Post-pandemic weight gain drives protein snacks in Europe

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Europeans are increasingly seeking out snacks with functional benefits. Pic: GettyImages/Ridofranz
Europeans are increasingly seeking out snacks with functional benefits. Pic: GettyImages/Ridofranz

Related tags FMCG Gurus Protein Snack Functional ingredients Obesity coronavirus

The demand for protein snacks has significantly increased over the past two years with FMCG Gurus insights showing a jump from 10% to 38% of European consumers admitting to veering toward that option when looking to quell a craving.

However, the market researcher says it’s not just high protein claims that are proving popular among Europeans, but functional ingredients in general, with 48% of today’s consumers saying they want more from their snack than just to quell a craving.

“When targeting consumers in 2021, it is important to understand that they are actively seeking out better-for-you options that offer functional and beneficial ingredients to their diets,”​ said Will Cowling, marketing manager at FMCG Gurus.

“High protein claims are of high interest and consumers look to switch out traditional snacking options for these claims. Therefore, it is important that brands can offer functional snacking options as consumer attitudes evolve to adopt a healthier approach to their nutrition.”

The onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on consumer attitudes and behaviours in several areas, and no less so when it comes to their snacking habits.

FMCG Gurus says there is a determined effort to lead a healthier lifestyle and traditional snacks are being swapped for more functional products.

“There is a keen desire to improve health amongst consumers as they look to lead a better quality of life, whilst being less vulnerable to disease,”​ said Cowling.

Consumer insights from FMCG Gurus found that 68% of European consumers say they are making active attempts to improve their diets, even if is not seen as unhealthy. Many consumers believe they snack too often, consume too much sugar and have poorly structured meal-time habits – all of which they believe will impact their health in the long term.

A weighty challenge

This is particularly being driven by the weight gain experienced by many consumers during lockdown, “due to the need for moments of escapism to alleviate stress and worry as they faced uncertainty in their everyday lives.”

According to FMCG Gurus, 30% of European consumers believe they are overweight, while 42% have become more conscious about their weight thanks to the pandemic.

A key way in which consumers are taking command of their diet is to up their consumer of protein-packed foods: considered a perfect marriage of health with convenience. And with the snackification movement showing no let down, FMCG Gurus recommends that producers should up their protein offerings. This again is backed by the market reserchers insight that found 59% of European consumers say they want their snacks to offer a nutritional boost, while 51% claim to have recently switched their choices.

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