Permissible, Indulgent Snacking
We are living in the day and age of Reality TV. Many Millennial lifestyle trends evolved from popular shows and more and more food trends are following those footsteps. Netflix just brought us a spin-off to their popular documentary series called Chef’s Table: Pastry! featuring chefs like Christina Tosi, owner and chef of Momofuku Milk Bar.
Since pastry and desserts are getting more attention, it comes with no surprise that snacking is a growing key business driver for the food industry. More and more people seem to be eating outside of their traditional mealtimes, developing new moments of consumption such as pre-lunch snacks or pre-dinner bakery items. Snacking has become more of a daily pleasure, rather than an irregular special treat.
But while consumers are not willing to sacrifice on their snacking, they do tend to choose smaller sizes. This brings more indulgent snacking options, like desserts, pastries and ice cream, back into the game, as manufacturers just need to come up with smaller sizes in order to meet consumer needs.
This is an ongoing trend we have noticed while carefully monitoring new product launches and trending products, dishes, recipe search queries, and consumer reports around the world.
Another demand we have noticed being on the rise is due to the fact that consumers today are becoming more conscious than ever regarding their food choices. When in doubt, people tend to not just reach for small sizes, but also for ingredients known to be healthy, such as fruit and nuts. Today’s “ideal” snack offers both.
Fruit-based snacks are top of mind, when it comes to “healthy snacking”
Consumers want to feel that they are not just satisfying a craving, but also adding health benefits to their body by snacking. Adding fruit to snacks makes them more nutritious - which is a key element for consumer satisfaction.
For the food industry this trend creates one of the most interesting opportunities to connect with Millennials and other profitable consumer groups: Creating more wholesome (and nutritious) portion-controlled, fruit-based snacks.
Trend Elements to Consider
The look and feel of a mass product (such as huge batches) is a huge turn-off. The actual appeal of “artisan” is that the crafted products are perceived as being homemade and thus served in single, bite-sized portions. Consumers in a number of markets have voiced their enthusiasm for such products according to a Mintel study conducted in 2017 - especially when it comes to ice cream.
Free from alternatives
"Alternatives" are still going strong. For the snacking industry though, one important factor – where AGRANA Fruit can offer a huge amount of expertise - needs to be considered: -Consumers still want that full feeling of indulgence! Meaning that, even if a product has a “free from” claim, it still needs to be full of taste. Like swapping traditional dairy ice cream for a rich sorbet.
Consumers are increasingly open to finding a balance between healthy eating and indulgent treats, thus creating new opportunities for innovation. The way we “used to eat” still is perceived as “healthier” because it was homemade. Online search engines have noticed a significant hike in searches for “original” recipes. Connecting with consumers by (re)creating traditional snacks is a key element when it comes to popular baked goods (like finding “Grandma’s” cookies).
Product categories, such as cookies and chocolate confectionery, recently have been exploring 'thin' formats of their products, as demand is increasing. According to a recent survey by Mintel, seven in ten consumers are interested in trying thinner cookies with a lighter, crispier texture. These products are positioned as 'less heavy food' suitable for on-the-go consumption and impulse purchases; and, most importantly, as permissible indulgence. The use of the word ‘thin’ defines this concept as a part of everyday lifestyles for many consumers.
Especially dessert brands increasingly find themselves under pressure to eliminate or reduce unwanted ingredients in their products. The list of ingredients should be as clean and simple as possible. Consumers want to be able to understand what they are snacking on. Especially when it is perceived as an indulgence. Also, transparent packaging is paying into this need of having to “see it, to believe it”.
Snacking is all about indulgence. Some recent launches consist not only of nuts or fruits, but also of cookies, cereals, and salty snacks, including potato chips, pretzels, and tortilla chips. Consumers are craving textures and sensory stimulation; but at the same time, they also want simple and healthy ingredients. This creates a nice opportunity to include nuts and seeds as well as textured fruit, such as figs or maracuja.
‚Permissible indulgence‘ revolves around the concept of snacking without feeling guilty. This can be achieved by having smaller amounts/portions of products, with healthier ingredients, but without sacrificing on flavor or texture.
Opportunities for you:
Consumers are increasingly leaning towards better-for-you and flavorful treats leaving the food industry with lots of opportunities for new products and small-sized options.
Balanced diets are gaining traction among consumers. Nevertheless, taste remains one of the key food and beverage product attributes. At AGRANA Fruit we specialize in custom development offering a broad range of fruit solutions to boost the taste and texture of your products.
Smart indulging becomes a regular part of everyday lifestyles and allows us to create an entirely new product line for these new “moments of consumption”.
We at AGRANA Fruit can help your company find its new indulgent snacking product designed to meet the needs of modern consumers.
Our team has a passion for innovation and experience in developing snacking products around the world.