Americans today are spending an estimated $33 billion per year on weight reduction products and services; nearly 100 million adults are overweight, and almost 40 million are clinically obese, according to the National Institutes of Health. The New England Journal of Medicine reported, "Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions... During the past three decades, the number of overweight children in the United States has more than doubled."
* Many studies have proven that obesity is a significant risk factor for diabetes, the prevalence of which has increased by ten times over the past 45 years. Publicity and increased education have heightened consumers' awareness of the nutrition link to these "epidemic" medical conditions. This has created a great pent-up demand for healthier food and snack choices. Hence, according to nfm-online.com, natural food product sales in the United States grew 6.9% across all retail and direct-to-consumer sales channels in 2004, reaching $45.8 billion in total sales and 51.4 billion in 2005.
* Still, disappointing taste and texture have hampered attempts to market "all-natural" and more nutritious snacks into the market. Many alternative snacks simply don't taste very good, and don't satisfy the consumers' already acquired taste for "junk food". However, the healthy snack segment of the market continues to explode in relation to other food categories. American consumers eat four or more snacks a day and consume more than 6.5 billion pounds of snack food annually.
* As such, salty snacks account for slightly over half of total snack. Growth in this segment of the market is driven by convenience factors and flavor trends. Hence, key growth categories are those offering the most variations in flavor, and health trends. In terms of health, savory snack products that are organic or all natural, low-calorie, low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-sodium or offer health-promoting benefits such as soy or no trans fat, are in greater demand by consumers.
* The chief business advantage of Kay's Processing, is manufacturing and marketing "better-for-you" snacks and other foods that taste as good or better than its less healthy competitors. Kay's sits squarely at the convergence of these three significant trends: the escalating "epidemic" of obesity and diabetes; the increasing consumption of snack foods by; and consumers' heightened health consciousness and demand for functional foods, all-natural ingredients, and "organic" alternatives.