Confections and snacks compete for the same share-of-stomach, but are considered separate categories. 2016 saw the lines between the two areas blur as confection innovation picked up taste, texture, and ingredient cues from snacks.
A variety of industry trends are responsible for an uptick in healthy snack options:
There is a growing preference amongst snackers for products that provide more healthful options than typical snacks.
"Free from" remains a top driving trend for healthy-ingredient snack sales, with allergen- and gluten-free claims the most popular.
Protein, bite-sized snacks, and innovative flavors are in high demand.
There has been an increase in the percentage of adults who believe they snack healthier, which has climbed to 30% in the last decade. Relatedly, younger Americans are more likely to believe they eat healthier than are older adults.
Finally, the term "natural" as a marketing tool may have to change if the US Food and Drug Administration adopts regulations concerning the term.
Check out the April 2017 issue of Prepared Foods, featuring our cover story on how technologists are addressing sugar reduction with an expanding menu of sweeteners, the use of salts and spices to modernize formulations, and much more!