NEW YORK — Last month members of an SN consumer focus group discussed their preferences within the "variety snacks" category, which includes foods like nuts, seeds, popcorn and meat snacks.
Consumers Centers, a research firm with offices in New York and New Jersey, chose the shoppers from its database. They were paid for their participation. Phil Lempert, contributing editor to SN, moderated. ConAgra funded the research.
See upper right for more captions.
Read Consumers Share Key Thoughts on Snack Aisle
Photos by Jenna Telesca
Captions by Jenna Telesca and Carol Angrisani
Several of the shoppers said they were concerned about nutrition when choosing snacks. </br>From left to right: Justin Oland, 34; Sabrina Louercio, 35; <em>SN</em> Contributing Editor Phil Lempert; and Melissa Risolo, 38.
The consumers had several ideas for revamping the snack aisle, including putting the healthier items first and eliminating shelf danglers.
Participants said they like to eat popcorn because it is healthier, although they weren't able to cite its health benefits.
Lynn Rice (pictured above), a 37-year-old mother of two, said she eats almonds every day, also because they are healthy.
Alex Aronowicz, 33, on left, regularly eats sunflower seeds as a snack. John Vitale, 49, is pictured on right.
Male members of the group were more interested in sunflower seeds than the female. The activity of eating the seeds was described as part of the appeal.
The consumer panel pointed to products they would be interested in trying.
Some of the shoppers said if they were given snack sample bags when checking out, they'd be more likely to purchase new products. Justin Oland, 34, pictured on right.
“A lot of people don’t have time to read labels,” said Ginger Jenkins, 48, on right. In addition to rearranging the aisle by health attributes, she advocated shelf signs describing nutritional value.
The consumers were also very concerned about the nutritional value of the snacks their kids ate.
The shoppers discussed what logos and packaging appealed to them.