Consumers are snacking more than ever, but they’re also increasingly discerning about their snack purchases. With cleaner, healthier diets in the spotlight, consumers are demanding additional functionality from their snacks, as well as more plant-based and clean-label options.
While health and nutrition are of growing importance, indulgent and treat-based snacks are still in demand. According to a recent study from IRI , 72% of consumers say their snack decisions are made on impulse, and the majority still view snacks as a type of indulgence.
There is also a desire for new experiences and flavors in snacking. Innovative, fun and indulgent products leveraging new ingredients are gaining popularity. Surprising textures and colors worthy of an Instagram post also help to increase a product’s premium positioning. NPD professionals must find a way to balance these expectations while also creating better-for-you products.
New inclusions offer both healthy and indulgent attributes
In response to these trends, NPD teams are innovating with a focus on natural ingredients that can deliver on taste and nutrition while supporting a simpler label. Clean label inclusions have become more important in helping product developers elevate flavor profiles and achieve a crave-worthy texture and taste for their snack products.
Freeze-dried fruits, vegetables and pulses are ideal as crunchy stand-alone snacks, and are seeing even greater demand as better-for-you inclusions for snacks, bakery, dairy, confections and more. The freeze drying process retains an ingredient’s natural flavor, color and nutritional value – qualities which are diminished by any other drying process.
Chaucer’s freeze-dried smoothies are enabling even more versatility and creativity in new product development. With innovative flavor combinations, bright colors and a crisp, melt-in-the-mouth texture, freeze-dried smoothies offer both healthy and indulgent attributes to better-for-you snacks.
Chaucer’s freeze-dried smoothies are available in large or small pieces, or in powder form. Smoothie pieces add a pop of color, flavor and texture to snack mixes and cereals, while freeze-dried smoothie powders can be used as an instant beverage mix, or as a filling or coating in bars.
Customizable to meet any application, freeze-dried smoothies can be fortified with probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals to support nutritional claims. They can also incorporate extra ingredients for added texture – think superfoods like matcha powder or chia seeds – or even a product of your own.
1“How America Eats: Snacking Lifestyles Are Here to Stay,” Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), April 2020.