If you’ve read any of the food industry headlines lately, you’ve noticed that snack innovations are on the rise. Snacking has become a big consumer trend that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
With consumers living busier lifestyles, there is an increase in the overall demand for snacks. Instead of having meals throughout the day, consumers are replacing meals with snacks. According to recent data from IRI Worldwide, about three snacks per day are being consumed. And while indulgent snacking is outpacing healthy snacking, there still continues to be a rise in consumers who seek healthy snacks.
According to FoodNavigator’s Snacking Trend Forum, there seems to be a trend toward “simple options.” Consumers are looking for snacks that have fewer ingredients and are made with ingredients that they recognize. During the forum, Shane Emmett from Health Warrior addressed how packaged foods can overcome the health challenges they face by evolving even further than being better-for-you products to being something that’s actually really good for you.
Aligning desired health claims, keeping up with the clean label trend and giving consumers a snack they can be satisfied with on-the-go can become a puzzling task for some snack food manufacturers. One way for snack food manufacturers to accommodate all of that is by incorporating proteins into its products. According to the Packaged Facts report, “Proteins – Classic, Alternative and Exotic Sources: Culinary Trend Tracking Series,” a majority of consumers agree they are “making a point of getting enough protein” from the foods they are consuming.
From one of our earlier blog posts this year, protein was a “celebrity” at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim. There have been a lot of innovations recently around protein and providing snack food manufacturers ingredients that have high protein content. Ingredients like flax, quinoa, cashew and pea proteins have been making their way into snack foods for quite a while. But there is a new ingredient that’s been getting a lot of buzz—no pun intended—when it comes to snack food innovations and protein inclusion, and that’s cricket flour. Shane Emmett probably said it best in the Snacking Trend Forum when he stated that the cricket flour trend may sound a bit crazy, but given the challenges snack food manufacturers face, who knows, it could be the next big thing.
We’d love to hear your comments below on what you think the next big thing will be in the snack food industry.