Millennials Drive New Snack Food Trends

Sweet and savory snacks experienced strong growth in 2012 due to the rising trend of eating between meals. In the August issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), an article explains how millennials and their unique taste preferences are the driving force behind this trend.

August 19, 2013

CHICAGO—Sweet and savory snacks experienced strong growth in 2012 due to the rising trend of eating between meals. In the August issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), an article explains how millennials and their unique taste preferences are the driving force behind this trend.

“Sweet and savory snacks” is a broad category that includes diverse products such as fruit snacks, chips, trail mixes and meat snacks. Within this category, the areas seeing the most growth and innovation are healthy and low-calorie options as well as products with bold, spicy flavors.

The demand for “guilt-free” snacks by health-conscious customers is rapidly growing. Foods such as jerky or nuts that are high in protein are appealing as appetite suppressants and energy boosters between meals. Smaller, single-serving sizes of treats like popcorn or chocolate that can be eaten quickly and on-the-go are also popular.

Also in demand among Millennials is a greater variety of choices that includes exotic flavors. The food industry is seeing the introduction of products such as nuts with rosemary and black pepper, spicy potato chips, and chocolate paired with sea salt or beef jerky. As package sizes continue to shrink and growth drives up the average price of sweet and savory snacks, a wide variety of flavors has become more important to consumers.

Despite forecasts of increasing prices and competition, snack companies can look forward to continued demand of healthy, convenient and bold-flavored snacks as Millennials become more fiscally empowered.  

Read the full Food Technology article here.

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About IFT
For more than 70 years, IFT has existed to advance the science of food. Our nonprofit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professions from academia, government, and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.

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