Consumer demand for healthy snacks on the rise

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers demand for healthy snacks has increased over the past year. Image: Getty, Lucentius
Consumers demand for healthy snacks has increased over the past year. Image: Getty, Lucentius

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Consumers are ditching the chocolate bars and reaching for healthy snacks in their pursuit of foods that have a significant impact on wellness and health, according to UK wholesaler Epicurium.

The search for guilt-free indulgence has sparked demand for healthy products, with an expectation those products are low in calories, low in sugar, high in protein, nutritious and natural.

Data from a study carried out over a six-month period found that consumers viewed nutritional information as a pre-requisite, which suggested they are becoming increasingly educated regarding the ingredients and nutritional make-up of the product.

Sales on the rise

This was further backed up by sales data from the wholesaler that showed sales in the ‘healthy snacking’ category had increased 39% in 2023 compared to 2022. Current sales in 2024 suggested a further 4% increase to date compared with last year.

A separate independent trend report commissioned by Epicurium found health and wellness was among the top five trends in the food and drink space that businesses need to be aware of.

Health and functionality was one of the major trends explored in Food Manufacture’s 2024 trends report,​ with focus on healthy ageing, gut health, more and more protein, mental well-being, and natural ingredients and reformulation.

Shift among consumers

Epicurium’s marketing manager Richard Jefferson commented: “The findings from our recent Snacking Panel indicate the very real shift among consumers towards healthier snacking, as they continue to become more educated and informed about their health in relation to snacks.

“It is absolutely vital that retailers adapt to this by placing greater importance on their healthy snacking options, as the consumer commitment to health is only getting stronger.

“Brands are investing in new launches, and ‘better for you’ variations, to offer a greater range of healthy snacks, meaning cultivating that holistic, exciting, and varied healthy snacking range has never been easier.”

Meanwhile, more than 1m children in the UK are at risk of their development being impacted because they lack nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, according to a new report from kids’ yoghurt manufacturer Yoplait.

Related topics NPD Ambient foods Confectionery

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