The temperature may be dropping outside, but consumers are in the midst of a heat crave, and there’s no end in sight. According to Technomic’s 2015 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 78% of consumers enjoy foods with some kick to them, and 55% typically crave spicy flavors.1
As a perennial popular snack and ultra-versatile foodservice staple, cheese has such a universal presence it can easily be taken for granted, and yet its sales are nothing to turn your nose up at.
“Salty sells” is a fact foodservice operators have savored all along. But now consumers want to have their salt and eat it too–and that can be a challenge, given the rise of the better-for-you snacking trend that demands a balance between nutritious and delicious. A salty-tasting profile that also offers nutritional value seems like a recipe for a higher check average, and manufacturers have been busy combining the two to help drive sales–an important factor for continued growth, according to the Packaged Facts report Salty Snacks in the U.S., 4th Edition.
For many foodservice operations and manufacturers, clean label is a way of wiping the slate clean–no more questionable ingredients or unhealthy additives that could raise the eyebrows of increasingly health-conscious consumers.
Crackers may come in small sizes, but their impact on the snack market is huge. Sales grew 17% during 2010-15, reaching $7.7 billion last year.1 As consumers become more health conscious and insist on high-nutrition, low-fat food options, interest in crackers as a healthy alternative to salty treats may help boost sales over the long haul.
Even when baseball season is in full swing, snacking hits it out the park as the true great American pastime. According to Mintel, 94% of Americans snack at least once a day and 50% two or three times a day.1 Given such demand, savvy food operators stand a sporting chance at increasing sales if they know what snacks to pitch consumers.
Among snacking trends, candy is giving the industry a lot to chew on, both as a profit engine and an evolving market.
Healthy snacks are definitely in, but that doesn’t mean that a large batch of consumers don’t favor snacks that fit a sugary flavor profile. According to last year’s Packaged Facts report, “Sweet Baked Goods: U.S. Market Trends,” while 30% of Americans claimed to limit snacks to healthy options and 45% cited nutritional value as the key factor in their food choices, consumers still like to indulge in their favorite sweet treats, provided they can find more wholesome versions of them.1
Millennials are making a major impact on the foodservice industry. Sixty-nine million strong1, this large-and-in-charge generation is so influential, trends follow in its wake. And this group of 18- to 34-year-old consumers shows no signs of slowing down, so operators need to cater to their trendsetting ways to cash in on their spending power.
As consumers become more health conscious and public concern over food allergies reaches a fever pitch, there’s a lot of sweet talk about what allergen-free snacking can bring to the table. Gluten-free dieting in particular has seen a surge in popularity. Projected to grow from $4.63 billion in 2015 to $7.59 billion in 2020,1 the gluten-free market is too big to ignore and naturally commands attention as a foodservice trend. As a result, gluten-free alternatives to popular favorites make sense for operators interested in menu innovation.