As consumers have become increasingly time-poor, convenience options, ranging from ready-to-eat meals to snacking, have become increasingly popular. This popularity has driven innovation, opportunity and growth in these categories, as consumers want their convenience options to satiate their cravings and align with their health and sustainability values.
New research shows that 60 percent of American consumers trade and replace meals with snacks, with 58 percent adding that they prefer small portions of food throughout the day instead of the traditional format of three sizeable meals.
Dairy-based snacks have increased in popularity due to their health benefits, as well as their ability to be low in carbs and gluten-free and the versatility of flavour profiles to which they can be applied.
According to Innova, another top trend for the dairy snacks category is Hello Hybrids, which addresses consumer demand and interest in adventurous ingredients and flavours. Innovating in flavour for the snacking category, mainly dairy, will drive growth in the category while attracting a broader customer base.
Future innovation for brands may be guided by the essential nutrients they offer. For example, new combinations of certain nuts, fruit, vegetables and crackers may lead to more high-fibre callouts.