From Ozempic to functional ingredients: Upcoming webinar explores how healthy snack brands meet demands for nutrition, convenience, flavor

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Source: William Reed
Source: William Reed

Related tags Snack webinar Snack bars

On-the-go consumers are turning to healthy snacks to satisfy their cravings for taste, functionality and convenience, as better-for-you snack brands capitalize on interest in GLP-1 drugs by introducing products that promote satiety and address different need states. The topic of healthy snacks will be the focus of FoodNavigator-USA’s upcoming editorial webinar.

Moderated by FoodNavigator-USA Senior Correspondent Ryan Daily, “Elevating healthy snacking: Meeting demand for function, flavor, format​” on July 10 at 11 am CT will feature a panel discussion on how brands are responding to demands for healthier and more nutritious products through innovation.  

The webinar’s panel will feature snack brand founders, innovators, market analysts and investors in the better-for-you snack space, including:

  • Sherry Frey​, VP of total wellness at NielsenIQ
  • Marc Washington​, founder and CEO of Supergut
  • Peter Barrick​, CEO of Rivalz
  • Samil Ozavar​, SVP of strategy and innovation for Cibo Vita
  • Melissa Dolan​, director for Emil Capital Partners

GLP-1 drugs elevate the health discourse in the US

Frey will open the webinar exploring macro trends that are influencing the snack segment, sharing insight from NielsenIQ’s Snackonomics survey that shows how better-for-you snacks are driving market growth as consumers demand products that satisfy their taste buds, nutrient needs and budgets. 

Recently, Frey presented at the Food as Medicine event in Chicago​, where she discussed how the emergence of GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and WeGovy have shifted the conversation around obesity and health in the US.  

GLP-1 drugs have been touted as a possible solution to the obesity and diabetes epidemics in the US. Advocates of GLP-1 drugs say they can help consumers lose weight by sharply reducing appetite, while opponents of the drugs question their price and raise concerns about side effects.

In a recent survey of more than 1,400 consumers, the Kaiser Family Foundation found​ that 12% of consumers said they tried a GLP-1 drug, and 6% said that they are currently on a GLP-1 drug. Additionally, 62% of consumers said they are taking the drug to address a chronic condition, including diabetes or heart disease, and approximately 40% said they are taking GLP-1 drugs to lose weight.

Better-for-you snack respond to the GLP-1 effect

Large CPG companies like Nestlé are following the GLP-1 trend. The CPG giant recently launched a Lean Cuisine line of frozen meals for those on GLP-1 drugs. Snack brands are also leaning into the demand for GLP-1 benefits and releasing products that mirror some of the drugs’ benefits.

With its portfolio of snack bars and powders, Supergut found success in the market — recently launching in GNC stores nationwide as part of its GLP-1 section​ — by serving as a complement to treatment plans and an off-ramp for Ozempic and WeGovy.

Additionally, salty snack brand Rivalz​ is tapping into the demand for products to deliver fullness with its portfolio of products that promote satiety through protein- and fiber-rich snacks, which are made possible through its patented extrusion technology.

During the webinar, Washington and Barrick will share how the GLP-1 trend has evolved, and how consumers are looking for products that promote satiety and gut health. Ozavar will also share how Cibo Vita is capitalizing on the demand for probiotic-rich foods with its Probiotic Yoggies fruit bites, created with the company’s encapsulation technology.  

How brands are navigating the capital crunch?

While better-for-you snacks are capitalizing on interest in gut health and GLP-1, food and beverage startups are facing the challenge of ensuring they have enough capital to grow their business, amid high interest rates and low levels of venture-capital funding.

Supergut made a series of cuts to streamline its business and grow into GNC stores, as the brand enters fundraising mode to fuel further growth, Washington previously shared.

At Expo West, Dolan shared her perspective on the state of venture-capital funding, noting brands that survive the next year should see better investment prospects. 

“There has been a lot of doom and gloom over the last 12 months, [and] it is a really challenging fundraising environment. I think the good news is consumer products are not going anywhere, and ... we will come into a time — and I am willing to bet it is in the next two to three years — where strategics — [large CPG companies] — are looking to snatch up relevant brands again. So, buckle down, make it through this year, and there is massive light at the end of the tunnel,” Dolan told FoodNavigator-USA previously.​  

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