of News 🥄

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