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The category gained importance during the pandemic and should continue to grow with in-person work and school returning. Furthermore, intense changes in consumption behavior have transformed snacks and stimulated innovations in formats and ingredients to meet new demands 

Snack consumption had prominence during the pandemic. A survey carried out by Kantar found that snack sales, especially those with healthy attributes, grew by 50% in this period in countries such as Brazil, France, the United Kingdom and Spain.

In Brazil, 51% of people interviewed for the State of Snacking survey, conducted globally by Mondelez in partnership with the specialist in consumer survey The Harris Poll, said they were consuming more snacks than before the pandemic. 

For these consumers, snacks have become food that helps them get through the day, gives them more energy and nourishes their minds and bodies. They also look for snacks rich in vitamins, low in sugar, fat and carbohydrates. Other attributes that appear in this study are natural ingredients, organic ingredients and those that increase immunity. 

These data point to a worldwide demand for healthiness that was already emerging even before Covid-19. According to Euromonitor projections, global sales of snacks with healthy attributes are expected to reach US$ 98 billion by 2025. 

There is also space for indulgent snacks, after all, consumers seek comfort and pleasure when consuming these products. 

Thus, the attributes of snacks are being remodeled, transforming the category and providing opportunities for innovations. 

Ready-to-eat snacks consumed between meals are no longer just an unpretentious snack, or seen as an empty calorie intake, to become foods that promote well-being, deliver functionality or new experiences. 

On some occasions they can even replace meals, and all this opens new possibilities for the food industry. It’s all about offering the right snack at the right time.

Practicality and convenience cannot be left out as they are important factors when consuming these foods. In Brazil, for example, according to a Mintel report, 40% of consumers prefer snacks that do not need to be prepared, i.e., ready to eat.

Check out new launches from the food industry with some of the most desired attributes in snacks.

Consumers want healthier options

The pandemic may even have acted as a boost for the demand for snacks with healthy attributes, but this trend already driven new launches in several categories. 

In snacks, some innovation opportunities are in reduced sugar, maintaining the same flavor and texture of traditional products, in addition to reduced fat levels. High protein content is another trend. 

Among consumers who eat snacks between meals, the main attribute is for it to be a light snack. According to Mintel’s Healthy Eating Trends – Brazil study, 44% of consumers associate “100% natural” with the “light” attribute, so snacks made with fruits and other vegetables can also represent good options on these occasions, suggests Mintel. 

Greenjoy, North American brand of pressed salads for light snacks, available in the flavors beet and leafy greens, pomegranate and leafy greens and cacao and leafy greens.
Simply 7 Creamy Dill Flavored Lentil Chips
Simply 7 Creamy Dill Flavored Lentil Chips is a lentil snack with natural ingredients, without preservatives, colorings, gluten or GMO, produced in Australia.
Perfect Kids Line
Perfect Kids Line, from the North American company Perfect Snacks, offers nutritious ready to eat snacks for children's lunchboxes. With over 8 superfoods in each bar.
Il Etait un Fruit
Il Etait un Fruit, French brand of dried fruit snacks without added sugar or oil. The fruits and vegetables come from France and use as much food as would otherwise be wasted.
NutCo, a snack brand owned by Brazilian company Positive Brands, has developed a new technology for nut production. The roasting method ensures that the nuts stay crunchy and flavorful for longer and are healthier than fried nuts. The product is made without soy oil, with just the right amount of salt and is gluten-free.
Danival La Néo Popote
Danival La Néo Popote! French brand of plant-based dessert made from coconut milk.

Guilt-free indulgence

What about indulgence in relation to the growing demand for healthy snacks?

According to Mondelez’s study of global consumption trends, 41% of Brazilians surveyed said that controlled portions help them enjoy guilt-free indulgence. In addition, indulgent snacks play an important role in providing comfort.

Mintel´s survey on snacks indicates that consumers aged 16 to 34 are more likely to consume snacks that provide fun and joy in almost every consumption occasion.

