by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Snacks

Oct 5 2023

Annals of marketing: is “not healthy” the latest trend?

My distant but dearly loved cousin, Michael Kravit, has scored again: “Not Healthy.”

According to the company’s website, these things are “Tasty purffs.  Five flavors.  No health claims…So unhealthy, I bought 15 bags for my family and friends…If you are worried about FFUPs being healthy, you’re on the wrong website.  Go eat some carrots! [Not a bad idea, this last one].

I managed to find the Nutrition Facts for one of them.  They have a lot of salt—320 mg per ounce.  The ingredient list:

Besides salty, how do these things taste?  If you can find some, please let me know.

While we are at it, my daughter sent this photo from the new It’s Sugar store on Market Street in San Francisco.

OK.  Let’s give these companies high marks for truth in advertising.  But do these represent the latest trend?

Caveat emptor.


Feb 10 2023

The Super Bowl: not your everyday calories (I hope)

Oh no!  US Snack Index reveals consumers’ fear of running out of snacks during the Super Bowl

This has to be a commentary on where we are as a food nation.

This survey of Super Bowl fans found that a whopping 49% “would rather see their team lose than have to sit through the game without snacks.”

OK.  The survey was conducted by Frito-Lay, a not exactly disinterested observer, but still.

It makes clear that the Super Bowl is only peripherally about sports.  It is about eating junk food.

You don’t believe me?  Try:

As for Super Bowl food politics, try getting your head around the danger Mexican truckers face bringing avocados North for your guacamole.

Enjoy the game!


For 30% off, go to  Use code 21W2240 at checkout.

Nov 3 2021

Annals of marketing: promoting snacks

The best way to add unnecessary calories to your diet is to snack.

Snacks are often ultra-processed junk foods; they add calories in ways you don’t notice (“you can’t eat just one”).

Their sellers’ intention is to get you to eat them and not notice.  These are hugely profitable products.

Here are a few recent items about selling snack products.

Will eating “healthier” snacks help you avoid “Covibesity” [referring to pandemic weight gain, I guess]?  Not if they encourage you to take in more calories than you need.

Will eating sustainable snacks make you healthier?  I got an e-mail from a marketer at Mondelez telling me that the company is focusing on sustainable snacks and that a “Mondelez exec also just made presentation at Alliance Bernstein conf. where he discussed there will be more invest in digital marketing personalization to drive sales” [Sustainable snacks have calories, and increased sales mean increased calories].

How about starting your snacks in the morning?  Hershey, America’s largest confection company, is trying to gain market share by rolling out products designed for morning consumption. “We see this as a potential growth lever and way for us to potentially capture more total snacking occasions across all dayparts,” In a press release, the company declared, “Let’s face it, we’re already having morning dessert anyway, so the Reese’s brand decided to make it official. With new Reese’s Snack Cakes, Reese’s fans can enjoy a delicious combination of chocolate and peanut butter creme without having to wait until lunch.”

Or, you can just eat candied cereal:

Jan 10 2019

The latest in snack trends?

Here are a few examples of the latest trends in snack products in the U.S. and Europe, culled from articles in  The purpose of these products is to make money for their manufacturers, the more the better.

Lots of interest in insects and worms these days….

Yum (?)

Dec 13 2018

Bakery & Snacks looks at Brexit

While Brexit—Britain’s leaving of the European Union—is in turmoil, the industry newsletter, has a few articles on its effects on this industry.  Complicated, no?

Jul 19 2018

Food Navigator Special Edition: Healthy Snacks

Here’s another one of FoodNavigator-USA’s collection of articles on single topics, this one on “healthy” snacks.  I’m putting “healthy” in quotes because these are all processed food products.  If you are trying to track snacking trends, here they are.

Special Edition: Healthy Snacks

Hartman Group says roughly half of the eating occasions in the US are now snacks, but if snacking is still about treating yourself, are we treating ourselves a little too much? How can manufacturers meet demand for fresher, healthier snacks that are also portable and convenient? In this FoodNavigator-USA special, we explore how manufacturers are adapting to changing eating patterns.

  • Messy Monkeys balances nutrition with affordability for US launch: Finding nutrient-dense snacks becomes more of a challenge for moms once they exit the baby aisle and right around the time ‘picky-eater syndrome’ sets in. To fill this gap, Messy Monkeys is positioning itself as an affordable and healthy snack for kids rolling out to stores this month… Read
  • Ready to pig out (minus the bacon)? Outstanding Foods gears up for launch: Vegan jerky is picking up steam, but hasn’t set the world on fire, yet. And while bacon-flavored potato and corn chips are a staple in the salty snacks aisle, they don’t pretend to replicate the taste and texture of a strip of bacon. But what if you could create a plant-based snack so bacon-like that even meat lovers struggle to distinguish it from the real thing?.. Read