Early in 2014, two of the major international trends identified were the demand for fresh produce and the desire for on-the-go consumers, also known as snackers and grazers, to have greater access to healthy snacks.
According to a new report from the global research firm The NPD Group, snacking — defined as food eaten specifically at meal times — is expected to grow by 5% over the next few years, and this growth will largely be concentrated in healthy snacking.
“We’ve seen consumers gravitating towards fresh fruit and yoghurt in particular, and it’s one of the fastest growing snacks,” says food and beverage analyst for NPD, Darren Seifer.
Growth in ready-to-eat and sweetened snacks, however has remained flattened, pointing towards the shift to healthy and fresh options.
“Consumers are also likely to eat healthy snacks in conjunction with a main meal. For example, during our survey 44% of the time consumers were buying yoghurt alongside their main meal, and 39% between meals. Snack items with ingredients like eggs, meat and poultry have also increased in demand.”
In terms of meal replacements, granola and cereal bars have seen a 22% rise in the last year.