Snacking for nourishment also plays a key role in many consumers’ daily diets, with 33% of Europeans using snacking to control calories as part of weight management and 22% snacking for sustained energy to get through the day.4 Consumers snacking for nourishment may choose to snack on foods and beverages with whole grains, fiber, protein, and healthy fats—particularly those with minimal sugar.
Balanced Snacking Is the New Normal
Despite the high levels of snacking for distraction that have emerged in Europe, there are signs that the COVID pandemic has also made consumers more aware of the importance of healthy eating and choosing healthier snacks. The research shows 32% of European consumers became more conscious of the snacks they were eating to stay healthy during the pandemic.5 Looking ahead, almost the same number (33%) say they will be more conscious of what they eat to stay healthy as they enter a new hybrid of working from home and the office.6
This indicates a new normal in snacking among European consumers that centers on finding the right balance of enjoyment and wellness in a snack. Highly processed, low- and no-prep snacks preferred for distracted snacking that are also formulated with health in mind can address this need. This might include added protein or vitamins and reduced calories, as well as less sugar. These snacks could even include functional ingredients associated with stress relief and mood support.
Ingredient Solutions for Today’s Needs
While consumers in Europe will continue snacking for a variety of reasons, expect that the new awareness of the importance of healthy eating will affect consumers’ snacking choices going forward. Brands that make sure even their most indulgent snacks offer some health benefits are likely to appeal to a large number of consumers and meet the emerging need for more balanced snacking.
From essential nutrients to healthy bioactive ingredients, Glanbia Nutritionals’ snack solutions and functional beverage solutions offer an array of options for boosting the health profile of any snack. To learn more about what today’s consumers are looking for in snacks, download our snacking trends guide for Europe.