Generation Z Prefers Snacking Than Eating Full Meals

In this fast-paced society, many people prefer snacking over eating a sit-down meal because they don’t have enough time. This is the reason why many people opt to grab something quick for breakfast because convenience is critical. Generation Z is a driving force in this switch to convenient snacking from traditional sit-down meals.

The Benefits of Snacking

As such, many consumers are looking for ways to curb their hunger and satisfy their appetites. Snacking is a cheaper, faster, and more viable option than eating full meals. Today, convenience is everything as time is a scarce commodity for most people. But this does not mean that people should forgo nutrition to save more time.

It is crucial to start the day by opting for healthy choices and eating smart. For example, people who want to save time can eat five smaller and separate snacks for lunch. By doing so, they can avoid waves of hunger thus increasing productivity levels. By snacking more often, it allows the stomach to digest food more smoothly, so you do not feel lethargic after consuming a big meal.

Food Manufacturers Are Supporting the Generation Z Snacking Trend

The increased propensity towards snacking among Generation Z is the reason why many food manufacturers are also developing nutrient-dense snacks that can be an excellent alternative to full meals. These include protein bars, protein powders, and other meal replacement products. The development of these food products has also coincided with increased activity levels of consumers. These food items are no longer just favorite among athletes but even students carry them in their backpack so that they can have their meals on the go.

Today, many snacks are made from a wide variety of nutritious ingredients and these include meats, dairy, grains, and fruits. Most food manufacturers are also making snacks that contain ingredients that are exotic and healthy to attract Generation Z consumers. Examples of popular snack items include granola and protein bars as they are kept for longer periods of time. Aside from convenience, people opt for snacks that also have longer shelf lives so that even if they leave them in the fridge or their bag, they are still edible after a day.

The Future of Snacking

Gone are the days when snacking is associated with eating something in between meals. There are so many benefits of snacking. Snacking is definitely replacing full sit-down meals. To support this trend, many food manufacturers are providing people with more better for you snacking options. To date, it is easy for people to find quality snacks that can fuel them throughout the day. With snacking having a big following among Generation Z, it is likely that we will see a lot of meal alternatives in the future. This is definitely a generation of practicality and efficiency.

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Merchandising Strategies Can Boost Better For You Snack Sales

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Researchers at Utah State University conducted a three-month study testing different merchandising strategies at convenience stores to determine if you could improve better-for-you snack sales. Their study found that placing fresh fruit and other healthy snack options near the checkout area plus promoting their beneficial attributes increased sales on many of these items. Another study developed by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) found that better-for-you snack sales increased by 34% when merchandised next to traditional snacks.

What Merchandising Strategies have the Most Success?

Point of purchase displays near checkouts hosting a variety of healthy options from clean label granola bars to whole fruits and vegetables saw the most success in the Utah State study. Food manufacturers have spent much time in R&D to reformulate snacks and create packaging that speaks to the health benefits, but they are losing momentum in retail. Placement and callout need to be improved to showcase why these snacks are so much better for you than traditional ones.

“Both the healthy checkout and better-for-you planogram tests showed that low-cost tactics can be implemented at convenience stores to grow sales of healthier foods. What works in some stores may not work across all stores, but the success of these tests clearly shows that convenience stores can be a destination of choice for better-for-you items.”

Carolyn Schnare, Director of Strategic Initiatives at NACS

Retailers have to buy into the health-focused movement to see the real benefits. It can be a win-win for retailers and food brands as the clean label movement continues to pick up steam.

The Better For You Planogram Study

The better for you planogram study tracked by NACS looked at four low-calorie snacks in a few convenience stores. They found that integrating these products in with fan favorites on the endcaps of aisles significantly boosted the sales. Veggie chips sales were up 119% during the study! Better for you sales and GrandFusion is a crucial ingredient helping snack foods making powerful health claims on their packaging. Our powdered blend of fruits and vegetables stabilizes and concentrates the natural vitamins and minerals so that you can quickly add super nutrition without impacting flavor or texture of your end product. Let NutriFusion help you take your healthy snack to the next level!

