For the majority of consumers today, sitting down to have a full meal three times per day just isn’t possible.  From the combination of longer work hours, increased commute times, and limited downtime, the modern-day consumer has less time to spend preparing and eating a traditional meal.  In order to fuel up at low energy points throughout the day, consumers have turned to increased snack consumption.  There are a wide variety of snacking options on the market, but consumers consistently turn to salty snacks to fulfill their need for a tasty meal option.  Store owners, particularly in the convenience store sector, can leverage the selling power of their salty snacks to drive increased sales of immediate consumption beverages.  In this article, we’ll explore how salty snacks and immediate consumption beverages are an ideal complementary pairing that should be capitalized on.  By pairing salty snacks and complementary ready-to-consume beverages, store owners are able to meet the desires of their consumers and provide them with a convenience shopping experience at the same time.

One of the most effective and proven ways to boost the sales of immediate consumption beverages is through effectively marketing salty snacks as a complementary pairing.  Regular consumers of the most popular salty snacks, such as potato chips, most frequently choose a beverage option at the same time.  Part of this decision-making process is rooted in habit; when consumers make an on-the-go purchase that works for them and meets their needs, they are more likely to make the same purchase again in the future.  At the same time, habit and experience are not the only factors that make salty snacks and immediate consumption beverages a good pairing.

Salty snacks are highly desirable due to the high amounts of sodium that they contain.  While the salt in the snack may enhance the taste of the product, it also causes the sodium levels within the body to rise as more of the product is consumed.  At a physiological level, as the levels of salt within the blood rise, the part of our brain responsible for keeping us hydrated determines that the salt in our body must be diluted and triggers a response to bring more water into the body.  At a surface level, consumers recognize that when they eat salty snacks they tend to get thirsty.

Lastly, immediate consumption beverages can enhance the experience of consuming salty snacks.  This is because the beverages and snacks occupy different flavor profiles that work in a complementary fashion.  Salty snacks enhance the flavor of sweeter beverage pairings, and sweeter beverages likewise bring out appealing characteristics in salty snacks.  For some consumers, they recognize this and incorporate these pairings into their regular purchasing decisions.  Others intuitively recognize that salty snacks are more enjoyable with a beverage.

Effectively marketing immediate consumption beverages alongside salty snacks requires recognizing how well the pairing works together, and how widely your consumer base will find it appealing.   There are a wide variety of beverage options on the market.  When combined with the dizzying array of salty snack options, creating a high-selling pairing can be a process that requires trial and error.  Positioning your selections is just as important as pairing the right products together.  Areas that have high traffic such as entrances and service delis, as well as locations that can capture impulse sales such as checkout aisles, are ideal for getting the most exposure for your pairings.  Locating a salty snack option with an immediate consumption beverage near a service deli or similar station will also enable customers to purchase a more substantial meal option alongside their snack and beverage, creating a convenient complete meal option on-the-go.

Implementing a marketing strategy that presents consumers with a complementary pairing of salty snacks and immediate consumption beverages is an effective method of boosting sales in both categories.  Utilizing this pairing allows you to capitalize on the physiological response of the human body to salty food, which makes sense from a marketing standpoint.  At the same time, these complementary pairings enable store owners and managers to create a better shopping experience for consumers.  By pairing salty snacks with immediate consumption beverages, store owners and managers are anticipating the needs and desires of consumers, thereby enhancing their shopping experience.  Today’s shoppers desire a quick, expedited shopping process.  Meeting this desire requires intelligent marketing strategies that use innovative methods to bring the products consumers desire to them in the most convenient means possible.  Complementary pairings accomplish this, and the pairing of salty snacks and cold, ready-to-drink beverages is the gold standard of complementary pairings.