What’s hot in snacks? Insects? Posh jerky? Chickpeas? And what’s the difference between a meal and a snack, or are the lines becoming increasingly blurred? What’s a suitable portion-size? And will healthy vending become the norm? To find out, FoodNavigator-USA has gathered together a panel of entrepreneurs to discuss the hottest new trends in the market, who they admire, and where they see the growth opportunities in the next 3-5 years.
In our debate, moderated by FoodNavigator-USA editor Elaine Watson, we’ll discuss:
1 - What is a snack?
With NHANES data suggesting that the diet of many Americans equates to 'one continuous snack', and the boundaries between snacks and meals blurring, what is a ‘snack’?
2- And does it have to be healthy? What do consumers want?
With the percentage of energy derived from snacks in the American diet increasing from 12% in the late 1970s to 24% in 2009/10, the pressure is on to make those snacks better for you. But would consumers rather eat a small bite of a luxurious chocolate brownie than a larger 'healthier' snack? How many calories should a 'snack' contain? And does ‘natural’ always mean healthy? What are consumers looking for in the ingredients list and the Nutrition Facts panel?
3 - What are the hottest trends in snacking?
Insects? Posh jerky? Pea protein? Chickpeas? High-class popcorn? Brogurt? Mini-portions? Veggies, beans and chia? What consumer trends are the most successful firms tapping into, and where are the growth opportunities in the next 3-5 years?
4 - How difficult is it to launch a new snack product?
How easy is it to launch a new snack? How much money do you need, what strategies work, and what key lessons have you learned from your experiences in the market?
5 - What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?
From securing financing to managing cash-flow, keeping up with regulations, managing your supply chain, dealing with suppliers, brokers and customers, and hiring/staffing issues. What keeps you awake at night?