How to Compete with Snacks-in-a-Box Clubs

A recent trend popping up in health food is that of boxed snacks sent to customers’ doors on a monthly basis. Online-based snack companies are packaging dried fruits, seeds, nuts and other nutritious goodies and shipping them out to their customers each month. Some pre-made packages come in themes like “Healthy Holiday Habits” and “Around-the-World Snacks,” while other online companies let you hand-pick which snacks you want delivered.

Both new and seasoned natural shoppers alike are really getting excited about this idea of healthy care packages. For newcomers, receiving a box of snacks that have been deemed healthy makes the transition into the new world of natural foods much easier; it takes out any of the guesswork and uncertainty that often accompanies a lifestyle change. Shoppers who have more experience with natural products, on the other hand, may have a standard group of “go-to” snacks and would love to explore new options to add to their arsenal. Everyone, of course, loves the convenience that comes with delivery!

Though at first glance this trend may seem like a hindrance to brick-and-mortar retailers, it may be feasible to implement such an idea in your own store. Everyone loves getting care packages; what a great way to connect your store’s name with a feeling of excitement! Have your customers sign up for a “Snacks of the Month Club.” Explain how, for a reasonable monthly fee, you will send them a box of healthy goodies straight from your shelves. Include new products that you want your customers to try, as well as products that maybe aren’t getting as much attention as they deserve. Be sure to vary the products you include in each month’s box so your customers get a taste of everything your store has to offer!

If sending out boxes of goodies isn’t an option for you, take advantage of the coveted convenience factor and arrange healthy snack boxes or baskets to sell right in your store. You could even advertise them as gift packages, explaining how they are “perfect for the health nut in your family!” Busy shoppers will appreciate—and remember—your thoughtfulness. Whichever way you package and deliver your goodie baskets, remember to include a card with all of the products’ names and a short description for your customers to reference when they want to come back and buy their favorites!

Of course, the care package trend is not limited to just healthy munchies. Anything from hair and skin care, to natural pet supplies, to sports nutrition to children’s products can be grouped, packaged and shipped to your customers; the possibilities are endless and can be custom-tailored to your store. WF

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2014