Snacking with the grain for gain

Consumers are snacking more than ever. We need only consider recent events to understand why: there’s nothing like being stuck at home to trigger a snack craving.

The ‘Snack it Good’ report released by YouGov and Fancy Plants last year found that 49% of those surveyed snacked more during lockdown. This echoes findings from Mondelēz the previous year that found 88% of surveyed adults globally were snacking more (46%%) or at the same level (42%) during the pandemic compared with previously.

Covid-19 has not only shaped the frequency of snacking occasions, but also what snacks are chosen.

“As the consumption of snack foods has increased, consumer demand has also shifted to healthier features, including baked instead of fried, plant-based options, clean ingredients, and products with added nutritional benefits,” Livwell Emporium General Manager Darren Craig told Convenience World. “These trends are growing the healthier snacking category at a pace that hasn’t been previously experienced.”

Roma Foods Head of Commercial Cameron Hooper says alternative offers, “whether different grains or vegetables bases”, are increasing in popularity as consumers look for innovation and points of difference.

“Using alternative bases can open up a broader spectrum of taste profiles and functional benefits,” he says.

Mr Hooper says we can expect to see “continued innovation and points of difference” in the non-potato-based snack market. Mr Craig concurs, highlighting the growing health consciousness of consumers.

“Although the popularity of snacking continues growing at a fast pace, there’s an increasing consumer awareness when it comes to reading labels, product processing and what consumers categorise as junk foods,” Mr Craig says.

“The growing consumer awareness may be a rising threat to fried potato snack products. Fried potato chips are often seen as junk food and perceived to be bad for health, contributing to obesity or various other health problems.”

Read more about grain-based snacking in the May issue of Convenience World.

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