Smartfood Tempts Healthy Snackers By Upping the Flavor


A year ago, Frito-Lay was stymied about how to expand its healthy snack business. Now its nutritionists and flavor profilers have figured out a way to drive sales by pushing the taste frontiers of “all-natural snacking.” To that end, it’s expanding its Smartfood brand with a new line called Smartfood Selects. The new sub-brand offers more varieties of products and an array of nutritious-sounding flavors such as feta herb hummus.

While parent PepsiCo is focused on the carbonated side of its beverage business, Frito-Lay has led the better-for-you charge for the company’s edible brands for a number of years, with initiatives such as baked instead of fried potato chips, the SunChips line and Flat Earth, a since-stalled line of vegetable and fruit snack chips introduced several years ago.[more]

Smartfood has been around for 25 years in the form of a single product: White Cheddar Cheese popcorn. Now, Frito-Lay believes there are more possibilities to be plumbed by fielding a much larger number of these light products that include no artifical flavors or preservatives and that highlight calorie, sodium, saturated-fat and sugar content on the front of the package. Some items also have at least 8g of whole grains.

The new product line encompasses a variety of spices and new flavors of popcorn, such as Buffalo Cheddar and Cinnamon Brown Sugar, as well as “popped chips” in feta herb hummus and garlic tomato basil hummus flavors.

“Great taste is a must” in snacks, “but consumers also demand smart options,” stated Daniel Naor, SVP of growth ventures for Frito-Lay North America, in a press release.