In 2020, seeds and nuts sales are being driven by flavor innovations, increased assortments, as well as promotional offers with creative in-store displays and end caps that generate excitement. Particularly effective are themed floor displays during key seasons and promotions featured on end caps.
When it comes to the sunflower/pumpkin seeds segment, DAVID, Spitz, Frito-Lay and BIGS led the category in dollar sales at c-stores for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2019, according to IRI. In the snack nuts segment, Planters, Wonderful, Nut Harvest and Blue Diamond led in dollar sales for the same period.
Retailers expect continued growth of hot-and-spicy flavor profiles, plant-based snacks, better-for-you products (natural/organic, minimally processed, gluten-free, vegan), superfoods and paleo- or keto-friendly products.
IRI data for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2019, shows seeds dollar sales are up 2.4% at U.S. c-stores, with unit sales down 2.4% for the period. Snack nuts were up 2.1% in dollar sales, with unit sales down 2.8%.
Bob Phibbs, a small business consultant based in Coxsackie, N.Y., urged c-store operators to build on the impulse aspect of seeds and nuts with short, almost subliminal messaging.
He recommended a sign that simply reads, “Munchies?” as an effective way to appeal directly to the cues that trigger impulse purchases in the first place.
Impulse drives sales for Neissan Koroghli, a 7-Eleven franchisee in Las Vegas. Seeds and nuts represent a popular product in a major tourist city like Las Vegas.
Koroghil’s top-selling sunflower and pumpkin seed line is DAVID. The whole-roasted product line is a favorite among health-conscious consumers, in part because it contains no certified synthetic colors or artificial flavors.
Frito-Lay Original Sunflower Seeds is another strong seller. His top-selling nut lines sell for 99 cents to $1.69. Five-ounce bags of pistachio nuts, which retail for $4, are also strong sellers at his stores.