Slideshow: Dairy central to snack innovation

by Donna Berry
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CHICAGO — Ninety-one per cent of consumers snack multiple times throughout the day and 8% of these consumers forgo the traditional three-square meals in favor of all-day snacking, according to research from The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash.

Food and beverage marketers are down-sizing packages, getting creative with flavors and nutrition profiles to get the snacking consumers’ attention. Dairy foods manufacturers are no exception.

The eating occasion also has evolved into mindful snacking, with nutrition and health, or what the snack provides, increasingly important. This prioritization makes nutrient-rich dairy foods attractive to daily snack eaters.

Borden Cheese Snack Bars
Dairy Farmers of America now offers Borden Cheese Snack Bars  in Colby Jack, Gouda, mild cheddar and pepper Jack varieties.

Marketing dairy as a snack is not a new idea. String cheese and single-serve yogurt cups have been snacking staples for some time. But some shoppers need to be told that a food is intended for snacking.

Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, Wash., labels its new 0.75-oz individually wrapped organic cheese medallions sold in packs of 32 as cheese snacks, with each snack providing 5 grams of protein.

Others have been following suit. Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City, now offers Borden Cheese Snack Bars. Sold in packs of 10, the individually wrapped bars come in Colby Jack, Gouda, mild cheddar and pepper Jack varieties.

Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups
Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups contain about 200 calories and come in cherry, milk chocolate, salted caramel and strawberry varieties.

Both cheese snacks contain 70 calories each. In general, most snack packs are designed to deliver around 100 calories, with 200 calories considered the fine line between snack and meal.

Le Mars, Iowa-based Wells Enterprises Inc. wants to ensure shoppers recognize ice cream as a sweet snack. The company’s new Blue Bunny Bunny Snacks come in a resealable stand-up pouch, with each pouch containing six individually wrapped 2.4-oz ice cream treats. The snack comes in four varieties, including chocolate chip cookie, chocolate vanilla twist, cookies and cream and salted caramel pretzel. Each serving contains less than 160 calories.

Chicago-based Kraft Heinz Co. offers refrigerated Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups. The 3.25-oz clear-plastic single-serve cups contain about 200 calories and come in cherry, milk chocolate, salted caramel and strawberry varieties. Cheesecake filling is the first ingredient, with cream cheese the first component of the filling.

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By Stuart 1/31/2018 6:43:58 PM
In the climate change era, clean label will mean consumers will look to avoid or even boycott ingredients that are complicit in causing climate change. Sadly, dairy milk, whey protein and caseins are going to be in the crosshairs of consumers within a few years and product developers need to think twice about including these as ingredients. Why? Dairy milk and byproducts like whey and sodium caseinate, etc. are major sources of methane - belched out the mouths of dairy cows and beef cattle as well as emanating our their rears and from the manure. It's clear that climate change is here as 16 of the hottest years ever recorded have been in the last 17 years. Carbon pricing is coming. The dairy greenhouse gas methane is 25X more effective at trapping heat than CO2. Therefore, the methane price or tax should be 25X whatever the CO2 price is - to be fair. What will happen to dairy, whey and casein prices if and when a methane tax is imposed? If the weather keeps getting hotter each year, that tax could be imposed and start going up very soon. All that's needed is one crazy hot year. 2018? 2019? Of course the dairy industry doesn't want its methane secret to get out. But product developers need to do their own research and take a good hard look at the methane problem. They need to decide for themselves if they want to be part of the climate change solution or keep being part of the problem. If they want to help in fighting climate change they need to move to non-dairy ingredients (plant proteins) now. If they want to avoid methane and carbon tax ingredient price shocks in the future, they need to avoid dairy and beef ingredients. Sorry, I love my steak, milk, cheese and whey as much as anyone but I'm cutting back. It's one small thing consumers can do to help in the fight against climate change. If there is a bright side to the methane problem, it's that methane drops out of the atmosphere in just ten years versus carbon dioxide taking a hundred years or more. Translation: cutting your dairy and beef consumption now will start helping within a decade, well within our lifetimes. That's going to be something the public will gravitate to.