The concept of health and wellness has changed considerably over the years in the minds of consumers and has led to a rise in the demand for more products that deliver an improved sense of general wellbeing.
Many of us may agree that snacking allows us time to reconnect with ourselves. We are seeking snacks that will help ‘declutter’ our minds and assist us in achieving greater balance in our lives whilst offering sustained energy.
Like sugar reduction which is no longer a niche diet product in the indulgence category, but has gone mainstream with big brands.
Concerns remain, however, that products with low / reduced sugar contain more artificial ingredients. Therefore, sweeteners that have a plant-based image or are tied to a health benefit, are generally more acceptable.
It has never been a question of whether people wanted to include more plant-based ingredients in their diets, but rather, how convenient it is for them to do so. Spotted this gap in the market, new ways to introduce vegetables in more convenient forms are starting to be presented.
The notion of ‘better-for-you’ has become more important. Consumers tend to favour products that appear to be more natural and freshly made and natural snack products that contain no preservatives, no additives or no pesticides. When we snack, we realize we can either eat empty calories or instead maximize our health.
One example is chickpeas and legumes. They have emerged as a big snacking trend, making chips and dip snacks healthier. People want to try healthier snacks, so sweet potato chips and substrate chips from beans, chickpeas and hummus will move out of the deli section and become more mainstream. Yogurt is also being positioned as a dessert or a snack of choice. Protein bars are very appealing to consumers because of the 'feel full longer' positioning and convenience factor.
Beverages as a snack continue to explode also as people are embracing the idea of snacking between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner. For the snacking generation, biscuits with whole grains has been an opportunity as well. Biscuits cross day parts, focus on health and wellness, and you don't have to feel guilty.Apparently it’s clear that to meet the demand for healthy, ethical and indulgent snacks that make consumers feel good about themselves, manufacturers will continue to explore and explain why their snacks fit with their lifestyle and values.