The concept of Healthy Snacking started off as a trend but has become more of a global lifestyle mandate today. As per industry insights by Grand View Research, in 2016 the global Healthy Snacks market was valued at a whopping 21.1 Billion USD. We can only begin to estimate the spike in these numbers in the last 2 years! No wonder then that the market today is more diverse than ever, with a range of healthy snack offerings available, in a variety of tastes and flavors. Be it zero-sugar drinks, healthy munchies or low-calorie ice creams, brands today seems to want every piece of the healthy pie (pun intended!).
This need for healthy snacks is stemming from a shift in the consumers’ preferences, which in turn is a by-product of better health and nutrition education, a greater focus on exercise and a decline in drinking and smoking. There is no doubt that health is the biggest trend that is here to stay – there is a great demand for healthy offerings and a number of new –age snack brands are seeking to capitalize on this huge shift. The way they’re going about is pretty interesting as well, offering health-enhancing goodies that can help you stay true to your idea of healthy eating even while on the go, without a hit to the taste buds. These new offerings are strategically linguistically coded such that they align with the snacking language consumers are familiar with. For example, the healthier alternative to Potato Crisps is presented as Kale Crisps rather than Baked Kale. See the difference?
Moreover, these brands are clear that they don’t want to get alienated by marketing themselves as a part of a new-founded ‘health’ market; they would rather position themselves within the familiar ‘snack’ market. You will not find them in some specialty healthy stores; rather, they are displayed alongside the regular sugary chocolates and old fashioned, full-calorie crisps in the supermarket shelves. With this smart marketing strategy, they ensure they don’t get shunned out of competing with the regular snack brands, as well as have an edge over the industry stalwarts with their health appeal.
While these healthy snack brands today stand neck-to-neck with the classic snack brands in terms of gaining territory, the same cannot be said about the consumers’ awareness of healthy snack products. It’s true that consumers are more health conscious today than they were, say a decade back. However, as per a recent Snacks Industry Report, healthy snack brands have yet to gain a place of prominence in the minds of consumers, perhaps because just like any new trend, this too will take a while to sink into people’s psyches and gain popularity and momentum. The point is, the snack industry is going through a monumental health-focused change at the moment and should classic snack brand view it as an opportunity to be seized, it will be a win-win for all. Ultimately, it is a consumer-centric industry and the need of the hour for snack stalwarts is to be at their innovative best and produce healthier snacks to match the current market preference. Having said that, given the dynamic times we live in, who really knows what we might be snacking on in another couple of years’ time?