9 Innovations in Snacks and Sweets You Should Know About

by | Dec 14, 2021 | snack innovations

Young woman eating a snack in front of a shop filled with innovative snacks.

The ever-changing food industry allowed consumers to find innovative snacks that taste good and are good for the environment. If you’re looking for the latest in snack options, you’re in the right place. Offering innovative snacks like insect-infused energy bars and cookies with plastic-free packaging allows you to offer something different to your target market. You can create an experience that satiates any appetite while being mindful of how they are made. Here’s what you need to know about the latest trends. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The global snack market is nearly a $450-billion-a-year industry that continues to grow at a 6.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Knowing the latest in snack innovations will help you make the best choice for you, consumers, and the environment.
  • Consider offering healthy snacks that contain all-natural ingredients without additives.
  • Eco-friendly packaging is a top priority for consumers today. It is essential to offer these options to those looking for a more sustainable snacking option.

9 Snack Innovations to Know About

The global snack market was $439.9 billion in 2018, and experts expect it will continue to grow at a 6.2% CAGR. Knowing what consumers will be looking for in the coming days of snack food options will help you prepare for this growth and earn some of that revenue for yourself. 

Bar graph of the CAGR for snack foods from 2014 to 2025.

Image Source: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/snacks-market

Here are some of the snack innovations to be aware of in the coming years:

1. Recyclable Food and Snack Packaging  

Sustainable practices are some of the chief concerns of consumers today. In terms of packaging, providing consumers with products they know are good for the environment will drive buying decisions. Colpac, a food packaging design, and manufacturing company offers various packaging solutions made of recyclable and compostable materials. Their Stagione range, for example, is made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified material that’s strong enough to handle frozen, chilled, hot, and delivery-ready foods. With sustainable food packaging, you can offer an eco-friendly customer experience no matter what snack foods you offer. 

Benefits of Colpac’s Stagione recyclable and compostable food packaging line

Image Source: Colpac

2. Snacks in Plastic-Free Containers

Everyone is aware of the negative impact plastic has on the environment. That is why companies like Lenny & Larry’s created cookies sold in plastic-free packaging. These innovative snacks are high in fiber, packed with protein, and lunchbox-ready. When developing a snack for consumers, consider offering compostable paper containers that are great for the environment, as well as for the people eating them. 

3. Insect-Infused Protein and Energy Bars

Not everything is about the containers the food comes in. Many consumers are turning to insect-infused snack options that are healthy and actually taste good. Consumers can purchase energy bars that incorporate matcha and coffee with edible insects as innovative ingredients. In fact, bugs are an excellent source of protein and fiber. And they sustain energy for longer than synthetic forms of energy-boosting snacks. 

4. Sustainable Rice Cereals

One popular and innovative snack trend is to produce food that is environmentally and culturally responsible. Some brands use organic and fair-trade grains, seeds, and dried fruits to make naturally sweet and nutrient-dense cereals. For example, Zego Foods provide a sustainable take on the classic rice crisp cereal, focusing on fair trade practices. Their Crisp Black Rice Cereal is made with certified organic black rice, cultivated with 90% less water than other kinds of rice grown today.

5. Additive-Free Prepackaged Cookies

Parents and caretakers want to know that the food their kids are eating isn’t loaded with preservatives and unnecessary ingredients. For that reason, when developing snacks for the health-conscious, consider offering cookies and sweet treats that don’t have any unnecessary additives like artificial flavors and food dyes.

6. Immunity-Boosting Snacks

After prebiotics and probiotics, postbiotics are emerging as an option to help improve gut health. This bioactive compound differs from the others because it is left behind after the body digests prebiotics and probiotics. Postbiotics support the immune system and prevent inflammation. Healthy postbiotics include: 

  • Various B vitamins
  • Vitamin K
  • Amino acids
  • Antimicrobial peptides

According to a 2020 survey conducted by Innova, 60% of consumers worldwide look for innovative snacks that support immune health. As a response to this food and beverage trend, Cargill Health Technologies created EpiCor® postbiotic, a whole food yeast fermentate that snack manufacturers can use to fortify their products with the essential vitamins for the immune system. 

7. Seed Pops and Seaweed Products 

Snack foods like the ones made by Hopapop are a great alternative to popcorn. They are water lily seed pops that taste great and focus on providing healthy snacks you can take with you anywhere. Other popular snack options for consumers are those made with seaweed. These products are a healthy alternative to chips and can be infused with multiple flavor options. When determining the top food trends that you want to provide consumers, consider ones that meet the consumer demands for health-minded alternatives.

8. Vegan Chocolate Treats

Innovative vegan options for sweet snacks are another popular trend among health-conscious consumers. There’s not a lot of these options out there. Therefore, offering a vegan alternative to things like chocolate eggs for Easter or chocolate Santa Claus treats will appeal to your vegan customers.

9. Ketotarian Food Craze

As you know already, the Keto diet is a popular one that many consumers turn to for weight loss. Providing healthy protein- and fat-rich dietary snack options is the best way to reach these consumers. When catering to the Ketotarian, consider offering sugar-free, low-carb, high-protein, and even plant-based snack options. These can be made into sweet or savory treats that consumers on the keto diet will gobble right up.

Learn More About Snack Innovations at Our Food and Beverage Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV!

SIAL America will be the first major trade show of its kind to showcase the best in the food and beverage industry. It’s set to take place next March in Las Vegas, uniting everyone from food importers, distributors, retailers, as well as manufacturers.

We encourage you to be a part of the show. Whether you are looking to find new vendors or become part of the exhibits, those of us here at SIAL America can’t wait to see you there. 

If you are interested in attending, click here for more details. For those who wish to set up an exhibit at our upcoming show, inquire here. We’ll be in touch with you shortly.

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