What's next in sweet snacking?

Sweet snacking has had a bit of a shake up in light of factors such as climate change, the cost of living crisis and the trend towards healthier snacking. And with creativity at an all-time high, new flavours and ways to snack are sought along with the comforting nostalgic flavours that we know and love.

That said, snacking is ideal at all times of the day, whether it’s a big treat once a week or smaller treats daily, we all love to indulge in something sweet.

This year, the focus moves towards healthier but equally delicious options as many consumers take to incorporating a balanced diet while simultaneously satisfying their sweet tooth.

We’ve pulled together four trends from tfp that we’re keeping an eye on this year.

The Big Squeeze

Rising costs across bakery staples such as milk, chocolate and sugar are having an effect on out of home, retail, wholesale and food services businesses across the UK, yet the opportunity to create pockets of joy in consumers’ lives is greater than ever as value is paramount.

Despite the cost of living crisis, consumers are enjoying premium snacking as it’s a relatively affordable indulgence. That coupled with the increase in flexible working is creating more potential for innovation in sweet snacking as many of us don’t want to pay a premium for all of the calories.

Shrinking the size of treats is one way to help combat both cost and calorie consumption and is considered a relatively permissible indulgence. Offering smaller sized portions with quality, freshness and flavour all in one bite can help add value to any food service operation as your range of sweet treats becomes more accessible for customers

The Big Freeze

While you might enjoy binge-watching Is it Cake? on Netflix, not many of us have the time in our busy lives to laminate, prove, bake and ice to get the sweet treats we love at home. So, frozen bake at home cakes and pastries are the perfect way to find middle ground. According to Markets & Markets Research (USA), the total global frozen bakery market will grow from $22.3 billion in 2021 to $29.5 billion by 2026, at an average annual growth rate of 5.8 per cent.

From ready to bake croissants to slice and bake cookie dough, bake at home isn’t a new thing, but it’s an area businesses could capitalise on to boost sales – for example, buy a ready to eat pastry today and a bag of the same product frozen for breakfast tomorrow. Perfect for those seeking convenience, freshness and easy storage.

Frozen bakery products are beyond convenient; a major factor benefitting this sector. Bake-off products can be used by commercial outlets such as fuel stations, hotels, restaurants and in store bakeries where the products can be baked as required, producing that tempting, delicious scent. Not only are they practical to stock as the only requirement is to bake, but they also save on production and preparation time.

Not so Sweet

An indulgence once in a while is not to be missed, yet too much fat, sugar and salt is not good for health. Plus, since HFSS guidelines have come into place banning products that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar from promotional space, reformation is taking place.

Sometimes it’s simply about replacing a spoonful of sugar with wholesome ingredients like nuts, fruit or even veg. As well as providing nutritious credentials the umami taste of nuts, veg and sea vegetables perfectly balance sweetness. As we continue to move away from too much ultra-sweet, heavily processed food, refined white sugar alternatives such as coconut blossom also trend.

Balance is the key to health and many consumers are becoming more open to treating themselves as part of their holistic health regime. That may mean choosing smaller portions of an indulgent treat, choosing cakes and pastries with added natural ingredients, or aligning the treats they buy to a particular way of eating, like plant-based. And while it’s challenging to meet all of the needs of today’s health-conscious consumer, understanding what they are looking for can really help focus your product choice.

Old School

In uncertain times we all want a bit of comfort, and childhood memories often provide this.

Sometimes simple old school recipes are the most satisfying. Take oat and raisin, a classic cookie combination and, for many a childhood favourite. Or fudge, which is super sweet and often gets overlooked for the likes of peanut butter or salted caramel, but can be just as, if not more delicious.

While classics like a great chocolate brownie or the perfectly chewy cookie will always be on the menu, supplying on trend flavours and formats is key to keeping your customers coming back for more.

For more insights or to explore how we can help you, get in touch today.

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