Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020 - 31

Corn dips and salsa are becoming more popular on restaurant menus,
and the version of the dip from Rojo's fits in well with that concept.

Consumers seek clean label dips and spreads
As shoppers eat more meals and snacks at home, they're increasingly
looking for better-for-you options. That was a trend that was increasing
before the pandemic, too-a report from SPINS noted that in 2018 the
conventional snacking market declined 2% while fresh snacks rose by
6%-but consumers have a renewed interest in healthier options as they
are trying to lose weight picked up during quarantine down time.
"As snacking frequency continues to grow, consumers are becoming
more conscious of how they're snacking," said Mandy Bottomlee,
director of content marketing for Pleasant Prairie, Wis.-based Good
Foods. "Consumers are favoring clean ingredients, clean labels, free
from choices."
Good Foods makes a variety of dips, guacamoles and dressings that
are clean-label, non-GMO and gluten-free. Select products are also
vegan and dairy free.
When it comes to flavors, Bottomlee noted that classics remain
king. Currently, French onion, ranch and avocado are driving the
category, she said. The company's top selling products include Chunky
Guacamole, Avocado Mash, Queso and Buffalo-Style Dip.
"People are eating many more meals at home and cooking more in
general," Bottomlee said. "From what we can see, consumers are finding
balance between the indulgent and comforting dairy dips and the
healthier options such as plant-based dips."
Brittany Requejo, marketing manager for Newton, Wis.-based Pine
River, noted that the cheese spread company has also seen an increased
interest in clean and fresh eating driving the popularity of dips and
spreads.
Pine River's line of Clean Label Cold Pack Cheese Spreads are crafted
without preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or added
hormones and are cold pressure treated for safety, allowing an extended
shelf life of 330 days. The spreads are available in Port Wine, Sharp
Cheddar, Garlic & Herb, Hot Habanero and Spicy Beer flavors with an
SRP of $4.25.
"Our clean label spread has been gaining popularity over the last few
years," Requejo said. "It was something people were asking for at trade
shows, so people are looking for things that are good for your body and
that you can eat with fruits and veggies."
Over the summer months Lakeview Farms debuted its Fresh
Provisions brand, a line of plant-based dips that include French onion,
ranch, dill pickle, chocolate and caramel flavors, as well as fresh-cut
salsa, Klein said.
GOOD FOODS, LAKEVUEW FARMS, PINE RIVER

Creative pairings and cross-merchandising
With many US consumers showing increased interest in preparing
their own meals and snacks, Requejo said that Pine River is trying to
encourage consumers to think outside of the box when teaming up
their cheese spreads with other food items.
While crackers, breads and pretzels are a classic pair with cheese
spreads, Pine River is encouraging shoppers to also think of the cheese
spreads as a potential recipe ingredient such as drizzling the company's
sharp cheddar cheese spread over broccoli. With over 30 variations of

spreads between Pine River's
cold packs, clean-label cold
packs and snack spreads,
there are plenty of ways
customers can incorporate
the spreads into eating
occasions throughout
the day.
"We're really trying to
broaden people's opinions
on using our cheese
spreads in recipes of
all kinds," Requejo said.
"Our cold pack starts with
40-pound blocks of grade-A
Wisconsin cheddar, and is then
ground together with other dairy
ingredients without the use of heat,
so it's a different form of a natural
cut of cheddar. We encourage people
to put it on their eggs, put it in their
meatballs, drizzle it on fish, there's a lot
of possibilities."
She suggested that retailers think
about cross-merchandising their dips
and spreads with ingredients that make
up a recipe, which could be especially helpful in the absence of offering
instore samples due to the pandemic. For example, recipe cards for mac
& cheese could be placed on a display along with the cheese spread,
noodles and other ingredients needed for the recipe so everything's all
in one place.
Requejo pointed out that the less customers have to think about
finding all of the ingredients, the better. Shoppers want easy meal and
snack solutions. She also suggested that grocers incorporate holidays
and special events into their displays, because special occasions can
often be the reason a shopper makes a trip to the store.
Bottomlee of Good Foods added that it's not that uncommon for
customers to use their dips and spreads for pairings other than crackers,
chips or veggies. Good Foods products can also be used to make
sauces for meals, which adds lots of flavor and saves customers the
time of making a sauce from scratch.
The company has digital coupons, shopper and social campaigns,
and cross-brand promotions that the company can help retailers use
to drive sales of their products. Like Requajo, Bottomlee also suggested
showing customers unique ways to use the products either with recipe
cards or even online video demonstrations.
Lakeview's Klein suggested finding places outside of the instore
deli to promote dips and spreads, such as the beer aisle, the produce
department or the chip aisle.
"One of our best examples of cross-merchandising is what we do
with our Rojo's-brand salsas in the chip aisle," he said. "We'll actually put
up signage in the chip aisle telling people to try Rojo's salsa in the deli
department, and we have a call-out in deli department telling people to
try the salsa with the chips."

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Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020

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