By: Steve Holtz | September 1, 2023

McLane Co.’s new Engage trade show offered a sneak peek at some of the new products and updates that will be unveiled in more detail during the NACS Show in October. And the volume of them suggests the supply chain-driven pauses in innovation caused by the pandemic are behind the industry.

Here’s a look at six product innovations that could drive convenience-store sales in the next year …

Reese’s Caramel Big Cup

Following on the success of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups filled with Reese’s Puffs, potato chips and more, this year’s innovation from the Hershey Co. is the Caramel Big Cup. A formal rollout will come in time for the NACS Show in October. Also coming from Hershey Co., new variations on Kit Kat, Hershey’s and Cadbury chocolate bars, and Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum.

Dave’s Killer Bread Organic Snack Bar

After giving organic whole-grain bread a cool makeover under the Dave’s Killer Bread brand, Flowers Food has extended the brand to a line of Organic Snack Bars, now sized for single-serve sales in 1.75-ounce packaging. The bars are available in three flavors: Cocoa Brownie Blitz, Oat-rageous Honey Almond and Trail Mix Crumble.

Deli Express XXL

E.A. Sween Co. has repackaged it Deli Express XXL line of sandwiches in kraft paper, making them ideal for merchandizing in a hot case or cold case. The line of 9-ounce-plus sandwiches is available in BBQ Rib, Chicken With Cheese and Char-Broil Burger With Cheese.

Chex Mix Remix

General Mills is putting a twist on Chex Mix with a new Remix line extension. Cheesy Pizza and Zesty Taco flavor profiles are coming to market nationwide late this summer. Meanwhile, the original Chex Mix brand gets a sweet turn with a new Muddy Buddies made with Funfetti frosting-coated Chex cereal.

Skippy P.B. Bites

Hormel Foods has partnered with the Girl Scouts of America to create three new flavors of its Skippy P.B. Bites based on popular girl Scout cookie flavors. Repackaged in stand-up pouches, the new flavors include Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut Caramel and Adventurefuls.

Spicy Meat Snacks

And on the heels of Jack Link’s success with its Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili beef jerky, watch for a variety of spicy takes on meat snacks. Among those being sampled during the McLane Engage trade show:

  • Jack Link’s Spicy Red Pepper Beef Jerky
  • Slim Jim Chile Limon
  • Country Archer Fuego Smoked Sausages

Kinder Chocolate

After years of primarily marketing Kinder products to children with toys and quirky packaging, Ferrero has released a more adult chocolate offering. Kinder Chocolate is a “milk-chocolate treat with chewy milky filling.” The new offer comes in 3.0-ounce and 1.8-ounce sizes of individual wrapped chocolate bars.

Source: CSP