The Future of Snacks

The Future of Snacks

Growth in snacks continues to outpace overall food and beverages, and several factors are expected to drive further growth over the next years. Future snack trends may include lab-grown beef jerky, functional nighttime snacks and cannabis. Quite interesting right?

Nowadays there are on-demand and experiential opportunities other than planned and impulse purchases. When you want something, you can just get it on your phone. Experiential is all about us, how we want to engage with our snacks. It could be an engaging package or it could be virtual reality. Experiential may also include foods and beverages that feature multiple textures, tastes and colors. This is seen with the younger generation who are looking for different types of snacks.

Functional and dietary claims are driving growth in snacking categories as consumers seek products that fit specific lifestyle or nutritional needs. It has come out that 57% of consumers are wanting snacks that contain vitamins and minerals. Additionally, 49% of consumers view snacks as an important part of a healthy eating plan throughout the day. All generations are looking for snacks that deliver beyond basic nutrition. 55% of consumers are looking for fruits and vegetables in their snacks, and 60% want fresh, non-processed. Cannabis and hemp are expected to play a larger role in functional snacking moving forward. An area of growth is plant-based snacks, which last year increased 19% to more than $188 million in sales. Plant-based isn’t just for vegans and vegetarians. We know many people just love to eat it because they feel it’s a bit better for them

Another key driver of snack sales is flavor. Majority of consumers identify flavor and taste as the top reasons for choosing a snack. We love the cheese flavor. We still love the chocolate flavor. But nowadays we love combinations, too!

Packaging serves several roles in propelling snack growth. Some packaging is all around fun and engaging like premium yogurt packaged in a glass jar. Packaging can also assist in showing authenticity; communicate simplicity, transparency and clean labels.

Portion size is another opportunity. 57% per cent of consumers want snacks in convenient portion sizes and more than a third of consumers prefer snacks packaged in 100-calorie or similar portions.

With a shift towards eating that’s fast-paced, value for money and as sociable as possible – the demand for snacks is at an all-time high. No longer a compromise to a main meal, the future of snacking is innovative, inspired and indulgent. The future is still yet to be written, but … it will be the big story next year.