It’s that time again, when we turn the calendar and look forward to a new year. You’re probably in the midst of serious strategic planning for your retail locations, and as you prepare, it is important to keep an eye on what consumers are doing. Here are some important 2018 snacking trends to watch for as you strategize ways to grow your business in the coming year.
Snacks as A “Fourth Meal”
We’ve been reporting for some time that Americans are replacing more meals with grab-and-go healthy snacks. Our lives are busier than ever before, and snacks are a simple and economical way to keep fueled when we don’t have time to sit down for a meal.
In 2018, watch for snacks to become a “fourth meal.” No, we aren’t necessarily becoming a nation of gluttons. The fourth meal is just another way to squeeze fuel, health and nutrition into our busy lives. For example, people who eat early dinners to accommodate for evening activities or who eat late also find themselves hungry again before bed. Healthy snacks are a way to stay satiated, without cooking another full meal.
Children Drive Snacking Decisions
This is another trend we have reported on before, but as more Millennials start families, the trend will expand. Young parents are very careful about what they feed their kids, but they also have to account for jam-packed schedules and healthy grab-and-go snacks are a staple of the Millennial parent’s toolbox.
Modern parents are looking for healthy snacks that will keep their kids fueled with natural energy like protein and fiber rather than sugar, and they want clear packaging and labeling to ensure that the product delivers what it says. Finally, they also want to choose snacks that their kids will enjoy eating, so above all else, they must taste good.
Banning the Bland
Consumer tastes are becoming increasingly complex. All you have to do is notice the trends in your local restaurants to see how things have changed over the years. When Baby Boomers were young, restaurants served classic, all-American fare. Now, severs look at you sideways if you want to order a plain burger with ketchup and mustard.
People want interesting tastes and complex combinations in their food and this trend is spilling over into snacks. According to data from FONA International, some 40% of consumers say that interesting flavors are the most influential factor in the packaged products they purchase. If your healthy grab-and-go options are limited to fruits and nuts, 2018 will be a critical time to branch out and add snack mixes that capitalize on complex and interesting flavors, especially spicy flavors.
Are You Ready to Capitalize On 2018 Trends?
If you want to stay ahead of snacking trends, Mister Snacks has solutions that will help you meet the changing tastes of your customers. We offer a variety of high-margin, healthy snacks to help you satisfy your unique market demands. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help you grow your bottom line in 2018.