Snack Food Trends Reveal New Consumer Demands

Snackers seeking vivid flavor, quality ingredients, pumped-up nutrition

Published in CSP Daily News

NEW YORK -- No longer purely between-meal or after-school refreshments, snacks have taken center stage in American eating. Time-crunched Americans now turn to snacks as meal stand-ins, to fuel on-the-go lifestyles and stave off energy crashes. With snacks' growing importance, consumers want big bang for their snacking buck: vivid flavor, quality ingredients and pumped-up nutrition according to Snack Foods Culinary Trend Mapping Report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts. Manufacturers are responding with exciting new snacks that combine indulgence [image-nocss] with health and higher quality ingredients.

"Snacks are less and less the hunger-soothing bridge between formal meals. They have become valuable gastronomical events in their own right," said CCD CEO Kimberly Egan, "especially as consumers demand more from their snacks."

Doing more with less. Meal-replacement snackers are increasingly craving varied and vibrant flavors from their snacks as well as punches of protein, fiber and vitamins that yield performance benefits.

Better-for-you snacks, such as Alternative Chips made from beets, sweet potatoes and cassava, offer indulgence fused with a perception of healthfulness. Crispy Vegetable Snacks made from green beans, soybeans and chickpeas are minimally processed but offer maximum nutrition along with crunch and salty, spicy flavors. Generation Y snackers have discovered the umami hit of highly nutritious Seaweed Snacks while parents delight in new sweets made with whole grains and other healthful ingredients.

New premium snacks, like Gastro Popcorn with flavors like Madras Curry, Black Truffle or Pimenton de la Vera, replicate creative nibbles found in trendy bars and restaurants. Swanky Pork Rinds illustrate the "real meat" trend in an irresistible high-quality form. More mainstream Nuts Gone Global capture the exotic flavors of global cuisines in canisters of crunchy, healthful nuts.

Packaged Facts publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer industries, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet and financial products.

CCD is a full-service food and beverage development and research company that blends culinary creativity with strategic marketing expertise.

Keywords: 
consumer trends