When sweets and snacks go 'thin'

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Thin snacks are a result of growing demand for on-the-go convenience.
Thin snacks are a result of growing demand for on-the-go convenience.
Sweets and snacks companies are increasingly targeting consumers by branding their products “thin” to suggest convenience or health, or to tap the snacking chocolate trend.

Among firms adopting such a strategy is Nonni’s Foods - which showcased its recently expanded THINaddictives Biscotti range at the Snack Attack​ event in New York this month - and Wasa, which has just launched a new Thins snack cracker line (see box-out below).

THINaddictives are thin almond cookies that are twice baked with antioxidant-rich ingredients. With suggested retail prices from $3.29 to $3.99 per box, they are described as being low in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates.

The company’s original product line includes cinnamon raisin, cranberry, mango coconut, and pistachio flavors.

This year, Nonni’s launched a dark chocolate almond line including dark chocolate banana almond, dark chocolate cherry almond and double dark chocolate almond. Both ranges are available in the grocery, mass and club channels across the US.

Double-digit growth

“The Nonni's brand has consistently experienced double-digit growth for more than 10 years, and the THINaddictives line has doubled over the past three years,”​ said senior brand marketing manager Patricia Bridges.

THINaddictives was acquired by Nonni’s Foods in 2012, and is claimed to have been one of the first brands in the US market that adopted the “thin”​ concept.

“Consumers are more interested in snacking than ever before and seeking better-for-you alternatives,”​ said Bridges.

'Easy on-the-go option'

“Thin snacks are a result of this growing demand. Nonni’s THINaddictives’ shape and packaging make them an easy on-the-go option, which also fits the convenience factor important to consumers.”

Nonni’s Biscotti is currently the number one selling biscotti in the US, and the only national brand sold coast-to-coast, according to the company.

What other snacks have gone thin?

Wasa Thins

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Wasa launched its new whole grain Thins snack cracker line this month.

The Wasa Thins crackers come in two flavors - sesame & sea salt; and rosemary & sea salt, and are both available in the specialty cracker aisle across the US with a suggested retail price of $2.99.

BarkThins

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BarkThins, recently acquired by Hershey, has been growing rapidly and it’s now in more than 20,000 stores.

The brand's latest flavor, dark chocolate peanut with sea salt, will be sold at gourmet, conventional, natural and specialty retailers by mid-summer this year with a suggested retail price of $4.99. 

BarkThins’ CEO Scott Semel has previously described the products as combining two of America’s biggest consumption categories, chocolate and snack, yet blurring the line between the two.

Good Thins

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Aiming to create more wholesome savory snacks, Mondelēz rolled out its Good Thins snacks range in March this year across the US. The range includes potato snacks in original, spinach & garlic and sweet potato flavors; chickpea snacks in garlic & herb flavor; and a rice snack in veggie blend, simply salt, poppy & sesame seed and sea salt & pepper flavors.

All Good Thins snacks are free from artificial flavors, colors, cholesterol and PHO, according to Mondelēz. "The name Good Thins pays tribute to the taste and wholesome ingredients, as well as the thin and crispy texture​," said Good Thins marketing director Danielle Brown.

Mountain Thins

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Washington-based candy maker Brown and Haley displayed snacking chocolate line Mountain Thins line at the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. Packaged in 5.3 ounce-bags, they are available in Trail Mix in milk chocolate with pretzels & banana; Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter with peanut & sea salt; and Dark Chocolate Wild Berry with blueberries and raspberry crunch.

ThinkThin

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ThinkThin - which offers protein bars, bites and oatmeal - was founded in 1999 by Lizanne Falsetto and was purchased by Glanbia in November last year. 

Glanbia said the brand generated revenues of about €80m ($90m) in the 12 months to September 2015 and was growing at about 30% year on year. 

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