Nielsen Reports Significant Growth for Healthy Snack Category in 2017

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We have posted on this subject a number of times over the past two years, and yet again more reports are pointing to growth in the healthy snack category. Nielsen released its study of the snacking category in 2017 and found that it has increased to $33 billion in the United States. They also found that annual household spending on snacks increased to $133, which is around a 1.1% increase from 2016.

Analysis: Snack Category from 2013 to 2016

Nielsen also analyzed the individual snacking categories from 2013 to 2016. They found that every individual category saw an increase in sales. Bars (health, meal replacement, performance, weight management, and granola) experienced the largest growth of any snacking category with an increase of $633 million over that time period.  Jerky and cookies/crackers followed in at second and third to round out the top 3 snacking categories. Another interesting stat was dairy accounted for almost a quarter of all snacking dollars with 22% of sales. It’s fascinating to see how the “other” category is experiencing large growth as new innovations peak consumers’ interest.

Healthy Snack Category Leads the Way

Growth is happening in both traditional and healthy snack categories. However, products with specific health claims saw the largest increase in sales. Snacks with non-GMO claims have seen 18.2% growth in dollar sales over the past 5 years. A close second was for products free from artificial colors and flavors at 16.2%. To truly understand this growth, the average snack product has seen only 1.2% increase in sales over the same time period.


It’s a no-brainer to start creating healthy snacks that can be distributed across all retail channels. Manufacturers are seeing significant growth in sales that are fueling product breadth expansion and new innovations. Our GrandFusion product line is an easy way to take your snack to the next level. With GrandFusion, you are able to add vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables without impacting the flavor or texture of the end product. You are able to make impressive claims around nutritional equivalent servings of fruits and vegetables as well as source claims for the vitamins. Interested in learning more? Visit your respective industry above.

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Better-For-You Snacks on the Rise as the Rest of the Category Levels Off

Convenience Store News is reporting that despite all the news stories about growth in the snacks category, it appears things are finally starting to slow down. Based on IRI data, midyear sales dropped in subcategories such as popcorn, snack bars, and pretzels. Kristen Hamby of Mclane had this to say about the recent sales data in snacking.

There are a couple of segments within salty that are flatlining, such as nuts, which is surprising due to the healthy halo that surrounds them, telling us that these consumers may have transferred over to a different segment looking for other means of attributes such as protein. – Kristen Hamby

However, industry trend spotters are not discouraged and believe healthy innovations launching this year will push new growth.

The Healthy Snacking Category is Still Very Much Alive and Well

Susan Viamari, VP of Thought Leadership at IRI, believes snacking is still a huge opportunity for brands. She sees the better-for-you options as the biggest opportunity for C-Stores. New products with functional benefits like vitamins, proteins, and other valuable nutrition are catching consumers’ attention. As you can see below, snack products like jerky and sweet snacks saw the biggest growth over the past 24 weeks ending June 11, 2017.



How will companies rebound? Will better-for-you snacks take over the aisle? We look forward to looking at the year-end numbers and seeing how healthy snacks benefit from consumer trends.

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Ingredients and Formats adapts for Healthier, Portable Candy and Snacks

Snacking is popular among consumers, but with increased health awareness and wellness education, snack companies are now changing their format to adapt to the needs of shoppers. Brands are focused on clean-label snacks, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO products to meet these new requirements.

Emphasis For Healthy Snacks

With the rise of health-conscious consumers, it is no wonder why snack companies are clamoring to fill this new niche. For instance, aside from using clean labels, companies are designing snacks made from fewer natural ingredients without the use of artificial coloring and flavors.

Consumers are now following different diet restrictions. People who suffer from celiac disease, for example, can now find snacks that are made without the presence of gluten. Other companies have specialized in making healthy snacks without the use of genetically modified ingredients.

Why Focus on Candy Bars and Snacks?

