By Lynn Dornblaser
Director, CPG Trend Insight
When are nuts not just plain old nuts? This line from Frito-Lay, introduced in November, may help answer this question. The venerable snack company has expanded its offering, and in a unique way. TrueNorth nuts have a completely different look and feel from all the other nuts in the company’s portfolio (think Planters). The packaging, positioning, and advertising all seem to position this line as being for a more upscale snacking experience, and also for those consumers seeking a more wholesome or natural snack.
The positioning is right for the time. As consumers look for more healthful snacks, nuts fit the bill (healthy oils, protein, fiber, nutrient-rich). As consumers look for more natural products, nuts also fit the bill. This dual approach appears to be where TrueNorth is going. Back-of-pack copy says: “Our whole nuts are guided by these product truths: 100% natural, no preservatives, no artificial flavors, no added colors, good source of protein, and good source of fiber.” Note that there is no low-fat, low-calorie, or other low-in positioning. Rather, the positioning is along the lines of inherent goodness of the nuts themselves, a key trend identified by Mintel that appears across a number of categories and product types.
This line includes a wide range, with several varieties of whole, salted nuts, plus nuts enrobed with crunching elements, clusters that combine nuts and sweet elements, and crisps which look and taste a bit like crackers.
Ads appear in a variety of shelter magazines (e.g. Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Gardens) and also magazines such as Cooking Light, which has a stronger health focus than the others. All position the product line as a way to “bring inspiration to natural snacking.”
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