Consumers, especially Millennials are living a fast and busy lifestyle. Millennials have a sweet spot for meal prep time that is between 20 to 30 minutes. While being health conscious they are gravitating towards purchasing “grab and go” options, such as breakfasts, snacks and dinner. And it seems most consumer segments across all ages are moving away from popping open a bag of cookies or chips to tackle their cravings, and want convenient, nutritious, elevated and delicious options to take on-the -go. On this blog, let’s explore trends in snacking, which is one of the hot topics I will be presenting at the SIAL Show in Toronto on May 1, 2019.

Snacking and Mini Meals Phenomenon

Something strange is going on. Millennials on average watch more cooking shows than everyone else, and yet they cook less, and often more poorly; they consider themselves the Foodie Generation but are not less interested in making their own food from scratch than previous generations. This trend is creating key growth opportunities for the food industry across all day parts.

Snacking Attributes and Benefits

The days of the carb loaded muffins, donuts and snack bars are long gone for this consumer market. There is much innovation going on in the mini meals and snacking category, creating a demand and trend for manufacturers to take snack ideas and elevate them to delicious, convenient yet nutritious options. This was obvious at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in January.

These snacks and mini-meal options must have nutritious attributes such as being protein positive or having all the macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) found in a full meal. Or a superb convenience benefit. Remember when you had to prepare a salad by washing, peeling, chopping, tossing and perhaps cooking eggs or chicken. Not anymore, convenient, nutritious salads-to-go are emerging including seaweed, quinoa and calamari based varieties in single serve refrigerated environmentally friendly containers.

JD-Mushroom barsTrend Watch

As consumers replace full size meals with snacks and mini-meals because they are “just too busy and always on the go”, here are my top five trends to watch over the next year:

  1. Healthier on-the-go baked goods with nutritious calories for your morning coffee;
  2. Plant-based protein options that have appealing textures and improved taste profiles;
  3. More savoury flavours in this category including mushrooms, cheese, and fish;
  4. Better and more environmentally friendly portable packaging;
  5. The increased role for seeds in this category, due to nut allergies and the emphasis on healthy fats.

I’d love to speak at your upcoming event to share more exciting food trends.
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