The Future of Snacking: Emerging Snack Food Industry Trends

Closeup of an assortment of snacks

The food industry is transforming remarkably with emerging snack food industry trends. From healthier options to innovative flavors and sustainable packaging, the latest trends show new consumer tastes and behavior developments. This blog will outline these growing snack food industry trends.

According to a Mordor Intelligence report, the snack food market is projected to grow significantly. Its size is expected to increase from USD 256.26 billion in 2023 to USD 559.26 billion by 2028.

This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16. 89% during the forecast period of 2023-2028.

Healthy Snacking

Manufacturers have launched nutritious, on-the-go snacks to meet consumer demand for healthier options. Functional snacking is gaining importance as people seek proper nutrition while replacing meals with snacks.

Consumers expect packaged snacks for adults to meet nutritional requirements but also want additional functions like improving gut health, sleep quality, and immunity-boosting snacks. According to Innova Market Insights, Better For You (BFY) snacking is a snack food industry trend that continues to grow.

Convenience Above All

Another growing snack food industry trend is convenience. Many consumers feel like they have less time in their busy days. Consumers prefer food that is easy to carry and quickly accessible, making snack foods the best option. Value snack packing allows consumers to buy quantities of a favorite snack.

Single-serve snacks are growing in popularity as well. Consumers seek portion-controlled snacking options to fulfill their nutritional needs while snacking. Snack food is now a popular alternative to full meals. Consumers want tasty, healthy, and sustainable snacks for their busy lifestyles.

Sustainable Ingredients and Packaging

The snack food market offers diverse options to suit different preferences. These include chips, nuts, granola bars, and more. The demand for natural and sustainable snacks has increased with the rise of plant-based diets and clean-label preferences. Consumers also prefer less snack food packaging or more sustainable packaging options.

Global Flavors

Localization is one of the latest snack trends that boost regional market growth with bold flavors and exotic ingredients to appeal to customers who want new experiences. The use of social media and influencers has also impacted the way consumers view snacking. Many want to create a “foodie” experience by exploring new international flavors such as Korean BBQ and Thai Chilli.

According to David Walsh, Vice President of Membership and Communication for SNAC International, global flavors are increasing among snacks. This includes flavors from Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Spicy flavors are also a growing snack food industry trend. Sweet flavors like berry, cinnamon, and chocolate nut are developed. Tangy snacks are becoming popular, with lime and tamarind varieties leading the way.

Meal-Enhancements

Social media has also created a new snack food industry trend where snacks are incorporated into meals and meal preparation. The idea is to combine the flavors of snacks into simple meals to elevate the general food experience.

Snack Foodies

Frito Lay’s Snack Index shows that Millennials (83%) and Gen Z (82%)—who mostly live in cities—identify as a “Snack Savant.” They are highly resourceful with 55% reporting their favorite snack combinations are based on what’s in their pantry. However, 32% rely on social media for new snack ideas. They also say that 80% of participants agree that combining food is an art form, while 65% proudly enjoy unusual snack combinations.

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