Predicting the Future of Salty Snacks

U.S. consumers remain the globe’s top snackers.

January 24, 2019

CHICAGO, Ill. – With the popularity of clean labels, consumers are looking for the presence or absence of certain ingredients when they choose something to nosh, reports Mintel, the consumer research organization.

According to a story at, ingredients are changing in snacking worldwide, with popular options now including grab-and-go packs of olives, sweet or savory biscuits, pickles, nuts, pretzels, fruits, cheese, meats and vegetables.

Thanks to innovative packaging, shelf-stable and refrigerated foods can be put into the same container. Modern, more efficient containers help snacks stay crisp while being paired with foods that feature different textures and require different temperatures.

Mintel reports that flavor continues to be the major factor in selecting a snack. Chocolate continues to be a flavor with universal appeal and lends itself well to sweet-and-savory combinations, which are appreciated worldwide. In 2018, more new chocolate-flavored salty snacks were introduced in Japan than in the U.S.

Snacking has long been considered a between-meal treat, but the demands of modern life have elevated snacks to important eating occasions. In the U.S., 62% of health-oriented consumers will have a snack instead of a meal. A similar pattern is seen in Europe among Polish (43%) and German (35%) consumers and in lesser percentages among other nationalities that also replace meals with snacks.