Summer Travel Snacks that are “King of the Road”

Photography and styling by Laurie Mosco

As the temps start to rise, so do plans for summer travel. The open road topped the 2020 travel charts, with 85% of travelers planning local road trips, according to Travel + Leisure.  It seems the popularity of road trips isn’t cooling off anytime soon, as a recent RVshare survey found 73% of millennials plan to rent an RV in 2021.  And, while road tripping revs up, you get the green light to give your snack and beverage selection a tune up!

All that heavy traffic means you won’t be spinning your wheels. 73% of all travelers plan to bring snacks on their road trip, according to a 2019 survey by Frito Lay. That’s a lot of opportunity for increased sales.

Let us be your navigator. We’ll provide the roadmap to rev up your summertime snack selection with the must-have goodies customers will love to grab and go.

Get Carried Away

Tubs of Nancy Adams summer inspired candy

Takeout containers and grab-and-go bags are key to great displays and since 92% of road trip snackers say that convenience is the most important factor in snacking, according to Frito Lay, you can entice them easily. Pre-packaged, summer-friendly candy like gummies, licorice, and dextrose candies are great options.  Not only is it easy for customers to grab on the go, pre-filled tubs allow you to create an impactful merchandising display faster than a pit crew changing a tire. Our favorite — Nancy Adams PET plastic tubs, filled with colorful, flavorful, fruity, soft and chewy favorites like peach rings, gummy sand sharks and neon sour worms.  Their bold colors and bright labels are irresistible.

Make your business more of a travel destination than a quick stop. Offer customers a snack and souvenir in one by allowing them to select and pack their own bulk candy in fun containers.  Stock up on bulk gummy candy in splashy summer themed shapes that are off the map. We recommend gummy flamingos, mermaid tails, and lobsters. Customers will be happy to make a detour to get your unique offerings.

Take it for a Spin Around the Block

Giant colorful whirly pops

Don’t know about you, but we’ve been around the block a few times, and our sweet summer memories feature those tried and true childhood faves. Because summertime brings out the childhood wonder in all of us, nostalgic items tug on the heart strings, and purse strings. And, since nostalgia helps create the feeling of comfort, folks are more likely to spend a little more on something that helps create those good vibes. Old fashioned carnival snack classics like Whirly Pops, Unicorn Pops, and Pennsylvania Dutch Twist Pops will jump start those nostalgic feelings.

First sign of an idyllic road trip snack – it comes on a stick.  The stick lends itself to easy eating on the go.  Second sign – a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors signals that summer is here and the good vibes will beckon customers to take a few of the old time favorites out for a spin. No need for fancy merchandising here, the pops’ oversized twists and rainbow colors will lead down the road to a quick purchase.

Pop and (Fruit) Punch

Specialty soda pop

Long car rides in the summer heat make travelers thirsty.  They’re on the road leaving their everyday lives in the rearview mirror. The same applies for road trip beverage choices.  Bye bye, ordinary. Hello thirst-quenching shiny, new specialty sodas and thirst quenchers that are off the beaten path! Flavors inspired by summer are a great way to drive sales. Travelers are popping in and out for a quick break and eager to get to their destination, so you need to catch them immediately with bright colored beverages and bold labels.

Many road trippers will be destined for a visit to a certain celebrity mouse. What better way to get refreshed than O-Zell Soda Pop, with its theme-park inspired flavors like pineapple whip, cherries jubilee, and orange dreamsicle. The O-Zell Soda company was originally started by Walt Disney’s dad, so it’s only natural there are whimsical vintage-inspired cartoon characters on the labels.  Even better – a portion of the proceeds from sales go to support the heritage fund that keeps Walt Disney’s birthplace a road trip destination just outside Chicago, IL. 

Cool California vibes bring a soda popping with summertime feelings. California-based Nesbitt’s features juicy fruity flavors of orange, peach, and strawberry.  The vibrant colors are sure to get noticed while the retro lettering harkens back to the good ole days of traveling Route 66. 

Don’t forget the iconic summertime beverages iced tea and lemonade.  Make sure to stock the extra special kinds, made the old fashioned way with real lemons, naturally brewed tea, and pure cane sugar.  We love Joe Tea. Inspired by the good feelings and simplicity of road tripping, Joe Tea is made with pure cane sugar and features an old pickup truck front and center on the label – what better icon for a cool summer trip? Bold summertime flavors like Mango Lemonade, Peach, and Raspberry get customers fueled up and refreshed.

Novelties Keep it Cool

novelty toys filled with candy

Family travelers are hitting the road this summer after being sidelined for a while. Between the “are we there yets” there will be frequent stops. Offering ways to keep the kiddos happy, fed, and entertained during those long stretches of road will be a welcome site for both parents and kids.  Colorful candy novelties featuring their favorite characters is a must. 

We’re real “fans” of toy fans and candy duos like Super Mario Light up fan with candy and Disney Princess Candy Fans.  The characters are a hit, the fan is fun and handy in the heat, and the candy is – well, sweet! End road trip boredom with  Marvel Avengers Fanimation — a fan filled with candy that also plays a short “movie” featuring a Marvel superhero. It’s fascinating for both kids and adults alike.

Novelties make great point of sale items but positioning is critical.  Put them on the lower portion of your counters and displays so they’re in line of sight for your targeted customer base.

Now that we’ve filled you up with all sorts of great ideas for summer travel season get a head start and order now so you will end up in the winner’s circle.

No one revs up a road trip snack assortment faster than Nassau Candy

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