family eating popcorn on couch

Savory Snacks Hit the Spot for American Consumers

Convenient, low in sugar, and now high in protein, the savory snacks category is checking all the boxes for consumers. See how innovative savory protein snacks are meeting consumer demand for healthier snacking.

The Snackification Trend Continues

The rise of snackification has made snacking an all-day habit for many Americans, with consumers of all ages snacking at least once a day. Popular snacking occasions include midmorning (between breakfast and lunch), afternoon (between lunch and dinner), and at night after dinner. Consumers are also eating snacks during meals and in place of meals, making healthy snacks increasingly important.

Steady Growth in Salty and Savory Snacks

Sixty percent of U.S. consumers say that treating themselves is the most important attribute when choosing a salty snack.1 Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. consumers cite new flavor as an important claim when purchasing salty snacks.2 More time spent at home and increases in snacking more often have driven growth in savory and salty snacks this past year. 

potato chips

The U.S. savory/salty snacks category grew 9.9% in 2020.3 This category includes meat snacks, popcorn, chips and extruded snacks, pretzels, cheese snacks, and other savory snacks. The top savory flavors launched globally since January 2020 include cheese, barbecue, beef, onion & sour cream, butter, mango, pork and ranch.4

Protein Snacks in High Demand

Growing consumer demand for protein is influencing categories throughout food and beverage. The demand for protein snacks is particularly strong with 1 in 4 U.S. consumers indicating “high in protein” as a very important attribute when deciding which snacks to consume. This is especially true for Millennial consumers.5 Consumers are seeking out protein snacks for a variety of reasons—including satiety, energy, muscle support, weight loss, healthy aging, and general nutrition. 

The success of products like Quest protein chips shows how products that deliver the convenience and great taste of a snack along with the protein consumers are looking for can be a winning strategy for manufacturers. 

Challenges in Formulating Savory Protein Snacks

To meet this growing demand for healthy salty snacks, protein fortification is an option more food companies are embracing. But this approach comes with certain challenges—particularly achieving protein targets without negatively impacting product flavor and texture. Fortifying with popular plant proteins that might have beany or bitter off-flavors can further exacerbate flavor challenges. 

High Protein Seasonings Deliver Protein and Flavor

One ingredient innovation that can boost protein and ensure delicious flavor is XtraProTM Seasonings—a blend of protein, seasonings, and flavor that can be added to any salty snack to create a savory protein snack. These high protein seasonings come in both whey and pea protein options with a variety of flavors from which to choose.
XtraProTM Seasonings can be produced with a custom flavor profile or in standard protein chip flavors such as:

  • Ranch
  • Sour Cream
  • White Cheddar
  • Jalapeno Cheddar
  • Ghost Pepper
  • Garam Masala
  • Coconut Curry
jars of seasonings

XtraProTM Seasonings are fully customizable protein-based seasonings that allow you to add protein to your snack products—perfect for chips! XtraProTM Seasonings increase protein 3-7 grams per serving and deliver a great savory flavor that your customers will enjoy. Increase protein for more protein-packed chips!

Key Benefits:

  • Clean label
  • Increase protein 3-7 grams
  • Dairy and plant protein options
  • Savory and sweet options
  • All-in-one easy inclusion

Learn about using XtraProTM Seasonings to create delicious savory protein snacks that your consumers will love.


1-3. Mintel, Salty Snacks– US, April 2021.
4. Mintel, GNPD, accessed May 2021.
5. The Hartman Group, Snacking 2020: Emerging, Evolving and Disrupted, October 2020.

Take our poll

Enter your email on the next step to receive the articles as soon as they go live.

Hello! It looks like you’re using Internet Explorer. Microsoft is phasing out this browser, so we are no longer supporting it and some parts of the page may not look right. To enjoy the full experience, we recommend you use one of these browsers: Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Brave.