“Snacking is a behavior, not a category,” said Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel’s director of innovation and insights, during the Sweets & Snacks Expo earlier this month, according to Food Business News. In a presentation, she discussed trends in sweets and snacks and where the industry segment is currently headed.
Here are the highlights:
- Any food can be a snack. This allows flexibility for manufacturers to create non-traditional products and market them as a snack. This also means any food can compete with “snacks.” Items that are a meal/snack hybrid are becoming more available as snacks are becoming a part of or replacing traditional meals.
- Consumers continue to go for products with simple or clean labels that list ingredients they understand. Terms like organic, natural, and non-GMO are gaining popularity. However, taste is still the most important factor.
- Individual, or snack-sized, portions are becoming more common. Consumers trying new products don’t have to invest in a large serving size, so there’s a lower risk factor in case they don’t like it. Convenience and the “grab and go” factor also play into the smaller sizes.
Food manufacturers should keep these ideas in mind when innovating the next big thing in snacking.