• What Consumers Want in Snacks

    By Kara McDonald December 16, 2016

    snacks.jpgUnexpected flavors. Value added benefits. Options to fit into any part of the day. These are the qualities consumers are looking for most when choosing snacks. With the change from less meals to more snacks, consumers are expecting better quality. The rise in snack popularity is also causing a rise in snack complexity. U.S. dairy ingredients can help make this less daunting. 

    Research shows that 46% of consumers snack three or more times a day.1 This number continues to increase as snacking becomes more frequent and more spread out throughout the day. The more defined the snack product is, the better it will resonate with consumers during this influx of snack options. With this need for differentiation comes the need for personalization to consumer taste preferences and the benefits each consumer is looking to gain at each day part.

    Increasing personalization requires quality, functional and nutritional ingredients. U.S. dairy proteins are high quality ingredients that complement new and old snack flavors with their mild taste, allowing for creative innovations.

    Personalized Flavors

    Flavor variety is one of the top factors contributing to the snack craze. 88% of consumers look for the specific flavors they prefer, while 70% buy multiple flavors of the same snack.1 And, according to Innova Market Insights, consumers still prefer savory and salty over other snack categories. Global-tracked launches of savory and salty snacks have grown at 7.4% CAGR over the last five years.2

    Cheese continues to be the top flavor choice for savory and salty snacks.2 But recently, product launches have been taking a more outlandish approach with flavors like turmeric, savory and sweet fusions, maple and other flavor combinations used for a hybrid snack.2

    Indulgent snacks haven’t been abandoned—the overall growth in snack sales include categories such as salty snacks, natural cheese, yogurt and bakery snacks.1 However, indulgent snacks are promoting value-added benefits to create guilt-free snacking, such as protein fortified.3

    A Rise of Claims 

    More than ever before, consumers are studying packaging before making their purchase decisions. Claims like premium ingredients, no additives and less preservatives are capturing the attention of consumers and differentiating products.

    Research shows that 57% of consumers want additional health benefits beyond nutrition; 57% want snacks that contain vitamins and minerals; 37% look for probiotics; and 60% want all day fuel.1 Top sought-out nutritional benefits include cancer prevention, lower heart disease and weight loss.1

    Protein can help with a healthy lifestyle, aging requirements and weight management. U.S. dairy proteins, whey and milk protein concentrates, are among the highest quality proteins on the market today, assisting in gaining lean body mass and better overall nutrition.

    Options for All Eating Occasions

    No section of the day should be ignored as an opportunity to deliver a snack option. Over half of the U.S. population is snacking during the morning hours. This includes, 52% of consumers ages 18 to 24 year and 69% of consumers ages 25 to 34. However, there is also a desire for indulgent snacks that offer relaxation in the evening and snacks that provide a boost of energy for all-day fuel.1

    Dairy proteins offer the range of functional benefits for food and beverage snack products that a majority of consumers are looking for. Learn more about dairy proteins and how they can help products deliver on this consumer trend. Visit ThinkUSAdairy.org to see how whey and milk proteins can be incorporated into products.

    1How America Eats. 2016 State of the Snack Food Industry. IRi. April 6, 2016. https://www.iriworldwide.com/IRI/media/video/How%20America%20Eats%20-%202016%20State%20of%20Snacking.pdf

    2Innova Market Insights. Savory/Salty Snacks. 2016.

    3Innova Market Insights. Top Trends in Food & Beverage NPD. 2016.

    Market Insights Consumer Insights Dairy Proteins Snacking Whey Protein High Quality Protein Snack Trends Snacks
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