At the start of this new decade, there are SEVEN SNACK TRENDS we're predicting will continue to dominate this year and beyond. Snack brands are very much looking to the future with new tasty concepts, but what are the key trends you should look to capitalise on now and why?
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What's Happening in Snacking?
Consumers have given food and drink brands a clear message that a better balance between healthier and tasty snacks is needed. The demand for healthier living isn't going away any time soon. Health and wellness food market is expected to see a growth rate of 5.7% between now and 2024.
Supporting and even adapting to changing lifestyles, the UK snack market has never been as tasty, diverse or as on trend.
With the boundaries between snacking and traditional meal times blur, how do you understand what is really driving changes in snacking habits? From impulse snacking to gut health and new and innovative flavours, the snacking landscape is set to be dominated by several core trends.
#1 Protein Getting Stronger
Protein based snacks have become a regular staple for a large chunk of consumers; not just gym goers but students, busy commuters and casual snackers. Brands are actively calling out protein content on front panels more often, and in some cases position their entire branding around it.
Consumers have BECOME AWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTEIN for health, nutrition and well being. The continued assumption that protein equals healthy continues. We’re seeing some great innovative formats in 2020 will include new ready to drink shakes, protein waters, nut butters and ‘meat-like’ plant based alternatives.
#2 Even More Plant Based
2020 will see more plant-based options than ever before, especially when it came to protein sources. And this trend isn’t slowing down any time soon. As people become more conscious about the sourcing of foods, plant-based proteins will likely gain more momentum in the coming years. Overall consumers have been ENCOURAGED TO EAT LESS MEAT and businesses - from food producers, fast food restaurants and corporate offices are responding.
Increasingly we are seeing consumers select products based on aspirational goals, as well as dietary choices – many are limiting their general meat and dairy consumption through initiatives such as ‘Meat Free Mondays’ or campaigns such as ‘Veganuary’ - both enjoying record numbers and coverage in 2019.
#3 Plastic Revolution
Sustainability is a trend that is rapidly gathering pace. In fact, HIM asked shoppers to rank 8 sustainability issues by importance, and reducing plastic use was RANKED AS THE NUMBER ONE problem shoppers think companies should focus on solving first. We are in the middle of a packaging revolution. The big moment came with Blue Planet II with 88% OF PEOPLE WHO WATCHED CHANGING THEIR LIFESTYLE. it's almost a prerequisite that brands must be taking steps to make their packaging more sustainable.
The heightened focus on single-use plastics is no longer just a trend relegated to certain fringe groups, but a reality that goes beyond the purge of plastic straws. Eco packaging will only become more noticeable.
#4 Low & No Alcohol Gaining Traction
While Dry January is a popular way to start the year on a healthier note, more and more people are jumping on the alcohol-free lifestyle year-round. Millennials and Gen Z are DRINKING LESS IN GENERAL and it was inevitable drink brands would come up with a creative solutions.
More and more ranges are being introduced. Plus, countless restaurants and bars around the country are including mocktails on their menus, and there are even some non-alcoholic bars opening up across the country!
#5 Less Sugar, Healthier Energy
Sports and energy drinks exploded on to the scene two decades ago and has since become a mainstay everyday product for many consumers in the UK. As consumers increasingly look for quick ways to reduce their daily sugar intake, innovative brands have taken the lead, replacing refined sugars with natural alternatives – making them a great choice for a range a wider audience.
The notion of 'CLEAN ENERGY' - not packed with synthetic ingredients and sugar like traditional energy drinks - is a phrase set to become the norm in 2020.
#6 All About the CBD
A year ago, CBD may not have even been on your radar or you might have never even heard of it! Now, it’s in drinks, snack bars, skincare, lotions, and even clothing. Surveys have revealed that between 8- 11% of UK adults respectively – around 4-6 million people – have tried it.
The CBD trend has certainly made an impact on the food world. Products include oat bars, RTD drinks, gums and even coffee. CBD’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down and will continue to be as we continue to learn more about its many benefits.
#7 Mindful & Gut Health
Through a focus on functional foods, wellness-focused brands are making it easier to get consumers looking after their mental and physical health. The rise and evolution of wellness-focused diets such as paleo, keto and high fibre have shown consumers is a clear signs consumers are wanting to look after themselves.
Health conscious consumers looking for something that fits their lifestyle better than a bowl of cereal or plate of scrambled eggs. Kombucha, probiotics, nootropics and kefir recipes are set to increasingly feature in brand claims.
Watch this space...