So why are companies focused on making healthy candies and snacks? The smaller serving size is perfect for people who are always on the go. According to Millennial, a US-based research company, consumers are looking for bite-sized snacks that are not only easy to consume but that offer portion control in a re-sealable format. This format is being adopted by food brands like Snickers, Milky Way, and Twix by producing 100 calorie sticks.


Aside from the portion sizes, the packaging of candies and snacks is changing. The change in the packaging is aimed at improving the shopping experience for consumers. Candy companies are also focused on changing the ingredient list. For instance, the infamous Mars bar uses gluten-free ingredients such as whole nuts, fruits, and dark chocolate for those who have gluten restrictions.

Better Opportunities for Snacking Companies

The strategies implemented by snack companies have resulted in a huge revenue of $13.7 billion this year, which is a 2.4% increase compared to the previous year. The increase provides real motivation to snack companies when it comes to innovating their products.

Most consumers are actively shopping for healthier food items, so the merchandising of healthy snacks often involve placing the snacks near the produce section. This is to give the consumers the idea that the snacks are healthy. On the other hand, the store that receives a high amount of traffic can also place their snack products on visual shipper displays to provide appealing storage.

The thing is that the snacking industry will be big given a few years’ time as more people demand products that contain healthier ingredients. With the steady increase in revenue as well as popularity, the category of healthy snacks will continue to grow.

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American Consumers Want More Healthy Snacks

Consumers are becoming wiser these days, and they are not only buying snack foods to satisfy their cravings but also to maintain good health. Healthy snacks are the leading category for growth for companies looking to enter the “better-for-you” food market. Companies like Mondelez and Diamond Foods have taken into account the needs and preferences of consumers and are now offering nutritious foods in a variety of snack categories.

The healthy snack market is rapidly growing with a compound annual growth rate of 4.7% on overall sales. In the past two years, healthy bars have led the way in “better-for-you” snacks. The industry has a very positive outlook with a predicted growth of 5.7% per year into 2020.

Healthy Snacks Sell

healthy snacks shopping One of the significant reasons is that there is a rising preference among snackers for products that provide functional benefits. Second, products with “free from” labels are very appealing as many people suffer from different health conditions. Healthy snacks that are labeled gluten-free and allergen-free cater to an entirely new yet growing niche.

In general, adult consumers are snack more than ever before. In fact, 30% of most adults believe that snacking should be a part of their daily meals. They almost all agree that snacks are necessary to achieving daily nutrition requirements to sustain them through the day.

Large companies are Catching On…                                                                                                                     

The popularity of the healthy snack market has led many food manufacturers to invest in new equipment or acquire smaller niche brands. One of the fastest growing snack categories deals with protein based snacks like meat bars, nuts, and more.

Another development is the use of innovative flavors to make the healthy snack products unique. The market uses ethnic-based and other clever combinations to catch the attention of the consumers. This trend is very popular among the millennial and younger snackers who are not afraid to try new snack items as well as use snacks as meal replacements.

Aside from influencing the types of products that we see in the market, healthy snacking has also paved the way for many conventional snacking companies to create healthier snack lines. For instance, companies like Link Snacks, General Mills, PepsiCo, and ConAgra have ventured into the healthy meat snacks and snack bars. Moreover, even small retail stores and private labels have created products to answer the demand of the growing number of consumers who are looking for healthy snacks.

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Guilt-Free Products Account for 45% of PepsiCo’s Portfolio

Americans love to eat unhealthy snacks. In fact, the US snack food industry is one of the largest in the world. With many food manufacturers jumping on the health bandwagon, PepsiCo is not an exception. Over the past few years, the company has geared to producing healthier and guilt-free snack products for their health-conscious consumers.

Pepsico’s Chief Executive Officer, Indra Nooyi, noted that most of the sales of the company come from its carbonated drinks. With the reshaping of its portfolio, the company is planning to release more products that use natural and healthy ingredients like fruits, grains, vegetables, and proteins. They also plan on releasing other beverages like water and unsweetened tea to give variation to their consumers.

The company’s plan to sell guilt-free food products will result in changing their entire product line up. In fact, the company noted that the health and wellness focused products account for 45% of the company’s revenue.


