Better-For-You Snacking: Popcorn & Vegetable-Based Snacks are Taking the Lead
In new popcorn and veggie-based snack launches, sea salt is becoming more mainstream.
More than half of Americans surveyed in the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey snack at least daily—with a quarter saying they snack multiple times a day.1 Additionally, nearly a quarter of consumers actively seek health benefits such as weight loss, energy, digestive health and heart health from foods they eat. 1
Considered by many consumers as a more health-conscious snack option, popcorn has a reputation as a satisfying and fiber-containing food that is helping this snack category grow, Innova Market Insights suggests.2 In line with consumers’ wellness demands, targeted claims on popcorn packages, such as good source of fiber, gluten-free or made with whole grain, along with label-friendly ingredients and popcorn offerings aimed at children are helping to power new product development.2
Butter, caramel, salt, sea salt and milk chocolate are the top five flavors for popcorn launches globally.2 Salted caramel are among other flavors that grew in popularity during the second half of 2018 as well, Innova reports.2 Consumers’ strong interest in the flavor of salt in both sweet and savory flavor combinations has spurred salted caramel’s expansion. In new popcorn launches, sea salt is becoming more mainstream alongside traditional salt. In a sister snacking category, vegetable-based snacks, Innova also reports sea salt as one of the top five popular flavors for new product launches in 2018.3
The U.S. forecast for the salty snacks market, which includes such products as popcorn, potato chips and pretzels, is expected to exceed $29 billion in 2022, according to Packaged Facts.4 Growth is projected to be driven by products that are highly flavorful—including new tastes and unique flavor combinations—along with being positioned as healthful to meet consumers’ demands for a snacking indulgence without guilt.4 Better-for-you snacks using non-potato ingredients that include different proteins, grains, vegetables and superfoods also will continue to be developed, Package Facts predicts. 4
1. International Food Information Council Foundation, “2019 Food & Health Survey,” May 22, 2019. Go to: foodinsight.org
2. Innova Market Insights, “Popcorn Subcategory Report H2 2018,” March 2019.
3. Innova Market Insights, “Vegetable Based Snacks Subcategory Report H2 2018,” April 2019.
4. Packaged Facts, “U.S. Salty Snacks Market Sales Forecast at $29 Billion in 2022,” July 2, 2018. Go to: https://www.packagedfacts.com/about/release.asp?id=4372