The Clean supreme trend – towards clean and clear labels – while not new, has changed in recent years and will remain a dominant force for the new product development of snacking products, said Williams.
A key part of this trend was consumers’ growing interest in the sustainable and ethical sourcing of food ingredients, including snacking ingredients. “We now see more clean-label ingredients, more clean-label formulations and transparency,” said Williams.
“There’s also more discussion about [production] technologies and how food products and ingredients are being formed.”
Clean processing technologies
So, basic clean claims, such as ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘non-GMO’ (genetically modified organisms) have now developed to encompass claims referring to clean-label ingredients, cleaner formulations and clean processing technologies, with a focus on ‘raw’.
This trend favoured ingredients such as nuts, which consumers perceived as ‘raw’ and vegetables, which could be raw or minimally processed.
“Every year since 2010, the growth in snack product launches with a clean-label claim has more than doubled,” said Williams. “This is a trend that is very relevant to the snacks category.”
Ethical claims for products were also an emergent trend. The percentage of snack products with an ethical claim rose from 5.8% in 2012 to 41.7% last year, said Williams.
Sustainability claims referring to the environment rose by 25% between 2015 and last year. Snack products with human claims, focusing on benefiting consumers’ well being, increased by 12% and animal claims rose by 3% over the same period.
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‘Best they can with the earth’s resources’
“Consumers are starting to expect that companies are doing the best they can with the earth’s resources and that can be communicated in many different ways, including on packaging,” said Williams.
Innova’s Disruptive green trend referred to the growing prominence of alternative proteins. “Increased meat consciousness is pushing vegan products – including meat substitutes and dairy alternatives – towards the mainstream,” said Williams.
“Snacks have evolved a long way from just potato chips or even things like beef jerky and it’s continuing to evolve,” said Williams.
As well as new applications for plant ingredients that offered natural health appeal, Innova noted trends highlighting reduced vegetable and fruit waste and the use of plants in biodegradable packaging solutions.
One example was Mars's use of starch from waste potatoes to make wrappers for its Snickers bar.
In addition to Williams’ global insights on snacking trends, the webinar – sponsored by the Almond Board of California (ABC) featured the European Snacks Association director general Sebastian Emig and ABC’s senior sustainability specialist Danielle Veenstra.
You can listen to the one-hour webinar, after registering for your free place, at any time for the next two months.
Meanwhile, watch out for more reports from the Food Manufacture Group’s sustainable snacking webinar next week.
Sustainable snacking: two trends dominate sector
- Two top trends: Clean supreme and Disruptive green
- Growth in launches with a clean label claim more than doubled since 2010
- Sustainability claims referring to the environment rose by 25% between 2015 and 206
- Human claims increased by 12%
- Animal claims rose by 3%