According to the event, Kellogg's new cereal smoothie brand Joy Bol and Rice Krispies Treats Poppers were named the number one 'cool new' snack products, while its Cheez-It Snap'd and Pringles Wavy chips ranked sixth.
Some of the high-growth snack categories, including jerky and popcorn, played around innovative formats. Conagra's Boomchickapop, for example, launched its microwavable popcorn at the show, while its jerky brand Duke's paired sausages with cheese crackers in a new snack pack.
Meat snacks category leader Jack Link's noted innovation, portability and on-the-go snacking will continue to be key platforms for the company next year as it extends its presence outside the main meat snack set. Its new products include new products include Jack Link’s Smoked Beef Sausages, Jack Link’s Steak Bites and Cold Crafted Linkwich.
“We are on a mission to make protein snacking accessible to everyone,” said TD Dixon, chief marketing officer at Jack Link’s.
“Consumers continue to seek more protein in their diet, so we’ve focused our innovation efforts, whether that be form, packaging or flavors, to provide consumers new opportunities to engage in the category. These efforts are creating incredible growth for our customers and the entire category.”
On the confectionery side, manufacturers also expanded in their flavor experiences for the consumer. Mars Wrigley Confectionery debuted its M&M's hazelnut spread at NACS, which is the company's second soft-center M&M's product after the caramel variety.
To produce this new confection, Mars will invest $142M in its Cleveland, TN production facility, adding 79 full-time jobs, according spokesperson Anthony Guerrieri.
He said the US confectionery giant will also expect to invest millions more in its US supply chain and manufacturing in the coming years, with Cleveland leading its latest charge.