The recent Snacking Innovation Summit revealed many key findings and trends for the snack industry. We’ll be sharing some of the biggest trends along with our insights in the coming weeks. Thanks to Food Navigator USA and Bakery & Snacks for organizing the online summit.
First up, let’s look at the surge of protein snacks on the market and the rising emergence of fiber snacks. The desire for less sugar is helping to propel these trends as consumers are continuing to be interested in the nutritional claims and health benefits in snacks.
High-protein foods have made the leap from serious fitness fanatics to the mainstream snack industry. For a long time, people associated protein with powders and raw eggs and it wasn’t something that was a part of most peoples’ diets. Especially popular in the US, almost 2% of new food products were launched in the last year with a “high protein claim” versus just under 1% in Europe and the Asia Pacific region (Mintel).
With the overall increase in health and wellness, it’s not surprising that consumers are more interested in high protein snacks. They have become more informed on health in general and know more about the nutritional benefits of protein. With the improved-quality of protein snacks, the taste level is on par with more traditional snack options which can lead consumers to make the reach for the protein-packed one.
The reasons behind increased protein-intake can vary based on consumer age groups. They’ve found that younger consumers are looking to increase their protein as a way to build muscle or as a source of good energy, while older consumers are doing it for health reasons, mainly to avoid eating foods or ingredients deemed bad. As for kinds of proteins, plant-based proteins are seeing a surge in consumption due to numerous factors such as sustainability, animal welfare, and nutritional value and health benefits.
Consumers in the U.S. have been aware of the benefits of fiber for many years, and today an impressive 79% say they are interested in fiber. One-third of U.S. consumers have increased their use of fiber in the past two years, but research suggests that consumers still aren’t getting enough fiber in their diets. Be on the lookout for fiber snacks to continue a rise toward mass popularity, following a similar trajectory as protein snacks.