Today’s snacking consumer seeks out nutritional labels that are easy to understand with ingredients they recognise.
A typical healthy snacker considers healthy eating to be very important. They read nutritional information and on-pack declarations, and are frequently opting for nuts, premium crisps and savoury biscuits to snack on. One in two claims healthy snacking is essential to their daily lives.1
But what constitutes a healthy snack? In a recent survey, over two-thirds (69%) of European consumers say they expect healthy snacks to be made from natural ingredients.1 This is closely followed by being free from colours, preservatives, low in sodium and sugar. In other words, it’s about the clean label approach, with recognisable ingredients, using only ‘kitchen cupboard ingredients’.
In the current marketplace, the snack sub-segments leading on ‘all natural’ product claims are nuts and popcorn (both 20% of market share), closely followed by vegetable snacks (19%).2 “In the past, nuts have dominated in terms of making ‘all natural’ claims but the sector is opening up to other types of snacks,” says Mieke Bloemen, Market Manager, Snacks Europe & UK at Griffith Foods. “We’re now seeing popcorn and vegetable-based snacks making ingredient claims and other sub-segments are repositioning themselves as more premium, all-natural snacking products.”
Cleaning up ingredient lists can carry an additional layer of financial benefits for manufacturers, too. A seasoning ‘Made with Natural Ingredients’ will increase the Cost of Goods Sold by only 5%. However, it will allow the snack processor and the retailer to obtain a margin increase between 10%-20%. And when you consider that European consumers are willing to pay, on average, 20% more for a Better-For-You (BFY) snack versus a standard snack, reviewing the nutritional labelling on pack is a win-win for all.
Natural ingredients through and through
Unprocessed substrates, such as nuts, are already well positioned to achieve clean label status and make on-pack claims. To achieve the ultra-clean label that consumers increasingly demand, and make a seasoning ‘Made with Natural Ingredients’ claim, both the substrate and the seasoning must be made from natural, minimally processed ingredients. The challenge here lies in pairing those seasonings with minimally processed substrates.
“It’s easier to make a front-of-pack claim when working with minimally processed substrates, but the finished product can often lack flavour. Manufacturers need seasonings which are both made with natural ingredients and deliver a fresh and intense taste at the same time,” says Bloemen.
So how can manufacturers differentiate with all-natural snacks which also hit the spot in terms of taste?
Seasonings that reap the rewards
To help manufacturers create ‘kitchen cupboard ingredient’ lists, with flavour as a key differentiator, Griffith Foods has relaunched and expanded its seasonings portfolio by offering ‘Made with Natural Ingredients’. Created in collaboration with the company’s Consumer Insights, Sensory and Snack Research & Development teams, the seasonings are free from E-numbers, flavourings, colours, and are designed to help manufacturers achieve on-pack claims, if desired.
“Our seasonings ‘Made with Natural Ingredients’ go beyond clean label by removing ‘all the nasties’, while delivering a fresh and intense taste,” explains Barbara Hendrickx, Snack Technologist at Griffith Foods.
The concept ticks off five of the top consumer expectations as to what constitutes a healthier snack: delivering the goodness of natural ingredients, no added preservatives, no sugar, no flavourings and no colourings, while achieving the fresh and delicious taste they crave from a healthier snack.1
Each of the seasonings is made with only natural ingredients as defined by a framework of criteria, which includes sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, essential oils, herbs and spices. This approach means that highly processed ingredients, such as dairy and cheese powders, as well as meaty seasonings, are out of scope. All flavour profiles are suitable for vegans, and are free from added sugar, anti-caking agents and gluten, giving manufacturers the opportunity to make an on-pack claim.
“Taking a holistic approach to seasonings, helps our customers address specific goals, allowing them to go beyond the usage of ‘natural flavouring’. It's a way of differentiating in the market versus the standard range and complying with consumer needs in terms of 'no nasties in',” Barbara Hendrickx, Snack Technologist at Griffith Foods
The line extension includes 7 new flavour profiles, such as Paprika, Mexican Chili style and Falafel, building on the concept’s original mission: to help manufacturers stand out in the marketplace while delivering on taste. Designed to pair with a variety of substrates from minimally processed snacks including popcorn, extruded snacks, popped crisps, nuts and seeds and rice cakes, the seasonings also offer taste-driven pairing recommendations such as hand cooked crisps & Falafel seasoning and rice cakes & Masala Curry seasoning.
“As a global company we want to tap into and play on trends from around the world, particularly in herbs and spice blends, using only ingredients that adhere to our criteria list,” says Hendrickx.
Flavour profiles are informed by the company’s ongoing global consumer insights and research, within the scope of the company’s predefined criteria list. Griffith Foods’ inhouse regulatory team constantly monitors claims and is in a position to give advice to customers throughout the creation process. Supporting manufacturers to achieve an ultra-clean label formula is part of a wider transformation of the company’s portfolio to make its collection of seasonings nutritious and more sustainable.
“Taking a holistic approach to seasonings, helps our customers address specific goals, allowing them to go beyond the usage of ‘natural flavouring’. It's a way of differentiating in the market versus the standard range and complying with consumer needs in terms of 'no nasties in'. Pairing the seasonings 'Made with Natural Ingredients' with minimally processed or unprocessed substrates is the next step towards ultra-clean labels,” says Hendrickx.
“Challenging and supporting manufacturers with this next generation of seasonings is where we can make a key difference to the market and take the perceived healthier snacking market to the next level.”
Request your free sample and learn more about Griffith Foods’ 'Seasonings Made with Natural Ingredients’.
Disclaimer: The on-pack ingredient declaration is always the responsibility of the food manufacturer under whose name the food is marketed.
*Cost prices are based on indications and can vary amongst snack processors
1. Griffith Snacks Consumer Survey EU (France, Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain) n=3.194.
2. Mintel, NPI’s Savoury Snacks, Jan 22 -Feb 23 with claim ‘All Natural Product’ n=123.