Over the last 18 months, consumers have been more concerned about their health and wellbeing than ever before. That’s led to a shift in consumer attitudes toward traditional snacking products such as confectionery. 

Consumers are looking to address key areas of health, such as their immune and digestive health, in order to be less vulnerable to future disease. In turn, consumers are now proactively seeking out products which offer great taste but also functional benefits. 

So, what does this mean for confectionery, and is there an opportunity to target these changing consumers? 

COVID-19 has left consumers feeling concerned about a number of different health issues. FMCG Gurus research shows that 66 percent of global consumers are now more concerned about their overall health as a result of the pandemic. 

Consumers also are looking to address immune heath. Consumer insights from FMCG Gurus shows that 65 percent of global consumers have become more conscious of their immune health, a rise of 8 percent from April 2020 – February 2021. 

Although the pandemic has accelerated the desire to address health concerns, it really just accelerated something consumers were already doing. Even pre-pandemic they were looking to adopt a more holistic approach to their health. 

Of course, as consumers look to address their health, one of the key changes they will make is to their diets. Consumers who are being proactive and looking to improve all aspects of health will want products that can help facilitate this. 

When it comes to chocolate and confectionery, 69 percent of global consumers say they have sought out products that are low in sugar/sugar-free over the last 12 months. This presents an opportunity for brands to position their snacking products in packaging that encourages moderated consumption, therefore offering reduced sugar without reduced taste.  

As previously mentioned, consumers are becoming more conscious about their immune health and more proactive in wanting to address this. This is leading to consumers actively seeking out snacking products which can help reinforce the immune system. 

FMCG Gurus research shows that 29 percent of global consumers have sought out chocolate products that help reinforce the immune system, with 22 percent doing so for confectionery products. This highlights the opportunity for brands to offer functional ingredients within traditional snacking options such as confectionery and chocolate. 

Ingredient-led claims will now be more influential within the snacking markets. As consumers research different ways to improve their health, they are looking to understand the benefits of functional ingredients. Ingredients such as Omega 3, Vitamin C and protein are key ingredients consumers associate not only with boosting their immune health but also their overall health. 

FMCG Gurus research also highlights that 40 percent of global consumers say they like to turn to snacks fortified with specific health-enhancing ingredients. Demand for functional products positioned around ingredient claims will continue to grow over the next 12 months. 

However, it is important that brands and manufacturers still promote sensory appeal as well as the health benefits, as consumers will not want to feel as if they are giving up their favorite products. Products must be positioned as conveniently nutritious, offering functional benefits and great sensory appeal. 

Will Cowling, Marketing Manager at FMCG Gurus. This article is based on FMCG Gurus: Snack Trends in 2021 – Global Report. For more information, please contact, info@fmcggurus.com