Home » Discover New Snack Brands: A Guide for Independent Retailers

Discover New Snack Brands: A Guide for Independent Retailers

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Small retailers can learn about innovative snack brands breaking into the market, offering unique takes on classic snacks. Startups like Oddball are introducing plant-based jelly snacks with real fruit and no additives, while Toto brings functional desserts infused with health-promoting ingredients. By stocking these emerging brands, independent retailers can attract health-conscious customers and diversify their snack offerings.

With the popularity of snacking on the rise, food entrepreneurs are stepping into the spotlight with fresh twists on traditional snacks. From bars to jelly treats to crunchy formats, startups are venturing into various snack options, presenting small retailers with exciting new choices to stock on their shelves.

Oddball, a New York-based brand, is a prime example. It’s taking on the 126-year-old Jell-O brand with its innovative line of plant-based jelly snacks. These jiggly snacks, formulated with real fruit and no preservatives, sugar, or gelatin, offer a modern take on a classic treat. Flavors like grapefruit, berry, and mango coconut are enticing customers. Oddball’s founder and CEO, Sophia Cheng, teamed up with a Michelin-starred chef to create these products. They are now making their way to specialty grocers in New York. Originally from Singapore and Hong Kong, Cheng noticed the opportunity to expand the jelly market, which is a massive $5 billion industry in China.

Cheng shared in an interview with Food Entrepreneur, “In Asia, jellies are a huge industry because fruit is such a big part of our culture, and it is a more fun way to eat fruit. When I came to the US for college… I thought it was really strange that Jell-O was the only brand of jelly and also the category here.”

Startups like Toto are also stepping into the snacking arena with unique offerings. Toto is introducing functional desserts, particularly gut-friendly cookies. Created by founder and CEO Sydney Webb, who battled Crohn’s disease and colon cancer, Toto’s cookies are made with ingredients that support immunity and gut health. Adaptogens like turkey tail and reishi, as well as coconut sugar, are key components. Webb’s mission was to create delicious and nourishing cookies that contribute to overall well-being.

“I wanted to find a way to make these cookies delicious and nourishing,” Ms. Webb said. “I wanted to find a way to make things that are healthy taste amazing but to do it in a way that is really beneficial to the body.”

In the competitive world of snacks, startups are breaking barriers by innovating within well-loved categories. By adding functional ingredients to familiar snacks, these brands are challenging conventional options and catching the attention of health-conscious consumers.

Monica Watrous, managing editor of Food Business News and Food Entrepreneur, highlighted in a webinar, “Emerging brands are expanding the bounds of traditional snacking categories and challenging mainstream companies with innovative new offerings.”

For independent retailers, this presents a golden opportunity. By staying informed about these new and exciting snack brands, store owners can diversify their product offerings and attract health-conscious customers. Stocking items like Oddball’s plant-based jelly snacks and Toto’s gut-friendly cookies could set small retailers apart and bring a fresh appeal to their shelves.

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