On-the-go products provide time-starved consumers with easy meal replacements, quick snacks throughout the day and easily transportable products. Research from Mintel and Euromonitor International sheds some light on the rapidly growing on-the-go market for bars, snacks and beverages. 

The market for healthier snack items is growing exponentially. According to Euromonitor International, the global snack food market in 2006 is valued at US$85 billion and is projected to reach sales of more than $96 billion by 2011. In 2006, the world health and wellness snack bar market represented 71% of total snack bar sales.

The market for beverages is also growing rapidly. In 2005, the global beverage market was valued at $688 billion and experienced an 8% compound annual growth rate over the last five years, according to data from Euromonitor International. ADM focuses on working with customers who want to create great-tasting beverages with many of their better-for-you ingredients such as CardioAid™ plant sterols, NutriSoy® soy proteins, Novasoy® soy isoflavones and Fibersol®-2 dietary soluble fiber.

Mintel has researched on-the-go needs in depth; package and product must be designed to meet occasion-specific consumer needs and attributes. For example, consumers who are “driving around town” have a specific need for a portable container that fits into the cup holder or into a lap. The product also should be spill and leak-proof. (See charts “On the Go” and “Buy to Fly” for other relevant considerations for product form and package design.)

Though consumers are looking for the convenience of on-the-go, they increasingly question what they eat. As Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, once said, “If you are what you eat, then that makes me fast, cheap and easy.” Food has now developed a dichotomous image: while blamed in part for causing health problems, it is also seen as a potential savior for the present health crises. Mintel’s Global New Products Database shows the top 10 health and wellness claims for bars, snacks and beverages. Leading the list is vitamin/mineral fortification with 16% of claims, followed closely by low-/no-/reduced-carbs (12%) and sugar (11%). Calories and transfat come next, with 10% and 6%, respectively. Rounding out the list are claims of organic (5%), low-/no-/reduced-fat (4%), all natural (2%), no additives/preservatives (2%) and low-/no-/reduced-sodium (2%). Product formulation and the product’s form and package design must all come together to meet the needs of on-the-go consumers.

ADM’s Aspire™ Food Systems’ platform offers ingredients, tools and expertise in formulating healthy, on-the-go options. ADM’s breadth of ingredients serves both functional and nutri-tional product development needs. Aspire is a unique vehicle that allows for an efficient co-development process and speed to market. Aspire’s primary goal is to provide innovative, personalized solutions for great-tasting, good-for-you products that meet consumers’ demands for health and indulgence. Visitinfo@admworld.comor www.admworld.com for more information.