If there are three things the 2016 Healthy Food Guide winners have in common, it’s innovation, creativity and an acute awareness of consumer trends.
The Australian Healthy Food Guide Awards identify the healthiest foods on supermarket shelves that make it easy for people to shop, buy and eat good food. And 2016 was a big year for healthy food products. Not only are the supermarket aisles overflowing with newcomers – from on-the-go breakfast snacks to savoury muesli bars – but big brands have also been rethinking their recipes with a healthy twist.
But the winners don’t just stand out in the health food market: with the way they approach their business, products and consumers, these brands can offer inspiration to any manufacturers, in any industry.
Here, we put the spotlight on three health food winners and what you can learn:
MCKENZIE’S FOODS: MAKE IT EASY
Today’s Australian consumers are seeking food and drink that ticks two boxes: healthy and convenient. McKenzie’s Foods offers exactly that with its wholesome SuperBlend range, winner of the coveted 2016 Product of the Year award.
Launched in 2015 as a completely new concept, McKenzie’s SuperBlend range is available in three different varieties, with each variant specifically targeting a nutritional platform – protein, fibre and energy. For example, the protein product gives consumers an easy way to reinvent soups, sides and salads, while providing an average 20% of the recommended daily intake of protein. And in case that’s a little too easy, the brand’s website also provides recipe ideas for inspiration.
McKenzie’s isn’t the only one tapping into the convenience trend. The winner of best on-the-go dairy snack was Coon Natural Tasty Cheese Snacks. Packaged in snack-sized 20g wrapped portions, the cheese product makes it easy and convenient for people to enjoy a healthier snack.
MAYVER’S PURE FOODS: INVEST IN MARKETING
Taking out the “best sweet treat” category was Mayver’s Cacao Super Spread. Mayver’s Pure Foods has been around for a couple of years now and is definitely winning in the healthy spreads market with its no-added-sugar products. What’s their secret? Owner Paul Raff told Smartcompany.com.au: “Compared with our competitors we have a relatively small marketing budget but we put a fair proportion of our profits back into marketing.”
When the family first got hold of the company, they spent a lot of time on market research before relaunching and refreshing the brand. Today, Mayver’s features around 20 products stocked by Coles, Woolworths and independents. But they aren’t about to stop there; with the mission to put a jar of Mayver’s in every Australian pantry, the company is continuing to push and create awareness of the brand. After all, they know that more consumers are looking for spreads with low sugar, less hard fats and salt. The lesson here is that it doesn’t matter how successful you are, never stop marketing and communicating with the end consumer.
THE HAPPY SNACK COMPANY: PACKAGE FOR THE AUDIENCE
The Happy Snack Company stole the show by taking not one but two awards: its Crunchy Roasted Fav-va Beans won the allergy-friendly snack category, while the best kids’ lunch box snack was awarded to the Kids Roasted Fav-va Beans (Pizza).
But healthy ingredients aside, it’s the unique packaging that steals our attention. Kids Roasted Fav-va Beans come in lunchbox-friendly 15g portions, but rather than being packaged in an ordinary rectangular box, they come in a box with handles that is easy to carry and resembles a popular style of fast food meal boxes that also feature the word “Happy”. Coincidence? We think not.
THE BOTTOM LINE
These health food manufacturers are not the only brands winning when it comes to innovation and creativity. Manufacturers big and small are adapting and responding to new consumer trends, whether that be convenience, sustainability or value-seeking. After all, the latest research shows consumers are more demanding of products and brands than ever before. So, if there’s only one lesson manufacturers take away, it’s to never stop listening to your consumers and pushing the boundaries.
If you’re intrigued by innovation, then check out the latest potential business opportunities for AM in food, these top 5 strategies to grow your manufacturing business, and a host of other blogs in these pages!
No matter how innovative your products, they still need to be coded and labelled properly…
Check out Matthews’ vast resource library. It has a host of detailed information that’s all free to download! There are whitepapers, presentations we’ve done to industry bodies, infographics for manufacturing, case studies, articles from our thought leaders, vids showing solutions in action and more!
Image credit / vesmil