How to use a “Trail Mix” (aka Snack Mix)

September 19, 2014

Many times the terms trail mix and snack mix are used interchangeably to describe a relatively small grouping of items. At Tropical Foods, we sell over 60 different mixes, all with a unique taste and many potential applications for your business.

Nut and Fruit Mix: This category of snack mixes range from a smaller ingredient mix like Student Food which is mainly based peanuts and raisins to a more complex mix like California Mix which contains 14 different nuts and dried fruits. Generally, the application for this type of snack mix is a quick, well-rounded snack, with an extra focus on an energy snack for outdoor enthusiasts. This type of mix may also contain seeds in many cases (pumpkin & sunflower).

Bar Mix: Though this mix will be found in many places other than a bar, it is a general term used to describe a crunchy, sometimes salty, starch-based mixes. The application for this type of mix is often on a bar, to increase beverage consumption, but can also be used in many retail settings. As the flavor profiles are adjusted to create a more dynamic snacking experience, we will see these mixes branch out into different applications. For example, The Big Cheese® is primarily a “bar mix” based in starchy, crunchy snacks, but also provides a full cheese taste, that makes it a great snack any time of the day. This category of mix may also contain a slightly sweet component, such as honey roasted peanuts, to offset the savory crunch.

Sweet Snack Mix: This category of snack mix is generally used to describe mixes whose primary taste is that of the sweet components. Tropical blends a number of sweet snack mixes with very unique tastes, such as Banana Split® and PB&J Mix®. Banana Split®, as its namesake suggests, blends chocolate, caramel, berries, banana chips and other items to create a bite of the classic sundae, in snack mix form. PB&J Mix®, as the name indicates, combines jelly flavored peanuts, cherry flavored cranberries and peanut butter drops to give you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich experience in a snack mix. Components in this category of mixes may vary greatly between blends, but always comes back to an overall sweet taste. Sweet snack mixes are perfect for a party, but also a great snack or dessert topping.

Nut and Fruit Mix PLUS: While this group of mixes is based in a traditional nut and fruit mix, Tropical adds one key ingredient to enhance the taste and texture of the mix. Cinnamon Splendor® is a natural nut and fruit mix that adds a natural cinnamon yogurt raisin to give it a smooth cinnamon finish. A chocolate covered blueberry is added to Blueberry Thrill™ to give it the chocolaty blueberry flavor. Of course, we can’t forget Yogurt Ambrosia™, one of our best fruit and nut mixes, with a smooth yogurt raisin to maximize the taste. This category of mixes is the perfect indulgent snack. While you get your fill of healthy nuts and dried fruit, you also get that one extra ingredient to blow your taste buds away and cure the craving. We have also encountered many chefs who use these mixes to add to or top desserts to create added flavor and presentation.

Sweet & Savory Snack Mix: Tropical Foods has been a pioneer in this class of snack mixes for nearly 40 years. It started with one of our original snack mixes, Sunburst™. Sunburst™ combines peanuts, almonds, raisins and chocolate gems. The unique taste that has made this blend so popular is the slightly salty taste that comes off the peanuts and on to the sweet raisins. More recently, we have made Mango Tango™, which combines the sweetness of mango and coconut toffee peanuts with the savory bite of chili & lime noodles. Another favorite is Sweet Heat™ which combines hot & spicy sesame sticks and Cajun seasoning with butter toffee peanuts. This category of mixes is consistently growing as food trends continue to point to bold and unique flavor profiles. This category of mixes is very versatile and can be used anywhere, while Sweet Heat™ can be used at a bar to increase beverage consumption, it can also be a spicy & sweet snack for an afternoon craving.

Tropical sells many of these snack mixes in 1.5 ounce bags, 25 pound bulk, and everything in between, including, 2-4 ounce snack bags, Grabeez® cups, stand up resealable bags, and resealable cubes. We have even made a number of our mixes into energy bars. Bulk sizes may be found in many sizes all the way up to 25 pounds.


Tags: bar mix, bulk nuts, bulk snack mix, fruit, nuts, snack mix, trail mix, tropical foods

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