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Covid-19 has led to a health craze that no segment of the food and drink industry is immune to. With healthful eating in focus, snack producers have responded with products to suit a variety of wellbeing wishes and foodie tastes. We explore six of the avenues fine food independents can take to explore healthy snacks…
Modern consumers want their snacks to work harder, putting them on high-alert for products that claim high levels of protein. Luckily for them, more and more options are launching onto the snack market every year. Mintel’s Global New Product Database revealed that of global snack bar launches in 2020, nearly one in three featured a high-protein claim. These snacks are especially driven by meal-time fragmentation, increased snacking, and the healthy food movement.
Dubbed the “next frontier” in healthy snacking by global nutrition company Glanbia, functional snacks offer consumers something beyond flavours and traditional health benefits to satisfy their appetite. “Consumers are turning to functional snacking options such as high-protein bars and typical sports nutrition snacks, highlighting that a proportion of consumers are moving away from traditional snacking products and looking to healthier alternatives,” explained Will Cowling, marketing manager at FMCG Gurus.
Popular functional food offerings include energy, focus, or calm. With many shoppers still being new to functional products, retailers should look out for brands with clear messaging around their snack’s claimed benefits.
Provenance and transparency are of growing importance for consumers across the food and drink spectrum. When it comes to snacks, shoppers will be looking for ingredient provenance for raw materials, such as nuts, cocoa and sugar, according to a recent Innova Market Insights survey, as well as ethical credentials and packaging sustainability.
According to the survey, learning more about where their food comes from was of interest to a whopping 85% of global consumers.
While the pandemic has nudged consumers towards more frequent indulgent snacking – who can argue with the feel-good power of a bar of chocolate, after all – the firm focus on health has led rising ranks of shoppers to peruse the low-sugar snacking options available today.
Reducing sugar intake is a priority for many consumers, but the number one rule to remember, according to Mintel’s food and drink patent analyst Neha Srivastava? “They don’t want to compromise on taste.”
Superfoods trends are always an exciting area of the snacking sector, and according to a nutrition trend report by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian, the top 10 hottest superfoods for 2021 are:
• Fermented foods
• Exotic fruit
• Green tea
• Spinach and leafy greens
• Ancient grains
Due to Covid, 78% of registered dietitians believe eating habits will shift away from the traditional three meals a day to snacking more and eating smaller meals throughout the day, according to Pollock Communications’ survey of more than 1,000 registered dietitians. Consumers may be keen for products which are more substantial than a bag of crisps, but not as heavy as a full meal. To find the sweet spot, look for snack products that boast keeping consumers fuller for longer, or options that can be jazzed up with extras, such as biscuits to complement a mid-afternoon cheese and charcuterie board.
To discover more of the latest trends in today’s snacking market, download Snack Buyer.