Kay Logsdon, editor-in-chief of The Food Channel, says these trends ”…
show how people are eating today, with smoothies and energy bars
functioning as meal replacements, and grazing with small bites
throughout the day -- sometimes never even sitting down to a meal."
The report, found on Convenience Store News
was put together in cooperation with CultureWaves, Mintel International
and the International Food Futurists.
According to The Food Channel, the top snack trends are:
Chip and dip 2.0. New varieties and flavors are giving consumers
something different. It's likely to find hummus and falafel chips or
pretzel crisps at the next party instead of the traditional
chip-and-dip duo. The dips are healthier, spicier and often served hot.
Small and sensational. Consumers are eating more substantial snacks
packed with protein as meal replacements, and eating them more often.
The drink shift. This trend is all about the "halo of health" around
drinks made with fruit or antioxidants. There is a shift in snack
beverages away from colas and energy drinks and more toward teas,
lemonades, fruity organic waters and carbonated fruit drinks with
interesting flavor combinations. Plus, there's the trend away from
high-fructose corn syrup and back to sugar that some soft-drink makers
are spinning as a "throwback" move.
Goin' nuts. Snacking habits are adjusting to the talk about how good
nuts are for health, with nuts and granola, nuts and fruits and smoked
nuts growing more popular. Unique flavor combinations give consumers
the feeling they are eating healthy: for example, cashews with
pomegranate and vanilla, or dark chocolate with caramelized black
Fruits: the low-hanging snack. The trend here is the mainstreaming of
new types of fruit, and the redefinition of locally grown to mean
locally sourced. Fresh fruit is now the No. 1 snack among kids aged two
Cruising the bars. While it's become mainstream that a granola bar is
an acceptable emergency meal, bars are now offered in dairy-free,
gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, soy-free, cholesterol-free,
trans-fat-free and casein-free varieties. There are even versions
specifically formulated for women and children.
Sweet and salty. Until recent years, the only way sweet and salty
snacks mixed was when people ate something sweet and then craved
something salty, or vice-versa. That barrier is now removed, with
consumers dipping pretzels in Nutella and eating fruit with a side of
popcorn. These tastes are filling up the new-style vending machines
too, where the choices are increasing and more nutritional information
Yogurt, redefined. The new gold standard for yogurt is the increased
health value found with probiotics. Acknowledging the trend toward
global flavors, there is Greek yogurt, among the healthiest snacks one
can eat. Icelandic yogurt is starting to emerge as yet another world
player and new self-serve frozen yogurt shops are popping up everywhere
too. Although not new, yogurt continues to redefine itself and is
definitely trending up.
Bodaciously bold. Bold flavors are almost becoming regular, satisfying
an urge for something unordinary. One example is Doritos First-,
Second- and Third-Degree Burn.
I’m not positive any of these trends are new, more a continuation of
what we have been seeing for some time now. The question remains, are
some of these alternatives really healthy, and can consumers read the
labels, list of ingredients and serving size to determine that?
As we have seen, some companies are using “healthier lifestyle”
marketing when the products really don’t deliver
I think one thing missing here is portion control packs. Even when a
relatively unhealthy snack is being consumed (chips, cookies, etc.) it
is nice to know you are only consuming 100 calories, say.
I can attest to some of these trends at my house. We are eating fewer
big meals, snacking more (fruits and nuts) and seem to have a craving
for bolder flavors. We really count on the package labeling to
communicate serving size and calorie count to aid in best choices.
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