Ah, even in what used to be called “the lazy days of summer,” people are busier than ever before. And because of this, consumers’ eating habits are changing and straying from the typical three-meal-a-day habit. Consumers want foods they can take with them wherever they go, so portion-controlled snack and bakery products are coming into play, helping to overhaul the marketplace. So be sure to check out our Market Trends story on Portion Control, which mentions that nearly 50% of consumers cite portability as a necessary attribute in a snack.

Snack and bakery products manufacturers see a great chance to offer single-serve versions that not only taste great, in bold, vibrant flavors, but are a healthy snack option that can come in sustainable packaging.

Still, some more highly processed foods aren’t so healthy, especially those made with refined ingredients. Some experts think certain processed foods may have something to do with the obesity epidemic. Surveys in the U.S. and the U.K. are indicating that most people consume less than than one serving a day of whole-grain cereals, when research shows three daily servings of whole grains are better for us.

In our Health & Wellness column this month, Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), Washington, writes that we also fall short of consuming enough fiber—a very beneficial and important nutrient for our health.

The recommended daily fiber intake is about 25 g. for women and 38 g. for men. However, most consumers only get a mere 10-15 g. of fiber a day. So why is fiber intake falling by the wayside? Cochran explores this problem and suggests several things we can do to solve it.

We’re also featuring our semi-annual Tortilla Trends section this month, which looks into ingredient functionality for tortilla improvements, with Feliciano “Sonny” Bejosano of Allied Blending & Ingredients.

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On another front, last month, we decided to poll our online visitors (at www.snackandbakery.com) about the Top Products of 2014 that we have discovered so far. We’ve uncovered so many interesting new snack and bakery products already, that we couldn’t wait to share our favorites with you. Originality, packaging and taste were some of the criteria on which these products were selected. For some time, three nominees were the major contenders in the poll, but the ultimate winner so far this year is Late July Organic Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips from Late July Organic Snacks, Barnstable, MA, with 50% of the vote.

Launched in April, these new restaurant-style tortilla chips, in an 11-oz. bag, are for consumers who prefer organic food to enjoy an organic snack. In addition to being certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project-verified, they’re gluten- and nut-free, kosher and vegan.

Late July says its mission is for future generations of families to have access to delicious food that’s free from GMOs, toxic persistent pesticides and antibiotics. Founded in 2003 by Nicole Bernard Dawes and her late father, Steve Bernard, the company celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013.

Ranking second, with 38% of the vote, is Bolds, a highly-flavored line of sandwich crackers from Snyder’s-Lance Inc. The product combines exciting combinations of bold fillings with tasty, crunchy crackers for a satisfying snack. Available in Buffalo Wing Blue Cheese, Pizza and Bacon Cheddar, the new Bolds line contains up to 3 g. of protein per serving.

Coming in at third is Blue Diamond’s Honey Nut-Thins crackers with 7% of the vote (see this month’s Cover story about these new products). Congratulations to all of the leaders (so far). And while they are leading the way right now, don’t forget that we’re only half-way through the year. SF&WB will also have a final poll for 2014 by year’s end, so be sure to check that out on our website at www.snackandbakery.com in the months to come.