Earlier this year, the news, lifestyle and business pages were all shouting from the rooftops about healthy snacking. As a business sector, the healthy snacks market is predicted to be worth almost $33 billion by the year 2025. The interesting question is why? People enjoy being healthy and they enjoy eating snacks, there’s no news flash there. So what is it that’s caused this sudden increase in healthy snacking?
According to the researchers, the answer is a simple one that will resonate with anyone who knows anything about marketing in the digital age. It’s a combination of consumers being better informed and products being more easily available.
Meeting market demands
It’s the same old story across multiple sectors from banking to gaming to driving. Understand what consumers want, provide a product that gives it to them and watch the business grow. It sounds ridiculously simple, but with healthy snacks in particular, that first point can be as slippery as an eel.
Understanding that people want to be healthy and at the same time to eat something delicious is the easy bit. Establishing that connection with a specific oat based snack is not always so straightforward. However, this is called the information age with good reason, and consumers are better informed today on what food choices they need to make than ever.
Healthy is the new normal
Perhaps the biggest shift in healthy snacking, then, is one of perception. Why would someone actively choose an unhealthy snack, any more than they would choose one that tasted unpleasant or that was needlessly expensive?
Snacks that are high in salt, sugar and fat have never been popular because of these unhealthy ingredients, but in spite of them. As consumers become steadily more knowledgeable, their popularity is on the wane.
Healthy snacking entering the mainstream and heading towards being a $33 billion market is, of course, good news for health food companies. But it also brings huge benefits to their customers. Just look at what has happened in the electric vehicles market and you can see why. Ten years ago, if you wanted to go electric, it was a choice between the Honda Insight or Toyota Prius. Today, even the likes of Aston Martin are getting in on the action, having seen the popularity of Tesla.
Likewise, in a $33 billion healthy snacking market, every selection of taste can be catered for. If you’re more a fan of chocolate than of apples, you don’t have to feel guilty about it any longer!
There is one sector that might be less excited about our evolving dietary choices. The vitamins and supplements industry is currently worth about $37 billion, but is on the opposite trajectory to healthy snacks.
After all, why swallow tablets every day when you are making food choices that meet your nutritional needs? The concept is known as “food first” and like every other aspect of healthy eating, it is based on logic that is undeniable.