Functional foods are foods and ingredients that provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition to improve inner or outer health. Think natural remedy ingredients like turmeric for auto-immune inflammatory and enhancement ingredients like collagen for beauty or ashwagandha for stress relief.
Snacks are no longer just a bite of something tasty that can curb your hunger. Functional snacks allow consumers to get the added health benefits they’re looking for in products they consume daily on the go. They want snacks that boost their energy, give them glowing skin, help their gut health and clear their mind. Expect probiotics and prebiotics to continue their popularity as consumers become more informed about the overall benefits of a healthy gut. With CPG brands already launching new snacks that tout functional benefits, more brands are expected to join the game in 2019.
Functional snacks reached $5.4 billion in annual sales this past year and the snack category has the strongest growth projections for functional food and beverage with an estimated $4 billion additional sales being expected in the next 5 years. With the special focus on protein and fiber we’ve seen the past few years, dried fruit consumption has increased 24 percent and tree nut production has increased 55 percent.