CHICAGO — Americans are becoming more conscious about what they eat and as a result the types of snacks consumed have evolved from classic junk food — candy bars and chips — to healthier snacks like fresh fruit, breakfast and sports bars as well as yogurt and protein drinks.
According to “The Future of Eating: Who’s Eating What in 2018” study from The NPD Group, an information service company, the consumption of healthy snacks has risen 14% over the past nine years and for the next several years will continue to be one of the fastest growing snack categories.
The healthy snack market is being propelled by consumers under the age of 48, which suggests that healthy food manufacturers have a golden opportunity to influence young consumers and create brand loyalty over the span of a lifetime.
The study also notes that “protein, natural, and no or less sugar are the health call-outs that consumers are most looking for when they eat a snack, which now may be in-between meals, at meals, or as a meal.”
“Snacking today is a prevalent behavior and there is an opportunity in every snack category for manufacturers to call out the specific health benefits from desirable ingredients to clean labeling,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “There is also a generational slant to each category to take into account when positioning and marketing snack foods.”