With our mobile society and diverse schedules, traditional sit-at-the table meals have been substituted with small, on-the-go meals and healthy snacks. More and more food categories are vying for space in this ever-growing arena, and companies are modifying their packaging and shrinking to single serve portions to make products more accessible based on our changing needs. Let’s review a few trends to watch in the snack foods category.
More and more consumers are turning to the refrigerator for sweet or savory snack options. High protein content seems to dominate this snack sector, as seen with the escalation of greek yogurt sales and the launch of the Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Pack last year.
Recently, cheese attempted to enter this segment of high protein, and is trying to position itself as the next health food. Sargento launched Balanced Breaks snack packs in the US with varieties of cheese, nuts, and dried fruits. St Moret Aperitif launched a line of bite sized cheese balls in France filled with pesto, fig, or tomato.
Maple Leaf Natural Selections of Canada recently introduced Protinis – a line of chicken-based snacks. The line contains chicken served on skewers, and sliced chicken that is marinated or served with dried fruit.
Eat your pineapple and kale
There always seems to be a trend to add fruits and vegetables to foods to make them new, unique and novel. But lately, 2 particular flavors have been very popular.
Pineapple has appeared in new products on a global scale. In June, Lubs launched a pineapple and almond raw food bar. This product debuted in Germany, and has a 75% fruit content. Larabar launched a limited edition coconut pineapple cake flavor in the US, and Sexy Pop launched pineapple habanero popcorn in both the U.K. and the U.S.
But pineapple is not alone in trendy flavors. Kale is coming into vogue as well. Rhythm Superfoods recently launched mango habanero kale chips to accompany their pineapple coconut kale chips in the U.S. In Norway, inSpiral launched Crispy Purple Corn Kale Chips. And Cofresh snack foods introduced jalapeno cheddar quinoa and kale puffs in the UK, showing that kale can act as a seasoning flavor as well.
Subscription Snack Boxes
As my daughter puts it, snack subscription boxes are “like getting a present in the mail every week!” Some of these subscriptions are curated samplings of snacks that you can purchase either from the site or at a store, while others are individually wrapped or packed in tiny single serve boxes. Just a stroll through this list shows how many companies are vying for this segment of the market.
The snack box market has expanded to the point where mergers and acquisitions are beginning to occur. For example, Love with Food acquired the gluten-free subscription service Taste Guru. Major manufacturers have also dabbled in this arena: General Mills recently shuttered their Nibblr service while Kellogg’s is reportedly considering entry into this market.
Some brands are trying to cross the bridge from a subscription service to a retail brand, as seen with NatureBox in the US and BiteBox Survival Food in Germany. Regardless, this segment should be reviewed by retailers and manufacturers for potential new trends.
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