Better-for-you treats, once a trend, are now an expectation. At the same time, indulgence is considered an important element in supporting emotional well-being. As more people take a proactive approach to holistic wellness, they are increasingly looking for snacks that help them feel good, both mentally and physically.
In fact, data from ADM’s proprietary consumer insights platform, Outside Voice, found that 79% of global consumers believe that supporting their mental wellbeing has a positive effect on their overall wellbeing.
“Snacking can serve as a reward, providing a quick mood boost that can help relieve stress or tension.”said John Powers, director of marketing for ADM’s Snacking and Baked Goods.
“With that in mind, consumers are looking for delicious and nutritious treats that contain ingredients that tie into different areas of wellness.”
Key to 2023
This means that the one size fits all concept is no longer satisfactory. According to FMCG Guru’s 2021 Personalized Nutrition Report, 63% of global consumers seek personalized products to meet their individual nutritional needs.
As such, Powers said, bakery and snack brands that diversify their offerings to focus on need states like energy, immunity and mindset will be well-positioned for success in 2023 and beyond.
Baked goods and snacks enjoyed between meals are often meant to offset hunger or boost energy levels.
“Foods with healthy ingredients, including ancient grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, can help provide a feeling of fullness without a spike in blood sugar.”said Powers.
“Snack and bakery items made with ancient grains, gluten-free flours, or resistant starches can help satisfy cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods. Some whole food ingredients may also offer additional protein, fiber, and other important nutrients along with desirable flavors, textures, and colors.”
From crackers and biscuits to scones and breads, a variety of NPDs target trendy eating approaches like keto, vegan, and low-carb, and those that are a medical necessity, like gluten-free and diabetic-friendly.
“Sometimes people need more energy, whether it’s during a long study session or before or after an intense workout.”added powers.
“That is where functional botanicals can play a role. Ingredients like guarana, yerba mate, and green coffee are plant sources of caffeine, and antioxidant nutrients can support an active lifestyle.
“Functional ingredients that promote energy, mental focus and exercise performance are part of the growing movement of ‘energy plus’ products. Nutrition bars often feature healthy, botanical ingredients and are a popular choice for consumers on the go.”
According to Powers, snacks provide the perfect opportunity to take a personalized approach to nutrition, allowing consumers to choose their preferred flavors, formats and functions.
The FMCG Guru report found that three in four consumers are interested in personalized products to help them maintain their health as they age. So, Powers said, “Foods containing ingredients with a health ring are perceived by consumers to support overall wellness, including protein bites in fresh citrus flavors, black bean chips and dip, baked bran muffins with currants and more.”
ADM’s Outside Voice indicates that 58% of global consumers perceive a connection between the function of bacteria in the gut and broader aspects of well-being.
“New product development in this space places a heavy emphasis on prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics that aim to support a healthy microbiome.
“In the bakery and snack category, spore-forming probiotics and heat-treated postbiotics are especially key, as they can remain functional despite harsh processing conditions.”added powers.
“In particular, the flexibility of postbiotics in formulation is accelerating their adoption in nutritional solutions beyond those of prebiotics and probiotics when each was first brought to market.”
Snacks for a balanced mood
Snackers frequently turn to food as a way to process the full spectrum of their emotions, from eating to feel comfortable to eating to celebrate.
“Snacks and sweets can provide a sense of pleasure and support emotional well-being,”said Powers.
“Flavor is a way to meet these consumer needs, such as familiar childhood nostalgia or seasonal favorites, as well as more exotic flavors that encourage daring and discovery, such as finger lime or harissa.
“Limited Time Offers (TLOs) also fall into this realm, creating a sense of urgency to try new treats before they disappear from store shelves.”
As holistic health and wellness is more important than ever, and this status is directly tied to what we consume, Powers reiterated that the brands that will shine in 2023 will create elevated experiences on par with traditional offerings for shoppers. They can treat themselves without having to. make sacrifices in taste, texture or optionality.