Healthy food used to be a choice at home, but not so much on the road.
But things are finally changing for travelers (and health food marketers). Snack brand options at airports, rest stops and train stations have started to shift to meet the demands of health-minded consumers to offer light meals to fill you up without weighing you down along your journey.
As a frequent flyer myself with a strict diet, on longer trips I have tried to stay near, or at least know that I will have access to a Whole Foods, or a really good juice/health food place so I don’t have to eat poorly for my entire trip or feel terrible when I get home.
Now that these kinds of foods are starting to pop up in airports, I’m worrying less. I don’t feel like I won’t be able to find something. I’m excited for the day when I can find high quality, fresh veggies so I can stop loading my backpack with celery, cucumbers and hummus (which I lose half the time in security!).
Now, not only are there more healthy options popping up near hotels, in train stations and airport terminals, but in transit as well.
United Airlines now offers snacks like hummus and pita chips for the same price as a bag of Haribo gummy bears and Alaskan Airlines has catered to gluten-free passengers with a new line of snack packs. This is great news for health food marketers.
Following suit, Delta airlines has partnered with LUVO, a healthy frozen entrée brand, to bring passengers fresh, GMO-free meals less than 500 calories each. In February, LUVO introduced new wraps to their menu to add to their options of salads and snacks.
The success of products like Sabra’s packaged hummus and pretzels that are ubiquitous for grab-and-go eating have been all over this trend for a while.
Sabra, a wildly successful company ventured by PepsiCo and the Israeli Strauss Group Ltd, in 2007, has changed travel dining by offering single-serving containers of hummus, salsas and guacamoles to satisfier customers interested in better-for- you foods. “The concept is particularly popular in airports and colleges,” said CEO Ronen Zohar in a 2012 interview.
Beyond a commitment to consumer demand, a key to Sabra’s success was their sampling initiative that distributed over 30 million samples to shoppers over the last three years. Confidence is compelling, and letting consumers evaluate your product before committing to it is a bold move that has paid off big for Sabra.
For health food marketers, the trend of healthy travel eats means increased competition in a growing field.
The good news? The demand is there. Hopefully the supply will continue to come.