2021 Healthy Snacking Trends
With modern snacking continuing to shift toward better-for-you options, it’s important for manufacturers to understand what’s motivating consumers' snack choices. For example, Millennials tend to use snacks to replace meals because of their busy lifestyles, while Gen X has an interest in cutting down on sweet snacks; many Boomers are actively making changes to their diets to become healthier.1 Although consumers’ needs in snacks may be varied, some clear trends are emerging.
Here’s a look at the 2021 healthy snacking trends:
In a survey by Mintel of U.S. adults who snack, 68% report fresh ingredients as the most important snack claim, followed by low/no sugar at 61% and high protein at 60%.2 In addition, FMCG Gurus reports that U.S. consumers are most likely to choose fruit as a snack (72%), followed by yogurt (65%)—another fresh snack choice.3 From ready-to-drink protein juice smoothies to snacking cheeses to refrigerated bars, expect the appeal of fresh perimeter snacking to grow as more consumers embrace a healthy eating lifestyle.
2. Less Sugar
The less sugar trend is showing up across multiple food categories with claims that include reduced sugar, low sugar, no sugar, and no added sugars. While savory snacks—such as roasted chickpea snacks, ancient grain crackers, and veggie chips—have an inherent advantage here, great strides are being made in creating delicious, low and no sugar nutrition and snack bars, as well as sports nutrition and meal replacement beverages. Consumer preference for clean label has made stevia a go-to ingredient for manufacturers working to meet the growing demand for lower sugar snacks.