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Remember 100 calorie packs? Some are still around but most have disappeared from supermarket shelves. The reason most reported by consumers was that they didn’t contain enough of their favorite snacks or treats.
This time around these mini-portions might just make it as consumers finally are taking note of portion sizes and another benefit could be lower prices.
According to AdWeek, last year Oreo Thins launched with fewer calories than the original cookie.
McDonald's is currently testing Mac Jr., a smaller version of the Big Mac (and, at the same time, in some locations it's testing an even bigger Big Mac called the Grand Mac). And they wonder why their customers are confused?
Coke and Pepsi's 7.5-ounce mini cans, are in line with the trend of declining U.S. soda consumption and hope to have people drink moderately vs. not at all.
Starbucks announced the limited-time return of mini frappuccino sizes, which were a hit with consumers during their initial run last summer.
Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at NPD Group, told AdWeek: "Sugar is the No. 1 thing consumers are trying to cut down on in their diets, and the industry is responding to that by saying, 'We're here to help you be responsible with how much sugar you take in.'"
The trend also points to a shift in consumer attitudes about healthy eating habits. "In the '80s, it was just about calories. In the '90s, it was about fat — only 30 percent of your calories should come from fat. After that, it was about low-carb or no-carb [diets]," said our friend, Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel. "There's been a switch in consumers' attitudes about being healthy, away from restriction. It isn't about good food versus bad food. It's about having a small treat. It's about balance. Companies are finding a way to provide the fun food they have in a smaller size."