The Food Channel, in association with Mintel International, CultureWaves and the International Food Futurists, has released their top ten snack trends for the year. According to Kay Logsdon, editor-in-chief of The Food Channel, today’s snack trends are reflective of the overall food trends of healthier eating and locally sourced ingredients. They include:
Chips and Dip 2.0: Old-fashioned fried potato chips are becoming a thing of the past as consumers are substituting these with pita chips, pretzels and herb flavored crisps. People are also opting for more interesting dips that are spicier and healthier.
Small and Sensational: Snacks are slowly turning into light meals now that many people are consuming protein packed snacks. Some people even graze for the entire day without ever having a meal.
The Drink Shift: Now that people are more aware of the negative aspects of sugary soft drinks and energy drinks, they are slowly shifting their beverage consumption toward fruity drinks with less sugar. Sweet teas and smoothies are more popular and Jamba Juice is now packaging their smoothies to be made at home.
Goin’ Nuts: The health benefits of nuts have not gone unnoticed as people are consuming them in every form imaginable. Almonds or walnuts, flavored or plain, nuts are providing people with a healthy and flavorful snack alternative.
Fruits: The Low Hanging Snack: Teddy Grahams beware: fresh fruit is now the number one snack for kids ages 2-17. In a nation with the highest rates of obesity and diabetes, this is a promising figure. The availability of new types of fruit and the growing trend to buy local has contributed to fruit consumption.
Cruising the Bars: No longer are we solely subjected to unappetizing energy or meal replacement bars. Granola bars are now available in a variety of flavors including key lime pie or chocolate pretzel with your pick of dairy-free, gluten-free and the like.
Sweet and Salty: Proving that sweet and salty can go hand in hand, snacks like chocolate-covered pretzels or sea salt with caramel are gaining vending machine exposure.
Yogurt, Redefined: 2010 is all about Greek yogurt. People are searching for the healthiest snacks around and this thick, creamy yogurt packed with probiotics is definitely one of them.
Bodaciouly Bold: Nowadays the motto is the bolder the flavors, the better. Companies of all sorts are jumping on the bold flavor bandwagon, particularly those developing chips and soft drinks.
Nostalgia’s New Again: Just because we’re leaning toward healthier snacks, it doesn’t mean Ding Dongs are ancient relics. Snack cakes like Little Debbie or Tastykake are still some of the guiltiest pleasures around.