How to snack your way healthy
(Posted on 04/03/16)
The beginning of 2016 has seen a range of new nutrition trends. Here at Cornelius, our Health and Nutrition Team have outlined the key drivers that we expect to shape the health food industry in the year to come. These trends are ‘snackification’, superfoods, natural or organic foods, free-from foods and the exciting return of vanilla. In our next five blogs we will discuss these trends in more detail.
2016 is the year for ultimate convenience. Shoppers are looking for convenient ways of getting nutritious food in a timely manner. With the daily life of consumers getting more hectic by the minute the traditional three-meal a day idea is proving quite difficult to stick to. Consumers are now looking for nutrient rich, practical, satisfying and portable snacks to provide an energy boost and get them through their busy schedules between their main meals. This year it is all about eating little and often.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation snacking, or eating frequently, can be part of a healthy diet, provided we don't consume too many calories over the day and that we choose a healthy balance of foods and drinks. Eating nutritious snacks at school or work may also help maintain energy levels if eaten at regular intervals.
Top tip: Try replacing chocolate bars or biscuits with low fat yogurt, frozen grapes or canned pineapple pieces, which have a naturally sweet taste, fewer calories and contain additional vitamins and minerals.
As bizarre as it sounds, the type of snack we desire can very much depend on the time of day. High protein snacks are perfect for the morning to provide that much needed early energy boost, interesting snacks which incorporate exciting flavours are ideal when were running out of steam at the office desk mid afternoon, and night time snacks need to be tailored to fit in with the consumers chosen activity whether it is a sociable snack to share with friends, a feel good accompaniment when chilling at home or a post exercise pick me up.
Snacks also need to appeal to all ages; snacks for children may be different to those preferred by students, chosen by professionals or enjoyed by the elderly. The different age groups fill their days with different activities and therefore have different taste and texture requirements.
As health is such an important aspect of snacking these days, correct and clear portion control is vital. Consumers want to know via clear labelling exactly what they are eating, how much of it and what kind of nutrients it will provide them. It’s that simple.
Today’s Key Trends in Snacking:
- “Swavory”: consumers, especially millennials are becoming much more experimental, they are searching for exciting innovative new flavours. The popularity of combination sweet and savoury snacks is expected to keep growing this year.
- High protein: nuts, meat snacks and popcorn are winning in this category as they provide a high protein and are naturally low in fat. Plant-based proteins have also been on the rise in the past few years, with more consumers choosing to become flexible vegetarians, known as ‘flexitarians’. The popularity of plant-based proteins are replacing many meat-protein snack options.
- Keeping it raw: raw snack foods can provide optimum nutrients by eliminating food processing and are generally simpler to prepare. Some tasty examples are quinoa, kale and vegetable sticks.
- Au naturale: companies can gain consumer trust by avoiding lengthy ingredient lists. Products containing natural and simple ingredients will generally contain less sugar, salt and fat content.
Take a look at these three great links, which will help get you started on snacking your way to health:
19 healthy snack ideas
Healthy Office Snacks
17 High protein snacks you can eat on the go