Top sweet and snacks trends in 2021

Innova Market Insights

Thursday, 04 February, 2021


Top sweet and snacks trends in 2021

Food trend specialist Innova Market Insights has unveiled the key trends that will affect sweet and snacks categories this year.

Provenance, sustainably sourcing and packaging come into play

A total of 85% of global consumers wanted to learn more about where their foods come from, according to the Innova Consumer Survey 2020.

As 'transparency triumphs' emerged as Innova's top trend across the food and beverage sector, brands are upping their game to meet evolving ethical, environmental and clean label consumer demands.

In the sweets and snacks category, ingredient provenance for raw materials such as nuts, cocoa and sugar is increasingly being highlighted, along with ethical credentials and packaging sustainability.

Plant-based indulgence powers snack and sweets NPD

The plant-based trend has continued to evolve. It has featured in the Innova Market Insights top trends for several years, with 'plant forward' in 2021 seeing the rising appeal of plant-based products in different regions and categories.

According to Innova, consumers demand new formats, new plant proteins and an extra level of sophistication.

In sweets and snacks, taste has always been a key driver. Plant-based indulgence is powering new product development, combining natural and free-from benefits in established areas such as chocolate, extruded snacks, nuts and snack mixes, while also featuring novel ingredients as varied as hemp and hibiscus.

Tailored to fit

Personalised nutrition continues to be in the spotlight, with 'tailored to fit' cited as Innova’s number three trend for 2021. Innova said research indicates that 64% of global consumers have found more ways to tailor their life and products to their individual styles, beliefs and needs.

Cereal and snack bars continue to develop their role as carriers of all kinds of healthy ingredients. The sub-category has been targeting critical areas of interest such as performance and weight management, as well as specialist diets such as vegan, organic, high protein and keto.

At-home eating comes to the fore

As foodservice and retail domains increasingly overlap, consumers can eat what they want, when and where they want it. Consumers can now directly access many specialty products previously only accessible via retail points or entertainment establishments. 'New omnichannel eating' takes a variety of forms in sweets and snacks. It includes the availability of branded cinema-style snacks in the home, as well as restaurant branded snacks offering a range of flavours and formats, already familiar but not previously available for in-home consumption.

COVID boosts demand for immunity-supporting ingredients

'In tune with immune' was another of Innova Market Insights' top trends for 2021, reflecting how immunity and health have become essential factors for consumers, with ongoing anxieties over COVID-19 continuing to be a key focus for the forthcoming year and beyond.

According to Innova's Consumer Survey 2020, six out of ten global consumers are increasingly looking for food and beverage products that support their immune health.

Immunity boosting ingredients will play a significant role for the coming year in sweets and snacks, with the awareness of the antioxidant content and potential immune health benefits of snacks featuring dark chocolate and so-called superfruits, as well as the use of vitamins and zinc in hard candy and gummies.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/beats_

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