Free digital copy
Get Speciality Food magazine delivered to your inbox FREEGet your free copy
Once a cornerstone in the snacking sector, on-the-go snacks suddenly fell out of favour when Covid-19 hit and the world locked down, with consumers preferring to fix more elaborate snacks while working at home.
But with restrictions lifted, our love for convenient snack packs bursting with flavour and nutritious ingredients has returned. “Grab-and-go meals and snacks, whether consumed in or out of the home, are a way to meet consumers’ needs for convenience, portability, and nutrition – whether at your desk, at the gym, in the car, or at your kitchen table,” says Glanbia’s report, Snacks: Trends for 2021 and Beyond.
Grab-and-go snacks are often picked up to quench appetites on busy days or even to replace meals when time is tight. Once the box for flavour is ticked, nutrition is high on the list of desirable qualities. “Healthy on-the-go snacking, is undoubtedly a growing market ripe with innovation,” says Julian Campbell, founder of Funky Nut Co.
Lucinda Clay, co-founder of Munchy Seeds adds that consumer demand is driving the snacking sector’s healthy shift. “We have witnessed a big shift over the last year, through the pandemic, towards snack solutions which give the satisfaction and great taste consumers love, along with quality, natural ingredients, that also nourish and boost energy,” she said.
Shoppers will be on the hunt for key buzzwords, such as protein and fibre, and ingredients, such as seeds, nuts or oatmeal. Look to stock food and drink products with added benefits, such as functional ingredients or added vitamins.
For on-the-go products, packaging is everything. As well as being attractive and sustainable, it also must be small, lightweight and portable, ideally containing a single serving. For instance, consumers will appreciate easy-tear and resealable pouches when toting their snacks while out and about.
Some brands have had to reconsider their product offering to capitalise on consumers’ changing habits. While larger sharing packs may have seen a spike in sales during the pandemic, the return of busy schedules means that snacks which can be slipped in a bag and toted on the go will see a comeback.
“Demand increased for Kallø’s jumbo packs of rice and corn cakes during the pandemic, and as lockdown lifts, we’re turning our attention to smaller pack formats to meet the needs of consumers on the move,” said Hayley Murgett, Kallø brand controller at Ecotone UK. “With rice cakes consumed on 1.8 occasions per week and 22.3% of these occasions being ‘carried out’ of home, Kallø is extending its much-loved chocolate and yogurt topped range into an on-the-go twin pack format.”
Consumers who were spending more time at home during the UK’s lockdown periods drove snacking occasions to all-new highs. With experts claiming that hybrid working patterns, which include work both in the office and at home, will be the new normal outside of lockdown, what will this mean for the snacking boost?
One study commissioned by Glanbia, has found evidence to suggest that grab-and-go snacks will benefit. It said that of those working a hybrid pattern, a quarter would eat more snacks as meal replacements, while 31% said they would choose more on-the-go snacks due to their working routine. This means retailers would benefit from stocking up on plenty of easy snacking options, such as Fairfields Farm gluten-free and vegan Roast Rib of Beef crisps, Pep & Lekker’s Rosemary & Hemp Seed Snacks or Mungo Bean Chips, which are made with real beans.
To discover more of the latest trends in today’s snacking market, download Snack Buyer.