100-calorie packs were once labeled the next big thing! in snacking, a fact we weren't exactly thrilled about, but recent data shows that sales of the tiny packs have dropped, Brand Week reports. What happened?
The trend started in 2004, when Kraft introduced their 100-cal packs of Oreo Thin Crisps (they also introduced an infuriating commercial to promote these cardboard wafers), Wheat Thin Minis and Nabisco Mixed Berry Fruit Snacks. The next year, Kellogg and General Mills followed suit. Kraft's individually packaged bags of cookies and crackers sold extremely well: more than $75 million in sales in their first year (a figure that does not include Walmart sales).
In the past year, however, sales of the mini-packs have drastically fallen. Although Kraft maintains that its products are still selling well, dollar sales of Kraft's Nabisco 100-calorie Oreo Thin Crisps fell 30.5%, and other items show a similar trend. Some believe that the 100-cal packets are over:
Tom Vierhile, director of product launch analytics for Datamonitor, said the segment has run out of steam. Vierhile's research shows that there's still a lot of products on the market making the 100-calorie claim-190 were introduced last year and 68 have come out so far this year, but they may be too late to market. "This has been a big trend the last couple of years, but has dropped off this year and at this point it looks like we're going to come in below where we were last year," he said.
It seems that most people have realized that 100-calorie packs aren't at all useful. They don't taste as good, they fill our landfills with useless packaging, and they provide servings that are way too small to sate most cravings. Phil Lempert, a food analyst who calls himself the "Supermarket Guru," says that one reason the 100-calorie snack craze has fizzled is due to the ability of "newly frugal customers" to measure servings by themselves.
Furthermore, it appears that the strict portion control imposed by 100-calorie packs may not actually work for weight loss. A study conducted last year found that participants given 100-calorie snacks while watching TV ate significantly more than those who were handed a regular-sized bag. Brand Week also points out that portion control dieting may be on its way out, to be replaced by the already annoying weight loss buzz word "satiety."
100-Calorie Packs Pack It In [BrandWeek]