The Shift to Healthier Options

PepsiCo sees the need to change their products after being criticized for producing beverages that can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and other metabolic syndromes. Moreover, most consumers today have shifted to healthy lifestyle thus opting for beverages that are made from natural ingredients. With the rising obesity rates in the United States, the company also wants to contribute to solving the problem by releasing drinks that have fewer calorie counts than usual.


Benefits for PepsiCo

PepsiCo has always relied on their fizzy drinks to drive their sales up. But since most of the consumers have shifted their attention to healthier beverages, the decision of the company to create guilt-free products has paid off.

The growth of the company by promoting nutritious and guilt-free food products now accounts for 45% of the revenue portfolio of the company. And with the high demand from consumers for healthy products, it is expected that the corporation’s return on investment will grow as more market trends take shape. This trend does benefit not only PepsiCo but also other food manufacturers. Companies are doing their best to focus on health and wellness products as consumers continue to connect food to their health.

With the high demand for healthy snacks and foods, it is no wonder why PepsiCo and other food companies have started producing their guilt-free products. What will PepsiCo do next to stay ahead of the curve?

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Hershey Invests in Healthy, Nutritious Snacks in 2016

Just the name Hershey may make you think about something really sweet. Right now you may be thinking of peanut butter cups, chocolate bars, and small kisses candies. But did you know the company is launching their new, healthy and nutritious product line this year?

Hershey is now expanding with healthy products that target nutrition savvy customers. Their newest SoFit brand is all about fruit and protein squeezes, nuts and seeds packets, and snack squares which are now available at The nutritious snacks are a part of Hershey’s newly launched Brookside fruit and nut bar line and Krave, a jerky company which Hershey acquired in 2015. Marcel Nahm, vice president of Hershey’s snack division, revealed to Business Insider, “We understand that consumers’ relationship with food is changing.” He said, “Consumers are more than ever interested in knowing what they put into their body, where does it come from, how does it get there… Consumers want more and more choices.”

Nutritious Snacks Trending Amongst Competition

But Hershey is not the only company that’s turning to the healthy snack division. CVS has recently launched a protein smoothie and chia seeds line. It has also placed its Golden Emblem Abound “better for you” brand. Oreo and Cadbury’s Mondelez announced last year that it is developing a new healthy food line over the next five years. Hershey is not fazed at all. It believes that its long history in the confectionary industry has made it a strong contender than any other brand in the market. Nahm also mentioned that consumers also feel frustrated that they only have snack bars that have amazing nutrition profile but taste like cardboard.


Nahm believes that Hershey understands the value of flavor more than anyone else. The company has strong experience as well as resources for marketing new products making them more able to strike deals with retailers. Hershey’s VP is also confident that SoFit and Brookside’s snack approach to health will attract more customers as compared to addressing the needs of health-obsessed consumers. He says that Hershey’s will be between “health master” and “family pleaser.” Family-pleasing, less-healthy snack options from Hershey include Snack Mix and Reese’s Spreads Snacksters. Finally, Nahm said that consumers may see themselves as a short series of pluses or minuses when it comes to nutrition. They would identify foods such as pumpkin seeds and fruits as pluses while a donut or a chocolate bar would be minuses. As Hershey may have fallen into the minuses category over the years, it is now planning to promote pluses through their healthy snack line.

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Create More Nutritious Snacks With NutriFusion®

So many health aficionados will argue that we need to drop processed and packaged foods all together, but that’s really impossible at this point in our food system. Rather than eliminating these foods, we need to focus on improving their ingredients and making them “better for you”. That’s why we developed NutriFusion. We agree that the food system is broken and we need to start eating fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. But that’s not going to happen overnight and we need a solution now. With our ingredients, snack companies are able to all natural nutrients and vitamins from fruits and vegetables. Our products are completely processing stable meaning our nutrients can withstand the high heating and cooling of modern day processing. If you ar interested in learning more, please visit the consumer packaged food page to learn more.