Global market research company Euromonitor International presented new research at the London press briefing, ‘No Sugar Please: How Snacks are Being Redefined’.

According to the presentation, growth of healthy snacks rose by 7% in 2014-2015 compared to ‘conventional’ snacks, which only increased by 5%. “The growth in healthy snacks was driven by Western Europe and North America, which combined, increased by $10.8 billion from 2011 to 2016, an emerging trend that could transform the food industry,” says Jack Skelly, food analyst at Euromonitor International.

The ‘war on sugar’ has dented the potential demand of sweet snacks as consumers have greater awareness of ingredients used in food production and are more cautious on their consumption. According to a recent Euromonitor survey, 47% of global respondents look for foods with limited or no added sugar. “The demonization of sugar inevitably created a change in the type of ingredients used in snacks,” says John George, ingredients analyst at Euromonitor. In 2015, global sweeteners use in conventional snacks amounted to 15.5 million tonnes, while in comparison, new snacks included less than a fifth of this at 3 million tonnes.

This health trend doesn’t only foster ingredients shift but also new pack sizing strategies, “We’ve seen an increasing polarization of pack sizes in conventional snacks, as larger formats are marketed for shared consumption, and smaller sizes more commonly launched as ‘calorie packs’. The aim of these new formats are to convey greater portion control and lower the guilt of buying a treat while still boosting impulse purchase,” adds Karine Dussimon, senior packaging analyst at Euromonitor.

“Consumers are also increasingly aware of the importance of healthy weight in prevention of diabetes and other diseases, so minimizing sugar and calorie intake is high on consumers’ agenda,” concludes Ewa Hudson, head of health and wellness research at Euromonitor. New products are predicted to take a larger slice of the snacking market, resulting in further acquisitions.