Cookies, chips, snack cakes, crackers and so on no longer dominate snack time. Consumers are branching out into healthier snack, snacks as meal replacements and eating single servings of just about any food. C-stores and checkout aisles are no longer stocking candy bars and bags of chips alone. Variety is the spice of life, and consumers are expected snack that serve their dietary restrictions, health needs, flavor requirements and busy lifestyles. Last year, Oscar Mayer launched P3, a protein focused snack pack that serves up bites of cheese, meat and nuts all in one grab-and-go package. Earlier this year, Ocean’s Halo introduced three flavors of seaweed snacks in compostable packaging bringing a healthy, unique snack food to consumers looking for a flavorful and different snack.
Both of these examples provide more nutrition than the average candy bar. According to 2011 market insights from Innova, 60% of snack launches that year were presented as healthy options. A global survey by Nielsen revealed that 18% of survey respondents named fresh fruit their preferred snack making fruit the top global snacking choice. Even though 15% of respondents to the same survey listed chocolate as their preferred snack, it’s clear healthy is the leading trend. These trends toward healthier snacking have brands looking for innovative ways to package healthful foods for snacking. In 2014, Ready Pac launched Ready Snacks featuring ready to each fruit and vegetables in single serve packages with dips, cheeses and other snackable foods. Even 7-11 started offering Go-Smart bars under its new private brand as a better-for-you option. New products like this continue to launch, and consumer continue to look for convenient ways to snack healthy. It’s a trend that’s here to stay.