With the world more focused on individual health and wellness than ever, Canadians are demanding healthier, ‘better-for-you’ snacks. Categories including ‘snacking fruits, nuts and seeds’ and ‘puffed cakes’ grew by 15% and 18%, respectively, in the past year. According to Euromonitor International, the global healthy snack market is forecasted to reach USD $98 billion by 2025!
What exactly is driving this shift towards healthy snacking habits? According to Dana McCauley at the University of Guelph, the change is driven by younger generations of consumers. While the pandemic has contributed to the growth of the snack market in general, it’s also altered the volume of product that consumers are searching for. A shift towards bulk, family-size options has increased in the last year due to a reduced need for single-serving snacks, as consumers adapted to a remote work and learning environment.
In terms of nutrition, there has been a growing demand from consumers for high-protein options. With the rise in popularity of paleo and keto diets, consumers and clients alike will be searching for high-protein foods that fit these lifestyles.
Likewise, an increase in personal health consciousness has led to more consumers reading about ingredients in their food and really caring about what they’re putting into their bodies. As a result, consumers are opting for cleaner products, with minimally processed ingredients, and showing greater support for locally made and sustainable products.
According to Melinda Zoccoli, VP marketing and supplier services at United Natural Foods, sustainable healthy snacks extend to product packaging as well. The younger generation of consumers, mainly Millennials and Gen Z, are more willing to pay more for an organic or sustainable product.
As consumer trends continue to fluctuate and favour healthier alternatives, so will the industry that caters to them. Innovative healthy snacks will continue to pop up across the market, creating opportunity for other companies to follow suit and cater towards the rise of healthy snacking in Canada.