Children are feeding a trend for healthy, on-the-go toddler snacks. With busy lifestyles, not all parents have the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. It takes planning and effort to create foods that are crammed with nutritious ingredients, with flavour that will appeal to their children and that can remain fresh throughout the day.
Toddler snacks are fast-becoming big business. In the USA and Northern Europe, nurseries are building in set breaktimes for a mid-morning nibble. Mums are looking for clean, nutritious snacks to pop in their handbag for their little ones to consume when out and about. Toddler snacking is a trend on the rise and is a new, emerging market for Asia-Pacific countries.
Health and nutrition is key, as is ease and convenience. Dried snacks, smoothies and food pouches must include fruits and vegetables, along with clean ingredients – no preservatives, additives and E numbers. A long shelf life is vital, as are snacks that don’t require refrigeration.
They must appeal to children, too, which is why bright colours, interesting shapes and great flavours are important. Many toddler food manufacturers are inspired by adult snacks, like vegetable crisps, dairy-free yoghurt and raw energy bars. Much like the adult snack market, new flavours and the merge of sweet and savoury are ways to keep consumers interested.
Balancing fantastic, child-appealing flavours with clean, nutritious ingredients is a battle for NPD teams. Snacks need to be readily available to satisfy a child’s hunger pangs, so creating a product that won’t need to be refrigerated, but gives the benefits of fresh ingredients can be a challenge. Flavours and colour need to be vibrant, without additives and preservatives, and low in sugar and salt content.
Our innovative R&D team can provide the perfect ingredient solution for the toddler snack market, through our wide range of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. They can be puréed, blended and added to snacks easily, or packaged as a standalone snack. They deliver authentic colour, flavour and nutrients, and have a long shelf life at ambient temperatures. They have no added sugar, E numbers, additives, preservatives or carriers, meaning they tick the ‘clean and healthy’ box parents are looking for.
Available in whole, slices, pieces or smoothies, versatile freeze-dry fruits and vegetables can be used in a wide range of sweet and savoury. As a standalone snack, they provide a crisp, melt-in-the-mouth texture – ideal for toddlers.