At its core, eating quality seals the deal on the repeat purchase of a snack. Those of us in the industry might rank a snack’s hedonistic level—the level of pleasure consumption delivers. Snacks can also face organoleptic scrutiny, determining its positive (or negative) interactions with our senses.
The chips market has grown highly diversified over the past several years. In 2017, a chip can run the gamut, including standard potato chips, chips made out of fruits or vegetables, and multigrain options.
Manufacturers of tortilla and tostada chips continue to expand the boundaries of their offerings, in terms of both more imaginative flavors and attempts to address consumer concerns about the healthfulness of a category traditionally known for corn, salt and carbs.
The versatile puffed and extruded snack segment is answering the call of consumers who want to try different flavor profiles and combinations. On the traditional side, products such as Cheetos continue to prosper in the marketplace. In fact, total annual sales for cheese snacks just reached $2.1 billion. Through a balance of tradition and forward-thinking innovation, this segment represents the best of both worlds.
Within the past few years, choices for popcorn flavors have become more diverse. In 2017, you can choose to eat popcorn straight from the bag, made in the microwave, or even drizzled with chocolate. Consumers can even choose from flavors like honey butter and ranch. For today’s popcorn fans, this category offers more snacking options than ever before.
Over time, select trends across food emerge, rise to prominence and then grow fully intertwined into the fabric of the industry itself. Such is the case with “better-for-you,” a term that has grown to encompass any product that has some level of nutritional improvement over a “traditional” version of the very same product.
Snack mix and nut products have extended their reach over the past year as consumers continue to seek varieties that are full of flavor innovation and adventure. “On-the-go” snack packs also appeal to consumers, and some have bold, new flavors that will make them stand out on the grocery store shelves.
When thinking of a traditional snack cake, the classic Hostess CupCake may come to mind. However, while the classics endure, snack cakes have evolved a long way since the 1919 birth of the product. Modern-day snack cakes aren’t necessarily as indulgent as their predecessors, but at the same time, they manage to not sacrifice taste, either.