Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie

Bigger isn't always better. If you've paid close attention to food and beverage CPG trends during the past few years, you've noticed snacks have gone mini. From 100-calorie packs of cookies and chips to calorie-controlled ice cream cups, food manufacturers are churning out bite-size snacks for consumers to get a taste of their favorite treats without overindulging.

Pillsbury Sweet Moments are some of the newest minis on the market. The European-inspired desserts premiered last summer, launching a new category for the brand – refrigerated desserts. These bite-sized brownies are bursting with smooth caramel or velvety cheesecake, giving sweet-toothed shoppers an opportunity to enjoy a few chocolaty bites without wrecking their diets.

Hostess has been offering smaller portions for quite some time. The company's 100-calorie packs miniaturized cakey childhood favorites, including Chocolate Cupcakes, Strawberry Cupcakes, and Twinkie Bites. In addition, Hostess sells four flavors of Mini Muffins in Chocolate Chip, Blueberry, Banana Walnut, and Brownie Bites varieties. These controlled-portion snacks are perfect to pop morning, noon, or night.

When it comes to ice cream, dairy lovers need no longer sit with a spoon and a pint. In recent months, several brands have introduced single-serving cups. Ben & Jerry's, Edy's/Dreyer's, Häagen-Dazs, Skinny Cow, and Starbucks all offer decadently indulgent frozen delights without excess fat and calories.

Even restaurants have jumped on the mini craze. Houlihan's menu includes small plates with items like sliders and frites bars, and mini desserts with items such as reasonably priced ice cream flights. At Orlando-based Seasons 52, mini indulgences featuring high-impact flavors and top quality ingredients boast all of the pleasure and none of the guilt.

At places like Starbucks, you can find the company's new line of petites in the bakery. Cake pops and peanut butter mini cupcakes are just two little pastries on the menu. Walk in Dairy Queen and order any Blizzard, only smaller! Since last summer, the six-ounce Mini Blizzard has provided customers with a taste of their favorite DQ frozen confection.

So, call it what you will – miniature, snack size, or fun size – these smaller portions are helping to satisfy cravings and curb binges, and they're cute to boot! Personally, Mini Nilla Wafers and Mini Fruit-Flavored Marshmallows are choice treats that take me right back to my childhood! What are some of your favorite itty-bitty eats?

1 comment:

  1. Baskin-Robbins joins maxi-trend toward mini-desserts - in USA Today on October 14, 2011