Snacking has traditionally been the sector where health priorities take a back seat, but new government guidelines, specifically those recommending low fat snacks under 100 calories has raised the bar. ‘Better-for-you’ snacks need to entice consumers in with their packaging and proposition and then over-deliver on taste.
The healthy snacking market represents a major new opportunity for all retailers. Perceived lack of quality, and a question around claims not being genuine has opened up an opportunity for brands that can deliver on taste and genuinely back-up their nutritional credentials.
What are the 10 most important trends in healthy snacks?
2019 is the year of the humble nut. Steeped in natural nutritional benefits, the nut is a staple ‘healthy’ classic. Nuts provide a satisfying mouth feel and filling sensation. Look out for nut clusters, inspiring flavours and new formats.
2. Brand Extension
As the category grows, expect to see some big name brands stretching their legs and expanding to take advantage of this growing market. Brands that have a natural affinity in the ‘better-for-you’ category will be stamping their logos on products that carry health credentials. Look at YO! Sushi’s new range of Rice Cakes available in supermarkets.
3. Sweet VS Savoury
Traditionally brands were either sweet or savoury, but they are offering both. Universally, snacks are eaten by everyone, all ages and demographics with a particular emphasis on convenience. However, there is a real balance between sweet and savoury with consumers travelling seamlessly between the two based on mood, personal taste and occasion. Watch out for new innovative brands which smash apart the notions of sweet and savoury offering snack varieties under the same brand headline in both sweet and savoury categories – and sometimes, dare we say it – offering flavour profiles which could be interpreted as both sweet and savoury at the same time.
Popped is a buzz word for 2019 with many new innovations appearing where the product is popped or baked, not fried; creating a distinct lower calorie product. Watch big well-known brands expand into a popped offering, version or product from some of their existing lines.
5. Low Fat
Of all the claims made on pack, Low Fat has the strongest pull for consumers. The penetration is widest and it is also extremely topical having been under recommendation from the government under the Public Health England (PHE) Change4Life campaign. It recommends that children are given snacks under 100 calories per snack in a bid to reduce obesity.
6. Innovation Flavour
Success in healthy snacking is wholly dependent on over-delivery of flavour and taste. In competitive terms the ‘better-for-you’ snack needs to be as good as, or better than its full fat counterpart. Expect to see brands experimenting with delicious flavour combinations to create stand-out and a strong flavour profile experience – more than likely to be a hybrid of traditional staples.
Pure Bite Almond Nut Clusters have won a Great Taste Award and there is a higher rate of sale on award winning products, showing customers are going to be looking for snacks with award winning credentials.
7. Specific Claims for Specific Diets
People who follow specific diets actively seek out and share new and innovative products which make their lives easier, and in doing so spread the power of these specific diets. The main claims are: high protein, high fibre, low fat, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and preservative free, plus no added sugar and no added salt.
8. ‘Comfort Foods’ Get Healthy
Traditionally, snacks are there to make consumers feel good, or feel better about life; a little treat to spark joy, perk them up or give them energy. Expect to see more products that feel like a virtual hug, snacks that are good for you but give you a warm comforting emotion too.
9. Drinks Pairing
A major trend in innovation is the pairing of all snacks with alcoholic drinks. Taken into the ‘better-for-you’ category we will start to see innovation in healthier snacks which are paired with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to garner widespread interest and create snacking occasions.
Arguably the fastest and most resonating sector within healthy snacking is protein. The UK market is saturated with bars and balls. however, as a staple for healthy living, protein is key and should be considered in NPD. Take insect protein as an example – fad or future? Certainly makes for interesting break-time conversation. Plant based and sustainable protein is key and expect to see new ranges coming very soon with this in focus.
About Bite UK Snacks
Bite snacks is aiming to become the UK’s leading healthy snacks business in a sector now thought to be worth £200 million. Bite UK Snacks is dedicated to the development of healthy, free from snacks and related delicious products. Bite’s brands include Pure Bite Snacks, and several high street brands produced under license.
Visit www.ilovebite.co for more details.
Read about the latest protein water trend here