Healthy choices dominate snacking trends

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Healthy is the main driver for consumers looking for snacks, according to Glanbia
Healthy is the main driver for consumers looking for snacks, according to Glanbia

Related tags: Snack

Health and wellness were the main drivers behind snacking choices among UK consumers, according to a new report from ingredients specialist Glanbia Nutritionals.

The survey of 2,000 Brits found that almost half of consumers (49%) who snack are more likely to choose healthy products at home than outside of home (10%) and in the workplace (10%).

Of those working both at home and in the office, 49% said they would be conscious of what they eat to stay healthy – a further 25% said they would eat more snacks as meal replacements, while 31% agreed they’d choose more on-the-go snacks as a result of their working routine.

Snacks low in calories were the most popular among Generation Z (25% of 16–24 year olds) while over 55s were more interested in low/no sugar alternatives (36%). Protein was the top pick for 18% of millennials (25–34 year olds).

Snacking while bored

Women who snack were more likely to do so for reasons other than nutrition – over half of UK consumers (54%) admitted to snacking when they are bored, which rose to 62% for women. Women were more likely than men to use snacks as a reward or to treat themselves (53% to 41% respectively).

Stress was another key factor among female respondents as a reason to snack, as 46% said they used snacks to cope with frustration, compared with 26% of men.

Glanbia linked this to the rise in demand from brands for ingredients such as neuro-enhancing adaptogens – non-toxic plants that are marketed as helping the body resist stressors.

Consumer habits

Director of global insights at Glanbia Ludi Marché said snack producers need to pay attention to the change in consumer snacking habits in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘new normal’ presents an opportunity to diversify their product portfolios through added nutritional ingredients.

“According to our insights, functional snacks for energy, focus, and relaxation are increasingly trending with consumers, particularly in the form of bars and ready-to-drink beverages,” ​Marché added.

“Adding a custom nutrient premix is an effective way to incorporate healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals into a snack food.”

Meanwhile, milling and bakery consultant Tiago Figueiredo talks the latest trends in ingredients and new product development​in our latest Ask the Expert feature.

Related topics: NPD, Ambient foods, Confectionery

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