When chips first came to the market, most people especially the younger generation fell in live with it. However, chips cannot be your staple diet because it does not include a full serving of vegetables. However, gorging on chips was considered to be human weakness in the olden times but things and concepts of snacking have changed with the passing years. The fact that right type of snacking can be a healthy part of your diet is now true and people are looking for healthier options to binge on in office, at home, while travelling and even in the theater halls.
Ideally, in the past it was believed that:
- Grabbing anything to grub on between meal times was considered to be an attribute of weak people who could not wait for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- It was also considered that munching on something like chips gave most people a guilty pleasure by the name of indulgence.
Today, several consumers find that instead of grabbing on a pack of chips it is better and healthier to eat smaller main meals. Few even support the idea and follow a ‘five meals a day plan’ where snacks play a very important role in a person’s nutrition requirements of the day.
This outlook has resulted in a whole new attitude and a changed concept toward snack foods. People now consider snacks to be a healthy part of a daily diet. Even doctors, dieticians, fitness coaches and physical trainers recommend taking foods in between meals to live a long and healthy life.
The change in concept
The salty snacks of yesteryears are now referred to as savory snacks for the better and include chips and crackers.
Snack makers as well as the retailers are very happy that people have embraced this new paradigm however it is also felt that there is need to pay heed to the emphasis on health. In this context, there are two main methodologies to health in the world of snack chips:
- Using more and more of healthy ingredients in and
- Removing all unhealthy ingredients out of the manufacturing process.
This has made the snack makers think of newer and better ways to make their snacks healthier. Now you can see different types of vegetables and even some fruits are commonly used as the positive ingredients to make the snacks. Incorporating new ways they have come up with snacks that are free from GMO, gluten and Trans-fat.
Makers have also made it a point to reduce the sodium levels with newer techniques involved in the manufacturing process of the snacks.
Choices among consumers
You can visit sites such as www.varietyfun.com and know about the changes in the choices of consumers when it comes to snacking.
- According to report of NPD group regarding ‘Snacking in America,’ one out of every five eating occasions of the Americans is a snack.
- This means that in other way when the meal occasions are considered, snacking percentage is very near to the percentage points of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- The NPD report also reveals that the snack eating occasions include primarily three types namely, mid-morning, mid-afternoon and evening snacks. The snack makers target these occasions and have come up with a very wide assortment of snacks that can even make a person of little knowledge replace their actual meal.
- Lastly, NPD also found that people with the healthiest diets overall snack the most and those with the least healthy diets snack the least.
All these facts and figures have made the food makers jump into the conclusion that snacks have the possibility to replace meals. All food processors, right from the giant ones to the boutiques is not letting this opportunity go and is not keeping the three main meals in the background anymore.
Morning snacking has resulted in the change in mealtime habits of the consumers just as the time of snacking has. Once again the ‘Snacking in America’ report of NPD Group shows that the strongest growth is noticed in morning snacking which is about 22% increase in each person since 2002. On the other hand, the afternoon and evening nibbles have shown significant declines.
This shows that slowly but surely, this is becoming a mindful and holistic approach to snacking by the consumers. It is part of the new daily routine of them.
The study report also shows that there is an increase in the consumer’s search for new flavors and along with that they are looking for better textures as well. This has given rise to the demand of different varieties of snacks such as yogurt. People are looking in for the Greek variety especially which signifies the continual pushing of the boundaries of consumption of yogurt in America.
Food makers have seen this rise and opportunity and have made the best use of it to introduce yogurt as an important snacking item. They have developed the manufacturing process and have designed yogurts that are specifically suited to cater to the afternoon and evening snacking needs of the consumers.
The food manufacturers have changed the ingredients used previously to make such snacks that are popular. Instead of just relying and resorting to figs and chocolates consumers now look for differently flavored yogurts and smoothies that also contain protein that helps them to stave off hunger pangs.
Just as the yogurts of different variety, you will also find different varieties if other traditional snacking items such as:
- Caramel with pineapple
- Fig with orange zest
- Coffee with dark chocolate chips and
- Raspberry with dark chocolate chips.
This definitely growing trend of healthful snacking has eventually helped the consumers to enjoy the inherent benefits of eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. It is the paradigm shift from guilt or pleasure ridden activity to a more health conscious and regular part of the daily meal plan that has forced the food manufacturers to come up with different variety of snacks. These options are tasty, healthy and nutritious and at the same time convenient to use and store.