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    Diversifying Your Salty Snack Category

    Salty snacks are a c-store customer favorite. As shoppers come in to satisfy their salty cravings it is important to continually change-up currently stocked items and keep up-to-date on current savory trends.

    Pump Up the Protein

    Many customers are now looking for snacks that have more protein. Having options with high protein content, like Kind's Strong bars, gives shoppers energy and keeps them full longer. Another protein packed option are mixed nuts or trail mixes. Inexpensive to stock, nuts are a much healthier choice than other savory options like bagged potato chips.

    Offer Meat Snacks

    In the salty snack category, meat snacks have made the most profits and continue to drive growth. Meat snacks sold over $2.8 billion in the year ending February 2017.  Unsurprisingly, the top selling meat products were split between jerky and sticks. Here are some popular meat snack brands that will compliment your current stock:

    Country Archer Meat Sticks; these snacks are paleo and 100% grass-fed beef and turkey. This is a great option for those who are health-conscious and looking for to-go meat products without antibiotics or added hormones.

    Duke's Smoked Brisket Line; this new line will have new Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Shorty Sausages along with flavors like chipotle barbecue, honey bourbon, and sea salt. These meats are 100% grass-fed brisket steak making it a great new option to stock.

    Krave Beef Jerky; This meat snack has no added nitrites or artificial ingredients. There are four different flavor combinations that combine protein, quinoa, and dried fruit. The flavors include chipotle cherry beef, cranberry thyme turkey, mango jalapeño pork, and wild blueberry beef. These are savory flavors that many of your customers may be tempted to try.

    Salty Can Be Low-Sodium

    To cut back on excess salt, customers may be reaching for some of the following items and combinations:

    • An apple with peanut or almond butter
    • Fruit based trail mix
    • Fresh cut veggies with dip
    • Kale, sweet potato or other chip alternatives
    • Low-sodium tortilla chips with salsa or cheese dip
    • Lightly salted pretzels

    All of these great-tasting options will help curb salt cravings without the extra sodium.

    Healthy Picks for Kids

    Today, parents are resisting candy or sugar-filled drinks to satisfy their children's snack cravings. Instead, they are reaching for salty options that can provide better nutrition to their children's current diets. Here are some of the best savory options for kids:

    Meat and Cheese Deli Roll-ups; roll-ups can be a yummy snack or even a meal if paired with other yummy sides. This is an easy way to add variety to your snack section and stand out to parents.

    Gluten-Free Crackers; many children have allergies or dietary restrictions. Offering gluten-free option gives parents to the flexibility to get snacks on-the-go.

    Peanut Butter; this is another option that can be offered in many different ways. You can pair this with fruit, veggies, or crackers. Having small to-go packets for parents is a great way to diversify your offerings for kids.

    Granola Bites; brands like Quaker are offering ready-to-eat granola bites ina variety of flavors and packed with fiber and made with whole grains.

    Unique Low-Calorie Options

    Often times salty snacks mean more calories. Many people are trying to watch their calorie intake and find that trying to diet can be even harder when you are on a road trip or running late. When salty cravings hit customers will be coming to your c-store to get their low-calorie fix. Here are some yummy options that at please your dieting customers.

    • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
    • Baked Sweet Potato Fries
    • Air-Popped Popcorn
    • Pickle Slices
    • Low-Sodium Deli Meat

    Expand the Guilty Pleasure Section

    Whether it is an afternoon snack or late night craving, c-stores are known for having the delicious snacks that customers want. Items like chips are a must have, but consider offering more flavors and styles. Instead of original potato chips try a new limited edition flavors and sizes. You can also do this with trail mix, cheese puffs, crackers, pretzels, and packaged popcorn.

    Overall, there are many different things you can do to diversify your snack category. Think about who your customers are to help you decide how you should change up your stock. You should also be aware of your location. If you are near a gym then you should add more protein bars and low-calorie snacks. If you are by a school then offering more kid friendly options can be helpful for parents. Taking the time to diversify your savory options can help boost your sales and appeal to more customers.