Snacking represents a huge market and one that it’s increasingly important for independent retailers, farm shops and delis not to miss out on. We caught up with a few of The Farm Shop & Deli Show’s exhibitors to find out about the latest trends and innovations in the snack sector.
Snacking is on the up
Many exhibitors felt that snacking was on the increase due to busy lifestyles, Tanya Dib from Ape Snacks (Stand H64) told us “Snacking has been steadily rising these past years resulting in us becoming the largest snackers in Europe. We have such a fast-paced lifestyle, snacking has become the easy solution for getting that energy boost when you are facing that ‘afternoon slump’ or haven’t had the time for a proper meal.”
There’s plenty of data to back up this view too, as Sarah Booth, MD of Fruitypot Family Ltd explained: “Busy millennials are demanding snacks on-the-go. Health and wellbeing are the trends driving their choices. Almost two-thirds (72%) of shoppers in the UK are buying healthy food containing less salt, sugar and fat*. However, they don’t want to compromise on taste.” (Source *IRI).
The growth of healthy snacks was a key trend many exhibitors where keen to point towards. The team at Wildings (Stand: D78G) gave us their view: “There seems to be more of a focus on the health aspects of snacks, with the move away from high sugar and carbohydrates because people are more conscious of the food they eat and where it comes from. If they are replacing meals with snacks, they want to have good quality food that still gives the body what it needs. It is important to me, as a trained chef, to create great tasting food that is also nutritious.”
Nationwide initiatives have helped play a part in the growth of consumers healthy snacking habits, as Sarah Booth, MD of Fruitypot Family Ltd explained: “The NHS’ new ‘Change 4 Life’ campaign suggests parents should limit children’s snacks to just two at 100 calories each per day. Families are on the lookout for snacks that they can grab and go, that are better for them too. As refined sugar has become enemy number one - this has created a space for innovative and healthier desserts. Farm shops and delis should consider stocking brands like Fruitypot and JellySqueeze.”
Jake Judd at Fresh Essentials (Stand L75) told us “Snacks like seed mixes and nuts are healthy alternatives to bread and other sandwich type on the go food.” Other healthy options proving popular include coconut-based snacks. Tanya at Ape Snacks told us: “Ape Snacks have a range of products that not only are a healthy treat but are also, 1 of your 5 a day and keep you fuller for longer. The Crunchy Coconut Bites range are gluten free, with no added sugar and with most packs coming in under 150 calories”
A little indulgence
With so much focus on health and nutrition, is there still room for indulgent snacking? What’s the industry’s stance on this? Paul Rostand, Founder of Great British Biscotti (Stand K64) gave us his view: “I think snacking is at a crossroads with consumers opting between health orientated or super indulgent but rarely, woolly half-hearted choices that occupy no-man’s land.”
The team at Elizabeth Shaw (Stand A83) felt there was definitely a place for ‘a little of what you fancy’. They told us all about the rise of what they call ‘permissible treating’ in the UK’s chocolate market: “This is the thought process that says it really is OK to treat yourself and that as a nation of chocolate lovers when we decide to have that chocolate treat we like to make sure it’s a good one! In fact, a shift towards premium brands and dark chocolate is a clear indication that when we want to treat ourselves it needs to be good quality, great tasting and maybe ‘a little better for me’ – because I’m worth it!” This isn’t just a theory; the behaviour is backed up by research from Mintel that reveals self-treating to be the single biggest reason for buying chocolate. According to this research of consumers 63% agree that it’s OK to eat small amounts of chocolate every day as part of a balanced diet. The Elizabeth Shaw team even went as far as looking into generational differences when it comes to snacking and told us how generation X is driving growth in the UK chocolate market.
The power of provenance
Consumers these days are putting more thought into their snack purchases and taking provenance, ingredient quality and ethical sourcing into consideration when it comes to snacking. Many of the exhibitors we spoke to were keen to highlight how their products reflected this trend. The team at Wildings were very clear when it came to provenance, they told us: What’s key is for us to be able to offer provenance. The duck that we use in our Duck Crackling is from a single origin producer from within the British Isles, which gives us a strong measure of consistency and quality. We also know the levels of animal welfare are maintained from our supplier. It’s not always easy to know where ingredients are sourced for other meat snacks, and this can be a bit of a worry which I think is why the snack has been popular in farm shops and delis”.
Paul at the Great British Biscotti team felt strongly too and told us: “Ingredient transparency and product provenance are pivotal to our success – we’re very proud of our Dorset roots. I also think in these uncertain, Brexit times, consumers are keener to support home-grown brands wherever feasible.”
There’s a lot to see and taste from The Farm Shop & Deli Show’s exhibitors, here’s a look at some of the exciting innovations:
- Fresh Essentials’ new REALLY SEEDY range – they told us it’s a serious and impactful group of super seed mixes with a tongue in cheek positioning that makes it approachable.
- Ape Snacks’ new Coconut Puffs are a world first in snacking and definitely one to try while at the show. We’re told these are made from “a moreish mixture of coconut, rice and coconut oil and all-natural seasonings – making them light, crunchy and packed with flavour”.
- Wildings Duck Crackling, which has just been voted joint winner of the Judges Excellence Award and runner up in the Snack category of the UK Paleo Awards 2017.
- The Drinks Bakery has created a range of delicious premium savoury snacks called Drinks Biscuits. These are expertly flavour-profiled biscuits to match great drinks like Craft Beer, Champagne and quality wines, whisky and of course gin.
- The range of no added sugar, fruity snacks in a handy pouch or pot from Fruitypot, which they told us “are perfect for health-conscious mums to give to their children. Both products are made with real fruit juice, have no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives and no artificial colours - plus they are vegan, lactose free and gluten free.”
Browse the exhibitors page on The Farm Shop & Deli Show website to find out more about new launches at the show.