A new year brings new opportunities to the nutritional food landscape. All throughout last year, many consumers have been more watchful of their health and well-being and, unsurprisingly, more aware of the ingredients they consume. This mindset has seeped into 2021; consumers are demanding healthier and cleaner ingredients from their favorite brands. In fact, with an increasing number of healthier “better-for-you” snacks appearing day by day, the global health snacks market is projected to hit $108.11 billion by 2027.
1. Toaster Pastries
Functional toaster pastries are positioned to be the next big food innovation in the healthy snack space. Made famous by Kellogg's Pop-Tarts®, toaster pastries are experiencing a renaissance; brands are taking the nostalgia of these childhood snacks and enhancing them with better ingredients. Thanks to cutting-edge processes, healthy “pop tarts” can be formulated with low carb, plant-based ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, allulose, and more. Consider developing a toaster pastry formula that fits some of the hottest dietary trends, like high protein, keto, and plant-based, to gain market share quickly.
2. Protein Cookies
Another food innovation perfect for consumers looking for alternatives to their favorite treats is protein cookies. According to market research, sales of healthier cookies have been on the rise, and the industry as a whole is expected to grow at a rate of 7.37%. With healthy cookies like low carb, low sugar, and gluten-free already gaining momentum, think about incorporating adaptogens, high protein, healthy MCTs, immunity-boosting turmeric, and other premium ingredients to stand out. This way you can capture the keto, high protein, vegan, and paleo markets fast. One industry tip that will help you hit the ground running is to partner with a cookie contract manufacturer who will work closely with you to deliver functional protein cookie production at scale.
Projected to have a revenue of $2.81 billion by 2027, sugar-free candy, particularly gummies, presents a huge opportunity for food visionaries. These gummy bears use innovative plant-based sweeteners like allulose, erythritol, monk fruit, and stevia instead of normal sugar to create a healthy confectionery treat for both adults and their children. By removing sugar from the equation, your innovative sugar-free gummy bear will work for all sorts of different nutritional specifications - such as plant-based, keto, and paleo diets.
4. Keto Cereal
Cereal is a pantry staple; it’s the classic breakfast or midday snack! Today’s consumers want something light and nutritious to start their days, making keto cereal a food innovation worth selling. When paired with nut milk of their choice, your keto consumers will be able to enjoy a crunchy, fiber-rich breakfast meal. Plus, with keto cereal, you can create a healthy variant of another old favorite: keto rice crispy treats!
5. Nut Milk
In the past few years, the consumption of nut milk as a dairy alternative has been on the upward trend. The market is anticipated to grow up to $21.52 billion by 2024, largely due to consumers who prefer sustainable, non-dairy substitutes to use in their cups of coffee, cereals, and smoothies. Additionally, nut milk is low carb in nature and nutrient-dense, which is why healthy snack food entrepreneurs should add this food innovation to their product offering. Nut milk comes in a wide range of options, the most popular being almond, oat, and walnut, and is ideal for consumers who are on keto, paleo, and vegan diets.
More and more consumers are looking for traditional snacks created with premium, healthy ingredients rich in functionality and nutrition. These five innovations hit all the requirements, making them prime snacks to add to your brand. By developing these food innovations in your kitchen (or with an expert-led Food Innovation Kitchen), you will be able to gain a competitive edge in the growing healthy snacks market.