The term ’healthy snack’ is open to interpretation but one thing most consumers are agreed upon is that fruit makes the healthiest snack. New research from Him, where they quizzed 1,000 consumers in September, found that 94% of them viewed fresh fruit to be healthy. The second healthiest item was nuts, then dried fruit, veg-and-a-dip, then plain rice cakes. Over half of those who took part in the survey thought crisps were healthy but they were ’veggie’ crisps as opposed to potato ones.

The typical healthy snacking shopper (someone who buys a healthy snack at least once a week) is younger than the average c-store shopper (aged 40 compared to 45) and 56% of these shoppers are men.

When it comes to ingredients, ’100% natural’ is the most appealing product description for all food for all shoppers. However. healthy snacking shoppers are also looking for added benefits such as added fibre, vitamins and protein. They also prefer low sugar to sugar free.

So-called healthy snacks are usually more expensive than ordinary fat and sugar laden crisps and chocolate, and Him found that healthy snacking shoppers are willing to pay more for them with those surveyed saying £1.84 would be an acceptable price for a healthy snack (which is 40p more than the acceptable price of any old snack). However, price is a barrier to purchase for some people with 46% of those surveyed saying healthy snacks are just too expensive.

What’s new?

New healthy snacks are hitting the market all the time. If you haven’t heard of ’activated nuts’, they are ones that have been soaked in water, then dried until they get crunchy again. The soaking breaks down some of their natural chemicals and, as a result, the nuts become easier to digest. Nutmad is a new activated nuts brand that offers five varieties: Almonds with Sea Salt; Natural Almonds; Salted Maple Caramel Walnuts; Maple and Rosemary Cashews; and Natural Nut Mix. All are available in 30g and 70g bags.

For consumers who love their cake but would prefer a healthier version, there is the Fitbakes range of lower-sugar, high-protein cakes. These have 90% less sugar, 80% less fat, 60% fewer calories and 500% more protein than the typical high street brands. This means they don’t raise your blood sugar levels and they keep hunger at bay for longer.

Fitbakes won the Best of Health Award 2018 in the Best Gym Fix category in Healthy Food Guide Magazine, and have already been featured in Women’s Health, Take a Break, Slimming World and Weight Watchers magazines.

Meanwhile, you may have read about the major confectionery manufacturers coming up with chocolate recipes with less sugar, but there is an alternative chocolate product available that’s made from natural pea and rice proteins. When combined in the right quantities, the pea and rice proteins create a whole whey-like protein which is great for consumers who cannot tolerate traditional whey.

high protein

Push Chocolate’s high protein, vegan chocolate buttons use only natural ingredients and have 50% less sugar than other mainstream chocolate buttons. The chocolate is dairy, gluten, soya, nut and palm oil free and is available in 40g and 100g pouches, rrp £2.49 and £4.99 respectively.

Finally, Kallo is enjoying distribution gains across the trade with new listings in the Co-op, M&S and Tesco. For forecourts, the brand’s sales team’s focus is to increase distribution of its core jumbo packs of rice and corn cakes.

A number of Kallo’s healthy snack lines are available through WH Smith motorway service stores including Salt & Vinegar Rice & Corn cakes, Kallo Caramel Mini Rice & Corn cakes and Milk Chocolate Twin Pack rice cakes.

According to IRI data, Kallo’s rice and corn cakes have enjoyed strong value sales growth of 35% over the past three years.

A new product from the brand is Pop-Crisps in Himalayan Pink Salt & Hint of Black Pepper, Sea Salt & Sicilian Lemon Vinegar, Sour Cream & Dill and Wasabi & Soy Sauce flavours. At around 85 calories per 20g serving, the crisps are made from ingredients such as green split pea, yellow split pea and purple corn.

latest lines

Eat Real has unveiled two new vegan snacks Veggie Bites and Snap Pea Crunch. Both come in 60g packs, rrp £2.29.
Gnaw says it has combined health and taste in its new 35g chocolate and granola bars. The bars are handcrafted in Norfolk with 35% healthier ingredients and no added nasties just seeds, fruits, nuts and British granola grown in Norfolk.
Fitbakes better-for-you cakes come in 10 flavours including Lemon Drizzle, Dark Chocolate, Carrot and Peanut Butter. Ingredients are 100% natural, and they are all high in protein and low in sugar.
Push Chocolate’s high protein, vegan chocolate buttons come in four flavours: original, orange, mint and honeycomb. The chocolate is dairy, gluten, soya, nut and palm oil free. The chocolate’s packaging will be redone in 2019 so it is plastic free.
The Protein Ball Co has launched a range of Trio Packs for customers looking to curb their cravings with a healthy, under-100 calorie snack. The packs contain bite-size balls with 3.5g of natural protein and there are four flavours: vegan-friendly Goji & Coconut and Lemon & Pistachio, as well as Peanut Butter made with whey protein and Cherry Bakewell made with egg white protein.