23 August 2019, 10:31 AM
  • We take a look at how the snacking sector is making ethical changes
Ethics in snacking

With the number of vegans in the UK steadily rising, the snack industry has bumped up its efforts to provide products that would satisfy vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Especially for consumers who have recently moved into a more plant-based lifestyle, being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean that they are happy to sacrifice meat-like textures and tastes – and the latest crop of vegan jerkies fills the gap. Mushrooms provide a deep, meat-like flavour and when dried can offer a similar mouthfeel to meat.

As the consumer understanding of the repercussions of our dependence on plastic grows, so too does the range of eco-friendly packaging options. Brands across the sector are making efforts to move away from plastic towards cardboard and other recyclable materials, and the on-the-go sector is adopting great formats which satisfy the consumer demand for products which are environmentally sound, convenient and satisfying.

With a 5.3% increase in organic sales within the UK, according to the Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2019, it seems that shoppers are becoming ever more familiar and appreciative of organic certification on their snacking products.

Today’s shopper demands honesty and traceability from the brands they purchase from. Within the snacking sector, as in the food and drink industry as a whole, consumers are looking for topics such as animal welfare and environmental stewardship to be supported; brands whose business models take a step away from the traditionally profit-driven into the realms of cooperatives, social enterprises and charitysupporting formats – in other words, demonstrating a ‘profit for purpose’ philosophy – are applauded. Consumers are also increasingly looking to the backs of their packets as they desire to know more about what goes into their food. Long, difficult to read ingredients lists are out, and short and simple ones are in – the key is relatability and understanding, and if a product can offer a trustworthy ingredients list and ethical credentials to boot, it’s sure to attract custom.

For more on this topic, head to p.20 in our Snack Buyer 2019 edition

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