Canadian Vending

Features Consumer Behaviour Trends
Consumers prefer snacks with ‘healthy’ twist: report


June 11, 2015
By Canadian Vending

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June 11, 2015, Chicago –  Whether salty, savoury or sweet; high, low, or no calories, consumers
are looking for snacks that have a perceived health benefit, reports NPD Group.

June 11, 2015, Chicago –  Whether salty, savoury, or sweet; high, low, or no calories, consumers
are looking for snacks that have a perceived health benefit, reports NPD Group.

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, based on NPD Group’s ongoing food consumption research.    

This move towards snacking with a health benefit is being driven by
the youngest generations – Generation Z, ages 0-23, Millennials, ages
24-37, and Generation X, ages 38-48, which together amount to the bulk
of the population, said NPD Group in a news release. Their positive attitudes about snacking, desire to
eat more healthfully, and need for convenience are among the reasons for
the growth in snacks with a perceived health benefit. Boomers, a large
number of whom have health conditions, tend to watch for sodium and
sugar content in snacks.

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The three mega snack categories are better-for-you, savoury, and
sweet. Consumption of better-for-you snack foods, like fresh fruit,
breakfast/sports bars, and yogurt, is up 14 per cent since 2006, and is
forecast to grow the fastest out of the three snack categories,
according to NPD’s "The Future of Eating: Who’s Eating What in 2018?"
report. Savoury snacks, which includes salty snacks and dips, increased
consumption by four per cent since 2006, and is also forecast to grow.
Consumers have lost their sweet tooth when it comes to snacking, but
with more sweet snacks offering health benefits, the forecast shows
consumption to stabilize over the next few years.

“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,
NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “There is also a generational slant
to take into account for each category when positioning and marketing
snack foods.”