Healthier Choices: Balanced snacking, guilt-free options, healthier nuts products and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Balanced snacking, guilt-free options, healthier nuts products and more feature in this edition of Healthier Choices. ©Getty Images
Balanced snacking, guilt-free options, healthier nuts products and more feature in this edition of Healthier Choices. ©Getty Images

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Balanced snacking, guilt-free options, healthier nuts products and more feature in this edition of Healthier Choices.

Snacking ‘middle ground’: Thailand’s MUNCHHH on balancing health and indulgence for innovation

Thai healthy snacking brand MUNCHHH has developed an award-winning range of snacks based on what it has termed the ‘middle ground’ of snacking, with a priority on balancing health and indulgence to keep consumers coming back for more.

MUNCHHH was developed by Thai firm Balance Corp, which has an eventual objective of creating various healthy snacking solutions with a balance between being both delicious and healthy.

“We are looking to be in that middle ground of snacking between snacks that solely focus on being delicious, such as Lay’s potato chips, and products that focus on being healthy, such as supplements or nutritional replacements,” ​Balance Corp Founder Norawee Bussadeegarn ​told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Food in the ‘Fusion Era’: Guilt-free options and hyperlocalisation key for food firms in travel retail

Food firms active in the travel retail market will need to increase focus on providing consumers with guilt-free options produced via a hyperlocal supply chain to increase their chances of survival and growth in a rapidly evolving post-COVID-19 era.

The travel retail market was amongst the most sectors most heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years due to various closed borders and travel bans being implemented worldwide, but in recent months the industry in APAC has reported healthy recovery across the board as regional and international borders started opening, including for foods and beverages.

“International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures for February this year have shown good grounds for optimism [with] global traffic having recovered to more than half its pre- pandemic level at minus 45.5% versus February 2019,”​ Tax Free World Association (TFWA) President Erik Juul-Mortensen said at the recent TFWA Asia Pacific Live event in Singapore.

To be or nut to be: Olam’s new D2C brand Re- on juggling consumer demand for traceability, sustainability and health

Olam’s new direct-to-consumer (D2C) nuts brand Re- says it is tapping into three major trends – traceability, sustainability and health – as it eyes expansion from its Singapore launchpad into wider Asia, the US and UK.

The brand launched its range of nuts in March 2022 after two years of research and development. The almond and cashew range is 100% natural, responsibly grown and traceable to the farms that produce them, claims its SVP and CMO, Venaig Solinhac.

“By natural, we mean it is non-GMO, produced using sustainable farming practices and the nuts can be traced back to its farms,"​ he said.

Home economics: Rising ingredient prices prompt More Meat to create pioneering RTC meat alternatives

Alternative meat firm More Meat has cited rising local food ingredient prices and the prevention of food waste as major drivers behind the creation of its ready-to-cook (RTC) range, a format that is still at the early stages of growth within Thailand’s plant-based sector.

In this episode of the FNA Trailblazers podcast, we speak to Co-Founder and CEO of Thailand’s More Meat, Kanwra Tanachotevorapong (Minnie). More Meat is best-known for having revolutionized the use of splitgill mushrooms, a local native mushroom species that grows on rubber trees, into meat alternatives.

More Meat has seen some significant success with widespread national supermarket presence of its plain unseasoned product, made plain and unflavoured on purpose in response to consumer demand for a healthier ingredient to cook meals from scratch with in order to control sodium intake – but now the firm is also venturing into items that are a little more flavoured with RTC products.

“This portfolio expansion is really also due to consumer demand – there are many who want to be able to cook from scratch and have a plain canvas with which to add their own herbs, sauces, spices and so on to, but there are also many who simply don’t have the time to do this and need something quick yet healthier than the average pre-processed instant meal,” ​Tanachotevorapong told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Freezing in freshness: How APAC’s frozen food sector is prioritising healthier new product development

Products with a healthier focus are the next major trend within frozen foods sector, with NPD thriving from countries with advanced cold chain systems such as Australia to those with less developed logistics such as India.

The health and wellness trend has been on the rise throughout the entire food and beverage industry in the Asia Pacific region even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and things have been no different for the frozen foods sector.

Before, a great deal of misunderstanding existed about this category, with many consumers believing that these were inferior to fresh foods as the freezing process meant removing nutrients or depleting the quality of the food – this is a misunderstanding that frozen food firms have been working hard to overcome.

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