Less typically associated with provenance in the past, value could now be found in the ingredients origin of sweets and snacks, the market insight company said.
This value was enhanced further with small-batch or artisanal sweets and snacks, and even those that celebrated different cultures, it added.
With consumers increasingly interested in discovering the stories behind their food, Innova listed ‘Storytelling: Winning with Words’, as one of its Top 10 Trends for 2020.
Another of Innova’s Top 10 Trends, ‘The Plant-Based Revolution’ is also impacting on the sweets and snacks sector.
According to a 2019 Innova consumer survey, two-thirds of global consumers said they specifically wanted to avoid products with ingredients that were difficult to understand.
As a result, more recognisable ingredients from the natural world were very much in favour in snacks development, Innova said. Vegan products were also extending their reach, while snack bars remained important carriers for all kinds of healthy plant-based ingredients, it suggested.
Sustainability expectations grow
Between 2018 and 2019, the number of global consumers who said they expected companies to invest in sustainability increased from 65% to 87%, according to Innova’s survey.
Reflecting this, a third Innova trend, ‘The Sustain Domain’, was being tackled by the sweets and snacks market in various ways, the company said.
In Japan, for example, paper wrappers had replaced plastic on Kit Kat chocolate bars. The food waste issue was also being addressed, with less-than-perfect fruits and vegetables appearing as ingredients in healthy sweets and snacks, Innova explained.
Another of Innova’s Top 10 trends highlighted how consumers were increasingly looking for ‘The Right Bite’ as they tried to balance their busy lives with staying healthy.
Snacking was a crucial part of this, as snacks could deliver useful nutrition when there was no time for a proper sit-down meal, according to the insights firm.
The rise of mood food
Innova said one area expected to become more important was mood food, with active ingredients in snacks helping consumers to relax, improve their sleep or, alternatively, feel more energised to face the day. At the same time, sweeter, indulgent treats could deliver comfort in a stressful world, it noted.
Innova’s fifth key trend for this year was ‘Tapping into Texture’ and it said this was particularly relevant to sweets and snacks as texture could be an important tool in delivering novelty.
According to Innova’s 2019 survey, seven in 10 global consumers thought texture gave food a more interesting experience, and this was particularly evident in younger age groups.
Meanwhile, 56% of those aged 26–35 said that they cared more about the texture experience than they did about the ingredient lists, compared with only 37% of over-55s, so textural twists could be a useful tool when targeting the young, Innova said.