The global healthy snacks market will reach nearly $33 billion by 2025 (5.2 per cent CAGR 2019-2025) estimated by Grand View Research. The market for healthy snacks comprises products such as bars, nut and seed snacks, dried fruit snacks, trail mixes, savoury snacks, and meat snacks.
Several interlinked aspects are propelling growth in healthy snacks, with interest in health benefits from food and aspiration for weight management solutions, without overlooking healthy eating lifestyle as a personal branding and virtue signalling.
VITAL FEATURES OF A HEALTHY SNACK
Some chief elements complete a healthy snack. A healthy snack is full of nutrients containing fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals, or a combination of these. It has very low or no added sugars and encompasses a sensible sum of calories. It’s a plus if the healthy snack contains a clean label and functional nutrition, such as added omega-3s or probiotics. And certainly, a successful healthy snack also pleases the taste buds.
WHAT’S POPULAR IN THE HEALTHY SNACKS SEGMENT
Snack food producers have gone over and above in catering to customers’ wishes for healthy snack options. Today, the most popular healthy snacks are fun and innovative, with tempting ingredients that hold exciting tastes and textures.
Veggie chips have made its way in the snack food category. Root vegetables are gaining popularity, with many brands selling chips made from beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Wonderful colours and a hint of sweetness are features of these products. Even the Lotus root chips are an amusing addition to this line-up.
Veggies are cherished for their vitamins, phytonutrients, and fibre. Few veggie chips are even being kept in the produce section to sell—a prompt to consumers that they are indeed vegetables. Brassicas are also escalating in snack foods, with kale, cauliflower, and Brussel sprout powders being added to grain-based chips, crackers, and puffs.
The new concept of bean snacks is budding everywhere. The bean snacks in the market nowadays are made from a wide range of beans, comprising black, white, pinto, fava, and mung beans, as well as peas, chickpeas, and lentils. Their variety of earthy colours and savoury flavours makes it easy to choose them over potato chips.
Beans are highly compliant to conventional snack food processes. Bean snacks are offered as chips, puffs, straws, and curls, in addition to roasted and seasoned like soy nuts. Beans contain both fibre and protein, still, it’s their position as a sustainable protein source that has kept them in the focus.
BARS: FUNCTIONAL AND CUSTOMIZED NUTRITION
The nutrition bar segment is the domain of customized nutrition. If by now, there isn’t a bar for everyone, there will be soon. There are protein bars, multivitamin-mineral bars, fibre bars, and also keto-friendly fat bars secured with MCTs. Any blend of these nutrients can be put into a bar through a custom nutrient premix. A custom nutrient premix can also be incorporated to veggie and bean chips to get higher nutrient levels than would be achieved naturally.
Functional nutrition is a specific strength of nutrition bars. Popular examples contain post-workout bars with added collagen, gut health bars comprising probiotics and prebiotics, and brain health bars with omega-3s, MCTs, and choline. Functional ingredients can also be added to a custom nutrient premix. The set-ups available for functional nutrition are expanding with snack cakes, brownies and, fortified cookies.
SHIFTING TOWARD HEALTHIER SNACKS
An essential feature of modern-day snacking is Balance. Meaning the balance of convenience, taste and health. Healthy nutrition in a snack is significant, however, it needs to be balanced with such snack food fundamentals.