Better-for-you, healthier snacks came truly into the spotlight as a sector of its own during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, when consumers of all ages and demographics across APAC responded with heightened interest in healthier diets.
Such has the growth of this industry been that today it is no longer enough for products to simply be lower in sugar or salt than other competitors, but also need to offer added functionality and benefits in order to capture the interest of consumers here.
“What we are seeing is that in snacking it is not only better-for-you or healthier [that are key], but also functionality as consumers start to demand and expect more from these products,” Nudie Snacks Founder Tracey Hogarth told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“So things like high fibre, high protein and low calories are becoming more and more dominant when it comes to new product development in snacking, so consumers can specifically see what extra benefits they can get from these.
“Snacking as a whole has really changed over the years, but consumers always want snacks that taste really good with a good flavour – thing is that now, these must also be really good for them calories-wise as well as containing the plant-based proteins they want.”
Freshness has also emerged as a very important aspect in healthy snacking, as this is a characteristic that consumers very much associate with high quality and even good taste.
“This is where Nudie Snacks has an advantage, as we use fresh batches of vegetables to make our vegetable snacks, and these are very different from just [processed potatoes or extruded] corn chips,” she said.
“As the as the trends start to grow, we believe that more and more vegetable crisps will be appearing on the shelves, with very limited preservatives or colours.
The firm has launched in the Hong Kong market and has its eye on South Korea and Singapore as well, believing that these are key touchpoints in Asia for better-for-you snacking products.
“For Singapore and China, there's a lot of a lot of change going on there [with consumers being] very health conscious [and] starting to look at products that are clean label,” she added.
“So these are the markets we believe are very suitable for healthier crisps like ours, especially when we are able to also provide selections that can pack a punch in terms of flavours, as Asian consumers are definitely not willing to compromise in that area.
Watch the video above to find out more.