Healthier and plant-based options
Consumers are increasingly seeking healthier and plant-based options in the puffed and extruded snack category. Snacks made with vegetable-based ingredients, such as cauliflower stalks and butternut squash stalks, are gaining popularity for their unique taste and nutritional benefits. Plant-based proteins, such as those derived from whole grains, beans, and pulses, are also being incorporated into snack products to cater to this growing demand.
Today’s consumers are not only looking for snacks with great taste but also those that offer additional functional benefits and support their overall health. Snacks that promote gut and microbiome health, for example, are expected to grow in popularity in the coming years. The inclusion of prebiotic fibers and postbiotic ingredients can help support a healthy microbiome, adding positive nutritional benefits to snack foods.
Transparency and product story
Consumers are becoming more educated about the products they consume and expect brands to be transparent about their ingredients and manufacturing processes. A compelling product story that highlights the origins, processing, and nutritional aspects of a snack can help brands differentiate themselves in the competitive snack industry.
The nutritional extruded snacks market is expected to continue growing as consumers look for better-for-you options with exciting flavors, pleasing textures, and additional health benefits. Brands that can strike a balance between nutrition, sensory experience, and cost while maintaining transparency and a compelling product story are likely to thrive in this dynamic market. As the demand for healthier, plant-based, and functional snacks continues to rise, the snack industry will undoubtedly continue to evolve and innovate to meet consumer expectations.
For relevant conferences and workshops regarding food & feed extrusion, visit www.ExtruAfrica.org.za. The next available course is taking place in August 2023, in Kenya. This course will focus on the applications of extrusion for developing countries. It is focused on technical and practical applications of extrusion and presented by international industry expert, Prof Mian Riaz from Texas A&M University.