Protein still reigns as top trend in healthy snacks

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Protein will remain the top trend in snacks for 2019. Pic: AMCO Proteins
Protein will remain the top trend in snacks for 2019. Pic: AMCO Proteins

Related tags Protein Snacks on-the-go flavor trends Nutrition

In 2018, the snacking industry saw huge changes: more protein, more fiber, more fat, cleaner labels and ingredient transparency were just a few trends. Jeffrey Bernstein, research scientist for AMCO Proteins, discusses the trends forecast for 2019.

It’s clear that the industry continues to shift towards cleaner labels, bolder flavor (especially international taste), higher protein and overall health as a whole.

Clinical research continues to tout the myriad benefits of more protein in the diet, whether it be dairy or plant-based.

The snack industry will also see a rise in protein-fortified foods. Driven by millennials (21-34 years) and boomers (50-64 years), 2018 saw a huge spike in product launches across various snack segments – including extruded and puffed snacks, and pastries – with high protein claims and 2019 isn’t expected to slow down.

In fact, the whey protein market alone is growing at a CAGR of 7.5% and the milk protein market at 6.8% CAGR.

Grab n’ go

As the general attitude towards mealtime shifts to smaller “meals” eaten throughout the day, the snacking industry will only benefit.

With small bites, portioned snacks and convenience still driving purchases, we can expect to see products with more nutrient-rich ingredients – like nuts and seeds, dairy proteins, cannabis extract CBD and probiotics – on the shelves.

Flavor town

Consumers demand that their on-the-go snacks be packed with flavors.

This year, expect to see a rise in flavors paying homage to regional flavors like Tennessee BBQ and Chesapeake Bay (crab flavor). Globally, African flavors are on trend, with harissa and berbere lending themselves towards more savory snack items like extruded puffs and chips.

Nutrition is key

Consumers are paying more attention to labels and the nutrition each product provides – they want to know each ingredient.

Vitamin and mineral fortification are, on the whole, being replaced by protein, and ingredients like milk proteins are poised for success as they’re naturally high in key micronutrients calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Also, with more attention being given to gut health, expect to see a rise in fiber, probiotics and prebiotics.

Dietary lifestyles Keto and Paleo will continue their upward trajectories, so expect a focus on better-for-you fats and of course, high quality proteins.

Big box versus boutique-style

Food Lab-Scoops

At AMCO Proteins, we’ve noticed that consumers, especially millennials, are continuing to shift away from big-box brands in favor of supporting smaller, more boutique-style companies.

These smaller companies are becoming the quickest trendsetters the food industry has seen.

As food developers, it’s our job to help them rise to that occasion with innovative protein blends like SnackPLUS, ArcticPro and BakePLUS.

These products are clean label, easy-to-use and help add protein to a variety of foods, including extruded and puffed cereal-based snacks, frozen desserts, cookies and baked goods.

Follow us


View more