According to Kantar, for Brazilians, especially during the pandemic, consuming snacks generated:

  • Comforting moments – 44%
  • Reward – 36%
  • Relief 34%

Permissible Indulgence: the combination of saudability and indulgence

And another relevant fact: for 73% of those interviewed by Kantar, a balanced diet can indeed include a little indulgence. And there is also the possibility of combining indulgent and healthy attributes, as in these products:

Challenger Jimjams, North American brand of chocolate cream with 80% less sugar that balances indulgence with healthiness.
Brave Chickpeas
Brave Chickpeas are chickpea cookies, coated in vegan chocolate.

Premium versions have room to grow

According to Mintel´s survey in the snacks category, the analysis of new premium snack launches in the 15 largest markets shows that the segment has room to grow in Brazil, where just over 2% of new launches targeted this claim in the last three years.

In the same study, 13% of consumers agreed that they would rather spend on premium snacks, like a Belgian chocolate bar, for example, than on gourmet meals. 

In addition, 25% of consumers are interested in gourmet-flavored snacks, such as truffle-flavored popcorn. 

Nut Me
The Brazilian brand Nut Me! offers a spicy flavor mix with selected premium nuts, including almonds, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews and condiments such as turmeric, cayenne pepper and pink Himalayan salt.
Strawberry Luxury Layered Yogurt
Irish brand Specially Selected has launched the Strawberry Luxury Layered Yogurt, a thicker premium yogurt made with Irish milk and cream, plus syrup with strawberry chunks.

Functional snacks

Snacks with functional ingredients meet the demand for foods that provide more energy, immunity or relaxation. They can also appeal to the public with food restrictions and intolerances, and even combined with proposals with a touch of indulgence. 

Deux Foods
Deux Foods offers cookies that, according to the brand, help to strengthen immunity, boost collagen production and even give protein intake a boost. Cookies are still produced according to socially and environmentally responsible methods.
Foodtech from Rio de Janeiro, Popai, uses artificial intelligence to develop vegan snacks with a high fiber and protein content. The brand's snacks serve both athletes and people with dietary restrictions, such as diabetics and people with celiac disease.
Staymune dairy drink, from the Brazilian cooperative Santa Clara, contains yeast beta-glucan and FOS (fructooligosaccharide) fiber, in addition to vitamins A, C and D. Beta-glucan is a natural ingredient in food, beverages and supplements, which helps to strengthen the immune system and glucose balance, stimulating digestion and better absorption of nutrients. FOS is a fiber and its daily intake has been shown to be beneficial to human health, mainly due to its prebiotic effect.

Snacks that can replace meals

Mintel’s snacking survey indicates that 20% of consumers have already eaten snack foods to replace a meal. Therefore, products with a complex nutritional profile that offer a feeling of satiety can meet this demand.

The North American brand Soylent offers a portfolio of drinks, shakes and bars that are promoted as meal replacements. The drinks, which are called “ready-to-drink meals”, contain 400 kcal, are a source of protein and nutrients and are available in six flavors, all gluten-free, vegan and free from artificial colors and flavors.
Satay & Peanut Dip
The Satay & Peanut Dip, a chicken snack for consumption on the go, from Ainsbury, a UK brand, comes packaged in individual portions and the chicken pieces are on skewers.
Curators Snacking Sticks Chorizo
The Curators Snacking Sticks Chorizo Sticks, a British product, contains two chorizo sticks and can be stored at room temperature.
Badaone Roasted Dried Filefish Fillet
Badaone Roasted Dried Filefish Fillet, from South Korean company Badaone, is sold as a new variety for the meat snack portfolio. It comes with a pack of wasabi mayonnaise.

The wide universe of snacks further expanded horizons during the pandemic, gaining new attributes, expanding consumption possibilities and, above all, opportunities for the food and beverage industry. For you, is it really just a matter of offering the right snack at the right time? Share your opinion with us!

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