Healthier snacks and better treats

Wholesome snacks and better-for-you adult treats are a growing segment of confectionery, not least because today, consumers have fewer main meals and snack more.

The mindset of parents wanting to take better care of their kids’ well-being is on the rise, but so is convenience. So they are choosing products that come with the reassurance of good nutrition. These shoppers are looking for simpler ingredients with less fat and less sugar, and the more natural the better.

The upside of this is that once discovered, healthier treats may be consumed more often without the same levels of

guilt. Nestlé (with partner m1nd-set) categorises target consumers for this growth driver as follows: Guilty Grazers, Family Enthusiasts, Healthy Progressives and Discerning Discoverers.

In terms of ages, the parents of kids 4-12, Millennials and Gen Z would all be possible purchasers.

For wholesome snacks, such as cereal-based eats, snack bars, trail mix, fruits and nuts, and some plain wholesome biscuits, travellers would tend to look for natural ingredients with nothing artificial added.

Products with taste, convenience &
nutrition in a format suitable for snacking during the journey

Alternative ingredients such as quinoa, beetroot, parsnips and carrots; superfood ingredients like wholegrain, blueberry or pomegranate; or those that deliver a more substantial ‘eat’ – for example biscuit-based and/or slow Glycamic Index release – are in increasing demand.

Barriers come in the form of a taste compromise; concerns over swapping out sugars for possible artificial sweeteners; and a question mark over whether the higher price to eat

more healthily is worth the effort. All this can make for a confusing marketplace.

On the upside, travel retail is a good environment for this sales driver. Passengers are often hungry but don’t have the time or money for a full-blown meal while on the move, or they may want to fill a void in between meals along their journey. With healthy treats they can feel full without feeling guilty.

Consumer insights – healthy snacking

  • Healthy sustenance accounts for 14% of snacking value
  • Consumers are increasingly interested in wholegrains and superfoods (51% of Italians, 39% of Germans and 37% of Spaniards are interested in buying sweet biscuits made with non-wheat grains (such as spelt, amaranth, quinoa) for example)
  • Mums’ top concern is that their children are not eating enough vegetables or fruit, and not drinking enough water while snacking unhealthily

Consumer insights – adult treats

  • The drive from media, health services and governments to improve the nutritional profile of products is accelerating
  • 55% of travel retail confectionery shoppers would like to find healthier options for snacking
  • Consumers are actively seeking out better-for-you food options (lower calories, lower sugars, no artificial additives)
  • Taste remains the number one driver of consumer choice

Spotlight Series

December 2019

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