2016 American Consumer Snacking Trends

Snacking is very popular among Americans. Most believe that snacks give them the energy to sustain their daily activities. Americans take snacks seriously and 75% of consumers place more importance on the health value of snacks than the taste.  In fact, the preference to healthy indulgence was reflected in the snack trends presented by the National Confectioners Association’s Sweet & Snacks Expo of 2016.

Hybrid Snacks

Hybrid snacks refer to those that are made from a combination of many ingredients like chips or meat snacks. During the expo, there was a rise in protein packed trail mixes that are made from meats and carbohydrates. Brands like Farmer’s Pantry, Tanka and Oberto have introduced hybrid snacks, and the general public has embraced. This type of snack trend has also led to the creation of unusual combinations like chocolate-covered meat jerky and pizza crust chips.

Fruit and Vegetables 

snacking on fruit and vegetables good health veggie straws nutrifusion grandfusion natural vitaminsSnacks that are based on fresh fruit and vegetables are very popular. These include the sweet dried or chocolate dipped fruits to the tasty veggie chips. Many consumers opt for fresh fruit and vegetable snacks because they are not only satisfying but also healthier than traditional snacks. Using an ingredient like GrandFusion nutrient blends gives brands the opportunity to add natural vitamins from fruit and/or vegetables without impacting the taste or texture of the snacks.

Emoji-Shaped Foods

Emoji-shaped snacks are preferred not because they are healthy but because they look attractive. The trend of snacking on emoji-shaped foods allows people to communicate their emotions without using words–just snacks. From Pez dispensers to emoji gummies, consumers will be able to express themselves with food.

Original Snacks

Eating old snacks like Hershey’s Kisses is nostalgic. One of the snack trends that seasoned food companies have adapted is to innovate their existing products. For instance, Cadbury created a new line of Crème Egg Cookies while Reese’s  and then collaborated with Hershey’s to create an ice cream topping. There is a need for popular brands to innovate to stay afloat in a competitive snack industry.

Global Flavors

Conventional snacks are made more interesting by infusing global flavors into them. Many food manufacturing companies incorporate new and exotic flavors to make their snacks interesting. For instance, Pop Art’s flavored popcorn features different flavors such as tandoori yogurt, nori sesame, and Thai coconut curry.

superfood snacking simple ingredients real ingredientsSnacking on Simple and Real Ingredients

With the high demand for snacks with clean labels, many food brands now feature simple ingredient lists that lack artificial colors and flavors. Most food companies also feature super food ingredients such as mulberries, goji berries, acai berries, and chia seeds. This particular snack trend caters to consumers who prefer to buy products made from natural ingredients. Although the price of healthy snacks is higher than conventional snacks, people consider it more bang for the buck.

Americans are snacking more than ever compared to the past few decades. The demand for new snacks from the consumers is driving many food companies to innovate and launch new products regularly. What will your next break-through snack be?

Inspired by mintel.com