Experiential eating drives new snacking innovations like ‘swicy’ s’mores and the vegan ‘brookie’

Consumers often perceive snacks as ‘low risk’ opportunities for food exploration, as between-meal bites tend to be smaller quantities and lower price points than full meals. This means snack developers have the freedom to experiment with unique taste profiles, unexpected colors and unusual textures.

So, how can bakery and snack brands entice shoppers with multisensory engagement in the coming months?

Consider focusing on plant-forward snacks and treats with minimal sugar and pleasing texture and taste, says ADM.

Packed with plant proteins

Today’s consumers are open to exploring both animal-based and plant-based proteins in snack foods. This flexitarian approach is believed to support a more resilient food system, as well as the joy of discovery. Plus, protein may help curb hunger and can support the body’s energy levels.

Plants have become commonplace in chips and proteins crackers, nutrition bars, muffins and more. In 2023, this rising tide will elevate alternative meat snacks as substitutes for cured, smoked and cold cooked options. Charcuterie boards of the future may also feature prominently plant-based cheeses alongside fruits, vegetables, olives, breads and spreads.

Crunchy snack clusters are a fun format for plant-forward ingredients, including ancient grains, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and dried fruit. These bites can be sweet or savory, delivering an array of nutrients from fiber to protein and a delightful blend of textures. Snack clusters are also a great way to introduce consumers to lesser-known sources of plant protein, such as sorghum, amaranth and hemp, or even novel protein sources like insects or seaweed.


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