Snack manufacturers need to ensure their healthy lines are tastier and more flavoursome if they want them to succeed, according to a new report from Datamonitor.
The company surveyed 5,000 consumers from eight countries, including the UK and US, for its data. It found that more consumers than ever are seeking out healthy snacking options but much of what is currently available is not meeting their needs.
Datamonitor analyst Richard Parker explained: "Snacking is a strong sensory-based and emotive experience and is often a response to stress or a momentary form of escapism. If it is to be fulfilling in a healthy way, then the indulgent characteristics must still be satisfied."
The report stated that snack foods and beverages do not sit well in the context of the consumer trend for health and wellness, as they are often associated with "unfavourable nutritional practices". However despite this, snacking remains an important part of daily eating and drinking behaviour.
The survey found that while 60% of consumers had sought out more convenient and healthy food and drinks in the past year, well over a third had regularly looked for small indulgences as a form of escapism from daily pressures.
Datamonitor added that credibility remains a key problem for the snack industry: "Snack foods with health benefits still seem counter-intuitive to many consumers and scepticism towards corporate messages makes it an uphill battle for traditional snack producers".