In the food and beverage industry, healthy snacks are forecasted to grow to a market size of almost 33 billion dollars. Shoppers are increasingly interested in wellness, nutrition, and healthy grab-and-go snacks that fit their fast-paced lifestyles.
However, many healthy snack brands hit a plateau. A turning point occurs where their existing customers love their snacks, but they are unsuccessful in attracting new customers to their pipeline.
This happens for many reasons, one being that shoppers are hesitant to try new snack products when they’re not sure if they will like the taste. Your ideal customers will need to trust the visual branding of your healthy snack in order to try your product for the first time.
A strong brand strategy and memorable visual brand can help your snack business build trust and solve this problem. To take the initial steps to clarify your brand, you can download our free branding mini-workbook for health and wellness businesses here:
Here are 3 branding tips to make your snacks stand out, attract your ideal customers, and make more sales:
Tip #1: Make Your Branding Feel Fun
Junk food may not be good for you, but junk food consistently employs fun and eye-catching branding.
Cheetos have their own mascot – a bright orange cheetah who wears sunglasses. Pringles has a famous slogan and series of commercials celebrating how fun its chips are. Oreos and M&Ms come in dozens of playful flavors.
Healthy snacks, on the other hand, don’t always have a positive reputation. Have you ever heard kids grimacing on Halloween about the house that gives out raisins? Or friends complaining that healthy snacks taste like cardboard?
Healthy food has an image problem, but a memorable and fun brand can help your business flip those expectations and be successful. Here are some simple ideas to make your snack branding feel more fun:
– Visual Branding
The colors, shapes, fonts, and packaging design of your snacks will be the greatest factor that grows or stalls your business. If your designs look DIY or boring, or if they blend in with your competitors, you won’t give customers the opportunity to connect with your brand.
For an example of effective visual branding, look at the bright colors and cheerful designs Hippeas uses to promote its chickpea puffs and chips. Creative Market also has a number of design tools that can help your visual brand including this granola bar mockup and these icons for your website or Instagram highlight covers.
Another way to attract new eyes on your products (and have fun in the process!) is to partner with similar-sized brands to cross-promote your offerings. Ideal customers will see your snack brand as helpful and collaborative, and you can make some extra sales that may turn into long-term shoppers.
If you sell chocolate protein balls, partnering with another protein ball company wouldn’t make sense. But you could create a joint gift basket offer with a local pretzel, pistachio, or granola company, and as your businesses separately promote the offering, you will all help each other grow brand awareness.
Every business is different, so there are some circumstances where looking fun won’t be the appropriate goal for your healthy snack brand. This is particularly true if you want your products to be perceived as a luxury item.
To determine the best ways to express your unique brand attributes, you can take our brand personality quiz here:
Tip #2: Keep Your Messaging Simple
Let’s say a potential customer comes across your healthy snacks for the first time, either in a store or online. They are curious, but they won’t spend more than a few seconds looking at your product and considering whether to learn more.
The last thing you want to do in that moment is smother them with reasons why your product is the best. If you try to attract them and educate them at the same, it will feel overwhelming and they will stick with the trusted snack brands they already know.
Instead, catch their attention by keeping your messaging and visual designs simple. This includes your product packaging as well! Additional information about your ingredients, processes, mission, allergens, and so on belongs on the back of your labels or on a distinct page of your website, not in tiny print on the front of your bags, boxes, or wrappers.
The snack bar brand That’s it does a remarkable job of keeping its branding simple and attractive so it stands out. The brand name and packaging is colorful, and it’s coordinated around one clear and understandable message: there are only two ingredients in every product.
That’s it bars also have other positive qualities: they are made in a dedicated allergen-free facility, and their products have a number of third-party certifications like gluten-free, Paleo, and fair trade. But in a smart branding move, the company does not try to include all of that information that on the front of its packaging.
Instead, the logos of various recognizable certifications are visually represented on the back of the wrappers, and the company’s website has dedicated pages with information on allergens and ingredients. This allows customers to learn more about the brand at their own pace once they are already interested.
Take a look at the current packaging and website for your healthy snacks. How can you focus your messaging around the one or two key themes that are most important for customers to understand immediately? This small action will help you make more sales and build brand awareness faster.
If you need some design inspiration for your logo and brand colors, you can download our free curated ebook here:
Tip #3: Analyze Your Competitors
Competitor analysis is an important part of brand strategy for health and wellness brands, but when it comes to snacks it can be confusing. Are you competing against traditional junk food brands? Or are you competing against other healthy snack brands that are less well-known than Cheetos and Oreos?
First, entrepreneurs should always compete with brands that are around the same size. So if your company started three years ago, Frito-Lay is not your competitor. Their company is huge, it has a much larger budget, and it would be an uphill battle for you to chip away at their customer base.
Newer startups in the snack market tend to be healthier than traditional brands. Because of this fact, your competitors will naturally be other healthy snack brands.
Second, many grocery stores don’t have healthy snacks directly next to their unhealthy counterparts. Sometimes healthy snacks are placed in a separate gluten-free or nutritious aisle, and other times healthy snacks are in their own distinct section within the regular snack aisle.
This is changing slowly and does depend on your product, but most consumers still think of “healthy snacks” and “unhealthy snacks” as two separate categories. Even if your products are not yet in grocery stores, you should plan on primarily competing against other healthy snack brands.
To stand out from the crowd, identify 2-3 healthy snacks that your ideal customer might purchase instead of yours. Evaluate the following aspects of their content and visual branding:
- Social Media: Who are their posts aimed towards? What brand voice do they use?
- Colors: What are their brand colors, and what emotions do you feel when you look at those colors?
- Website: How and where do they describe their health benefits? How do people purchase their products online? What images do they use? Does the user experience make sense?
The goal is to notice what these snack businesses are doing well, but more importantly to identify their weaknesses where your brand could do better.
It’s best to complete your competitor analysis before finalizing any visual branding like your logo, brand colors, and packaging. If you already have those elements in place, you can still make changes to your messaging and website or consider rebranding to set your business apart.
If you’re interested in growing your healthy snack brand, this is a popular resource that will walk you through exactly how to evaluate your competitors and build a brand that stands out, attracts your ideal customers, and prompts them to buy.
Aventive Studio is a health and wellness branding agency that helps entrepreneurs develop custom brand strategies and visual brand identities including packaging, website design, logo design, strategic brand positioning, and more.
We provide the skills, strategy, and support that will grow your healthy snack business and make more sales by creating a timeless and memorable brand. You can learn more about our signature brand strategy process here or contact us to discuss your branding or rebranding ideas with the Aventive Studio team