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Snacking Is Ripe For Innovation Focused On Benefits And Sensory Experience

April 20, 2022: 12:00 AM EST
In an interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, Harbinder Maan from the Almond Board of California, says the “snacking space is seeing increased competition that is challenging brands to offer a nexus of nutrition benefits and new sensory experiences”, and that flavor is a key driver. As pandemic restrictions ease, snacking at home has waned. David Deeley, insights manager at Kerry Group, said there is more demand for out-of-home snacking and “we are seeing a revitalized demand for smaller, on-the-go formats.” John Powers from ADM said people are looking for convenient snack options to incorporate in their lives. Sonja Matthews, at Glanbia Nutritionals, believes consumers now expect snacks to both taste good and provide health benefits with protein fortified snacks growing in popularity. Maan thinks consumers may seek “permissible” or “better-for-you” indulgence, with a more mindful snacking approach, and that busy lifestyles mean snacks “with mood benefits have recently emerged to satisfy consumers who are using food to contribute to their mental wellness”. Maan promotes almonds for this benefit. Deeley says Kerry is seeing demand for “snacks and treats as part of a balanced lifestyle, from a mental well-being perspective, offering security and stability in an otherwise unpredictable world.” Powers believes consumers want snacks to support their emotional needs, and that flavor and texture play a significant role here, with consumers drawn to familiar tastes. Consumers also want to try something new, such as snacks with regional spice blends, or new textural experiences, such as “crunchy snacks, gooey candies and cooling sensations from ingredients like mint,” according to Powers. Matthews sees growing interest in snacks that improve focus, boost energy or provide calming benefits. 
Andria Kades , "Snacking: The return of out-of-home snacks, the rise of protein fortification and healthy indulgence", FoodIngredientsFirst.com , April 20, 2022, © CNS Media BV
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