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3 Trend Takeaways from the 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo

The National Confectioners Association held it’s annual Sweets & Snacks Expo May 24-26, 2016 in Chicago, and as usual it was chock full of exciting insights and tasty trends to help keep your business on the path to profit in the year ahead. Here are a few key ideas that emerged at this year’s event to keep in mind.

1. Simplicity Reigns
What’s new: “Better-for-you” products with simple ingredients and claims such as “all-natural” and “gluten free” are still growing as consumers are still actively seeking out snacks with special benefits.1
What to do: Bring better-for-you options to the forefront. Call them out on menus, merchandise them and position them for easy grab-and-go sales.

2. Smaller Means Snackable
What’s new: Brands are beginning to offer scaled-down and munchable versions of their existing products. These small but mighty options are designed to help you attract consumers who are into snacking, but not crazy about high-calorie consumption.
What to do: With snacks accounting for half of all eating occasions,2 it’s important to give people what they want in order to stay relevant in the snack game. Offer a solid mix of sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, thin and bite-sized snacks in sweet and savory profiles to make sure you have something to appeal to every whim.

3. Jerky Is Going Mainstream
What’s new: Jerky just got a new life, and it’s going way beyond beef. New sweet and savory flavor profiles and ingredients–did someone say “turkey jerky”?—are taking charge. Also popular this year: pork, dried fruit and quinoa. All new flavors are being offered to satisfy high-protein and Paleo diet enthusiasts.3
What to do: Serve up savory high-protein options to stay top-of-mind with consumers who prefer to follow strict dietary rules.

How do you plan to incorporate these top trends? Tell us below.

1. Romano, Danielle, Six trends unwrapped at 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo, May 31, 2016
2. Snack attack: Food makers push bite-sized offerings, CBS News, Feb. 24, 2016
3. Pina, Pedro 2016 food trends on Google: The rise of functional foods, Google.com, April 2016

Topics: Desserts, Better-for-You, snacks

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