Leverage consumer snacking trends with smarter packaging
Today’s consumers are always on the go. Whether it’s rushing to work or speeding to the soccer field, shoppers are constantly looking for faster, healthier and more convenient snacking options. You don’t have to be in the food industry to see that when it comes to consumption, snacking is much more than a consumer passion—it’s changing the way we look at meals. To accommodate this trend, marketers must shift the way they look at snacking and its respective packaging.
The convenience of snacking
From cereal bars that alleviate hunger pains to protein snacking that delivers a jolt of energy, snacking has become an expected part of daily routines and fast-paced lifestyles.
Consumers are often too time-stretched to sit down for the traditional three square meals. Understanding why people snack and how they access their favorite between-meal foods are key when designing bold, consumer-friendly packaging that keeps them coming back for more.
According to Prepared Foods, six out of ten consumers say portability is key to their snack choices – and they’ll pay more for portion control and on-the-go convenience. As consumers turn to more active lifestyles, forward-thinking food companies are turning to new package formats to keep pace.
Snacking has become a multi-billion dollar industry, with consumers worldwide spending close to $147 Billion on snack foods in 2015 alone, according to Mintel. Put another way, 94% of adults snack at least once a day and 50% snack 2-3 times a day. To effectively tap into this trend and market, packaging professionals are considering the following snacking motivators:
- Taste and flavor
- Better for you
Whenever snacks and their packaging can appeal to these needs, brands have a better opportunity to increase share growth.
Along with convenience and portability, today’s consumers are also concerned with the quality of their snacks. As tastes become more sophisticated, packaging demands must accommodate various flavor combinations while still retaining the convenience of an on-the-go package. This means packaging should look to pair separate ingredients to fit consumers’ specific tastes. This is no longer a cutting edge notion—it is anticipated and expected.
Formats should offer multiple flavor varieties—a trend that is most appealing to those who snack upwards of four times a day, also known as “Super Snackers.”
Pairing with protein
Not only should packaging contain multiple flavor combinations, these medleys should work to eliminate, or significantly diminish, hunger. As snacking becomes more of a meal replacement, items like cheese, energy bars and jerky are increasingly popular with high-protein claims that enable consumers to “fuel up” whenever and wherever they please.
This high-protein trend requires many leading consumer packaged goods companies to seek creative ways to deliver snack products that highlight their nutritional and filling components. One manufacturer worked to combine meat and cheese within a wrap and placed it in a single-portioned package that allowed portability and convenience for on-the-go lifestyles. Using this new packaging, this manufacturer reported nearly $30 million in sales within its first few months on the market.
Packaging that pairs a protein with other salty snack favorites or fruit spreads can also leverage rigid trays with flexible lidding or multi-sectional units that make combining ingredients easier for the consumer. Additionally, other healthy snack choices like fruit cups or vegetables are growing in popularity, with 70% of households with children saying they seek out these snack options, according to Mintel. With these options, freshness in packaging is crucial.
Learn more about snack packaging
Whether consumers are in the market for protein, portability, convenience or all the above, today’s snack packaging options need to be tailored to suit your consumers’ needs and lifestyles.
To learn more about snacking trends, how they’re shaping consumers’ lifestyles and how smarter packaging can enable significant sales growth, download the Snack Attack! eBook.