Artisanal Snacks Are The New Fidget Spinners

Plating Pop-Tarts with the finesse of a world class chef might seem bizarre. But it’s one way to get millennials interested in the tired junk-food of yesteryear.

Mass produced snacks like Pop-Tarts are passé. Today’s youth clamor for personalized products. With online ordering and on demand production commonplace, millennials are shelling out for one-of-a-kind items of all shapes and colors, from custom makeup to individualized cologne. This hunger for experience-based purchases extends to the world of snack food. And, unlike specialized sneakers, this trend might not sprint into obscurity.

Increasingly, gourmet munchies are finding their way into the mouths and hearts of millennials. Young professionals are obsessed with Trader Joe’s and full-scale storefronts single-mindedly devoted to things like gourmet popcorn.

New York City-based food purveyor’s, Aida, show off artisanal snack sensibility. The brainchild of Nora O’Malley and Phoebe Connell (two high school friends), Aida is an offshoot of the pair’s winebar, Lois. Aida offers a highly selective, curated collection of “pantry staples and entertaining essentials,” available for purchase online—their products include things like Szechuan Candied Pecans, Lemon Candied Pepitas and Currant Crisps.

O’Malley tells BTRtoday, “We don’t follow trends; our food isn’t all organic, low fat or gluten free. But it’s simple and it’s good.”

But for a shop that claims not to be trendy, Aida sure seems to have its finger on what millennials are looking for.

“We wanted to create a food that was not only a snack, but one that could create an experience,” says O’Malley. I guess it’s never been cool to admit that you’re cool.

This is the language that millennial consumers are speaking. Richard Feinberg, professor of consumer science at Purdue University, explains that in today’s saturated market, if you want to succeed you have to find a way to stand out, “More choices means that unless the dining is unique in some way or offers consumers something special, they aren’t interested.”

He advises: “Constantly stay up on trends, and keep moving and shaking.”

O’Malley and crew create trendy products by reminding themselves that “quality and accessibility are not mutually exclusive.”

In a time where both quality and accessibility matter more than ever, these are wise words to heed. If the newest trend is to create delicious food that’s affordable and doesn’t make you feel like crap for eating it, that’s something consumers of all ages can enjoy.