Snack attack

Causing a stir

Last week I attended Health Ingredients Europe in Amsterdam along with around 8,000 others from the health and natural ingredients industries. We were there to see what solutions the 500 or so health and wellness suppliers had to offer food and beverage applications, and to ‘trend spot’ for 2015.

With the subject of last week’s blog – Innova Market Insights’ prediction of the top ten trends likely to impact the food industry in 2015 and beyond – still fresh in my mind, I was on the lookout for any companies getting a head start on next year’s perceived growth areas.

Two things stood out for me and seemed to present themselves at many of the stands I visited (combined at many of them, too) – that is protein and snacking. These also happen to be two of Innova’s 2015 trend predictions.

As the company identified, formal mealtimes are continuing to decline in popularity and growing numbers of foods and drinks are now considered to be snacks. Quick, healthy foods are tending to replace traditional meal occasions and more snacks are targeted at specific moments of consumption. Many of the exhibitors at HiE were promoting their ingredients – which can be customised with flavours, colours and textures – and incorporated into various snack products by manufacturers, including snack bars, cereals, healthy cookies and low-fat crisps.

Innova also predicted that there will be more in store for protein next year, with ingredient suppliers, food producers and consumers on the lookout for the next protein source. Soy, whey, algae and even insect proteins were all visible at the show, with applications ranging from foods and beverages to powders and supplements.

Food & Drink Technology will be looking at the healthy snack trend in more detail in the December/January issue, with a focus on the ‘snackification’ of breakfast and how changing consumer habits are creating new opportunities in the breakfast market.

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