Posted18 December 2023

Operating within the Food and Beverage Executive Recruitment space, Connect Search is taking a look at latest trends in the snacking market.

Healthy snacking

The future of snacking is looking healthier than ever as consumers hunt down treats with ingredients boasting wellbeing-promoting benefits. These so-called functional ingredients are supported by a rise in consumers who see food and drink as an area of their life they can use to optimise their wellbeing. Government regulations on products with HFSS have also spurred innovation to produce snacks that satisfy consumers’ cravings without being too indulgent.

Health-conscious consumers are searching for foods that will make them feel better both physically and mentally. Snacks are increasingly seen as a way to either provide a burst of focus and energy or promote calm and sleep. According to a global survey by ingredients company Kerry, 86% of consumers said they would pay a premium for food and beverages with added functional benefits. The free-from category continues to see new product launches every year as more brands look to innovate their way to success. Whether shoppers are addressing food allergies or looking to cut out certain ingredients for other health reasons, snacks that account for these sensitivities are becoming a vibrant category in their own right.

On-the-go snacking

During lockdown, cooked morning meals (from a full English to porridge) were normalised, whereas now, with workforces returning to the office, the tides have turned. Between work, family, and general daily tasks, it can often prove tricky to carve out time for sitting down with a proper meal. That’s where on-the-go snacks come in, providing a simple solution for our foodie fixes with their handy boosts of energy. According to consumer insight research from FMCG Gurus, 30% of global consumers find convenience appealing when seeking out snacks, and they’re willing to pay a premium. In FMCG Gurus research, 47% of those surveyed didn’t eat in the morning, often attributed to lack of time or hunger. This has led to a rise in consumer search for the perfect breakfast on-the-go. Growth is heavily expected, particularly in breakfast biscuits and cereal or snack bars.

Meat Snacks

Despite the rise in veganism and plant-based eating, not everyone is moving away from meat. In fact, snacking giant PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division is planning an expansion into meat snacks such as jerky. The meat snack industry is expected to be worth £454m by 2027, having grown a whopping 38% in the past two years alone – making it the fastest-growing food and drink category in the UK – according to research by Pilgrim’s Food Masters. However, if consumers are super keen on vegan innovation, the team at Glanbia Nutritionals said plant-based jerky made from wheat, jackfruit, mushrooms and even pea protein is a snack to watch in 2023.

Innovative snacking

Over the years, we’ve seen the steady adoption of root vegetable crisps like beetroot and parsnip, and more recently crisps made from pulses like lentils and chickpeas. Now, up-and-coming brands are focusing on nutritious vegetables like mushrooms and broccoli to attract health-conscious shoppers.

If you’d like to learn more about the latest trends in the Food and Beverage space, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Connect Search today. Speak to one of our industry specialists on or head to our Contact Us page.