On top of that is functional drivers, which can range from high protein to vitamin-fortified and also reflect unwanted ingredients such as sugar or salt. Values—like sustainability, transparency, or other mission-driven approaches—are the next major driver when it comes to what consumers expect from brands. Finally, at the top of the hierarchy is personalization.
Go back and explore all five MegaTrends of 2023.
Seeking the Ideal Wellness Snack
Our global consumer study also looked at what the ideal snack could be to address these needs. Protein snacks were a clear standout, with the inclusion of protein in a snack affecting where consumers rated it on the healthy-unhealthy continuum. For example, we saw the highest “healthy” correlations for yogurt, protein/energy bars, trail mix, protein powder, non-dairy milk alternatives, protein cereal, and ready-to-drink protein shakes.1
However, as important as protein (a “functional” driver) is, we saw in all regions surveyed that great taste (an “emotional” driver) is more important. This shows how protein snacks can make an ideal wellness snack provided they taste great, and brands are proactive in addressing the higher-level needs of values and personalization.