Trail mixes snack mixes, usually combining nuts, dried fruit, granola and chocolate bites. Some of the major trail mix producers in North America include Planters, Larabar, Enjoy Life Foods and Emerald.
At global level, the nuts, seeds and trail mixes segment has experienced continuous growth for the past three years, Euromonitor data shows.
In 2015, the category was worth around $21.9bn, and its retail value increased to $23.4bn by 2016. In 2017, nuts, seeds and trail mixes are predicted to reach $24.92bn.
Meanwhile in the US, the retail value of nuts, seeds and trail mixes is expected to reach $6.62bn by the end of 2017, growing by 0.8% compared to last year, Euromonitor indicated.
The retail value of US savory biscuits, however, will decline by 0.1%, reaching around $6.59bn by the end of 2017, data shows.
Healthy halo of trail mixes
In a recent webinar on the state of snacking, market research firm Mintel said the health and wellness image of snack mixes is the primary reason why consumers choose the category.
For example, US cheese maker Sargento recently developed a product ranged called Balanced Breaks that has cheese on one side, and nuts and dried fruit on the other.
“Clearly, consumers really get this one as 57% of them said they would buy it,” Mintel said.
Additionally, snack producers also deliver items for shoppers to treat themselves at the retail level, Mintel’s director of innovation and insight, Lynn Dornblaser, said.
“We have this Oberto trail mix which I would say it’s not your usual trail mix because it contains not only nuts, seeds and dried fruit, but small bits of chicken jerky as well,” she said. Oberto primarily manufactures meat snacks.
In a similar move, Dick Stevens also extended its jerky mix range with several new flavors last year at Expo West show in California, this site previously reported. CEO Jeff Eckert said jerky/trail mix blends are the biggest upcoming trend in the snack market.
The global savory snack growth fueled by sugar reduction
The growth of trail mixes (one of the savory snack’s subcategories), reflects that consumers around the world are increasingly looking for healthier snack options, Euromonitor analyst, Pinar Hosafci, suggested.
“The move towards savory snacks is motivated by what has been dubbed as the ‘backlash against sugar.’ Sugar is becoming increasingly vilified by media and some retailers have pledged to take sugar out of own-label products,” she said.
“Similarly, governments are also taking action to reduce consumers’ daily sugar intake. Mexico has put on a calorie tax on fatty and sugary food exceeding 250 calories per pack and a 10% surcharge on sugary drinks and countries including Australia, Colombia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and the UK are discussing a similar sugar tax,” Hosafci added.
Globally, the retail value growth of savory snacks is also set to outpace confectionery, Euromonitor projected that savory snacks will grow by 5%, while confectionery is expected to grow by 3.6% by the end of 2017.
In North America, the growth of savory snacks will be around 2.2%, while retail value of confectionery is set to increase by 1.8% this year, according to Euromonitor.