Simple does the trick for nutrition

Health nuts want natural ingredients; millennials ask for the ability to customize. Learn the new treats and trends for nutrition at outdoor retail.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2014 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 6 – 9. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

As consumers grow more and more health conscious outdoor nutrition brands and retailers are following suit with the latest goodies for those on the go. This season, healthfulness, variety and portability are at the tip of the industry’s tongue.

At Summer Market, brands are noting spiked interest in products that are organic, low sodium, GMO-free, gluten-free or that incorporate super foods. Consumers are more alert and careful about what they are putting into their bodies, which has pushed nutrition brands to adopt a similar mindset.

Gu Energy reformulates its popular formula for Gu Brew (MSRP $1.50, per single pack) to create a lighter taste and a decreased calorie count. Honey Stinger has three new organic products — the organic gingersnap waffle and two new caffeinated gels, offered in chocolate and strawberry kiwi (MSRPs $1.39, per waffle/single pack).Thirty-two milligrams of green tea extract were added to give the gels an extra kick in addition to the energy offered by honey.

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PowerIce, which considers itself an entirely new category, launched an all-natural, shelf-stable, frozen electrolyte product that is comparable to ice chips and popsicles (MSRPs$4.99-$5.99). The product is being used by everyone from a weekend lawn mower to an emergency medical technician as a way to cool the core without sacrificing healthfulness.

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Retailers say they see customers trending toward eats that not only promote health benefits, but also accomplish them with simple, minimally processed and natural ingredients. In other words, foods with nutritional information that people can pronounce. Background stories also help, retailers said, either about the brand’s history or the history of the nutrient.

Probar has been emphasizing delicious, healthy and plant-based food products. The brand is re-launching its mini-brand Refresh as Base Bar (MSRP $2.79).It will feature two new flavors — a chocolate and a supergreens bar — both of which are gluten-free. The bars have a clean taste and include superfoods such as chia and flax. Their original flagship product, Meal (MSRP $3.29), will launch two new flavors — Almond Crunch and Strawberry Bliss.

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As America’s interest in food and nutrition grows, consumers are looking for variety and nutrition that they can customize. There are a plethora of new flavors and camp meals on the show floor.

Mountain House’s three new products for 2015 are all consumer-driven. The brand debuts chicken fried rice, Italian-style pepper steak and pre-cooked scrambled eggs (MSRPs $4.99-$8.99). Marketing Manager Reiner Bohlen said chefs were surprised that plain scrambled eggs were the most requested breakfast item, but then they recognized consumers’ desire to make a recipe their own by adding custom ingredients. Millennials’ status as key consumers also has pushed brands to add various ethnic options because of the demographic’s diverse palette.

Katadyn now owner of Alpine Aire, is adding products to meet millennials’ wants and the latest food trends. New are dehydrated foods like burrito bowls and quinoa (MSRPs $3-$9). As part of the re-launch following consolidation with Alpine Aire, it debuts entirely new packaging that will address growing concerns about food ingredients. Food will be packaged in a color-coded system that will communicate a product description, the category of the food, the ingredients and the instructions for preparation, Katadyn North America President Shawn Hostetter said.

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Not only are consumers more food-conscious, they are increasingly active, especially in extreme ways. Brands see their customers participating in ultramarathons and trail runs in more challenging locations than the city park. The shift demands compactness and ease of consumption, so focus remains on the activity at hand, not on food preparation and transportation. Gu is bringing smaller, more compact packaging to the shelves, adjusting to what it predicts to be a trend of the future. Setton Farms will be offering its classic Pistachio Chewy Bites in accessible packaging for eaters on the go. The pack(MSRP $1.99) will offer two bars that are individually wrapped.

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With America’s nutrition fad gaining momentum, the industry likely will be experimenting with real ingredients and fresh combinations for a long time to come.

--Becca Stanek

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