2016 was a whirlwind of on-the-go snacking, clean label watching, better-for-you branding and millennial menu-innovation mania. No surprise, then, that those in the know forecast flux for the new year.
The millennial mania for better-for-you and clean label foodservice trends has spilled over into the beverage market in a big way. As millennials look to foods and drinks with high nutritional value to help fuel their busy lifestyles and foster their overall sense of health and well-being, they have become the consumer group with the highest consumption of functional beverages.1
When it comes to snack trends that stick around, chewy candy is high on the list. Chewy candy not only satisfies the American consumer’s sweet tooth; it also helps satisfy foodservice operators’ appetite for sales. Though chocolate maintains the lead as a sales generator, chewy candy ate up nearly $3.3 billion in sales in the 52 weeks ending March 20, 2016, and saw a 6.5% increase in dollar sales from 2015.1
As the grab-and-go phenomenon and self-service micro markets continue to accelerate, it’s hard not to wonder where they're leading us. Enter Amazon Go, the world’s first checkout-free grocery store. Due to open its doors in early 2017 in Amazon’s home base of Seattle, it shifts the foodservice trend of speed and convenience into warp drive.
Consumers are cocoa loco, especially at this time of year. There’s nothing like hot cocoa to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling on cold winter days, when foodservice operators cozy up to it as a reliable seller. It’s the quintessential winter beverage, a popular seasonal staple for consumers of all ages. But while hot cocoa and hot chocolate are often considered one and the same, their flavor profiles can vary.
Nothing seems to perk up profits and spread good cheer among foodservice operators like holiday coffee sales. Last year, one of the jolly juggernauts in the coffee category saw sales spike 12% during the holiday season to $5.47 billion.1
As a $6.2 billion behemoth that continues to grow,1 the snacking industry has a lot to look forward to in 2017. The Hartman Group reported that 90% of consumers snack multiple times during the day1, powering snacks to eat up ever-greater market share in the food industry. The consumer research firm estimates that snacking accounts for nearly 50% of all eating occasions.1
Diversified, delicious and nutritious, breakfast bars and snack bar varieties are a dream-come-true for foodservice operators who want to offer snack options that cater to their customers’ busy lifestyles. As a go-to snack source for on-the-go consumers who gravitate toward quick treats with enough nutritional value to replace a sit-down meal, the bar category is booming.
As busy, health-conscious consumers continue to embrace better-for-you snacking as a source of smaller, quicker meals, the popularity and diversity of staples like yogurt grows. Roughly one quarter of consumers tend to snack in the morning instead of having a full meal,1 and yogurt’s portability (especially in single-serve packs) and versatility (it’s often combined with fruits and other toppings) make it an especially appealing breakfast option. No wonder 39% of adults nosh on yogurt as a snack, and 44% eat it for breakfast.1