Two Emerging Snack Food Packaging Trends

With February being National Snack Food Month, we thought it only fitting to share our take on two major snack food packaging trends we’ll see continuing to unfold in 2017.

According to the 2016 Food Packaging Trends and Advances report from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, one of the most innovative food industry segments is Snack Foods. Snack food packaging was called out for use of recycled and biodegradable materials for salty snacks along with stylish, vivid graphics and shapes for single-serve packs.

As we see the snack food industry segment evolve, there are two main themes emerging:

Functional foods in high demand
Consumer interest in sustainability continues to be strong and is among 2017’s top U.S. food and nutrition trends, according to the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation.  But did you also know that consumer interest in functional foods, i.e. foods with health benefits beyond basic nutrition are in high demand? The IFIC Foundation’s 2016 Food and Health Survey found that nearly half of consumers said that “weight loss/management” is a health benefit they are interested in getting from foods. And about one-third of Americans also listed “increased energy,” “cardiovascular health,” “healthy aging,” or “digestive health.”

Potential new nutritional health benefits through updated labels
Because the new FDA nutritional label rules require different nutritional values to be declared, all products will have to undergo fresh analytical testing. Given this new perspective on the nutritional content of food products, previously unnoticed or unmentioned health benefits may come to the fore. These could then be called out on the new packaging and product marketing to boost shelf impact and sales — “no added sugars”, “less than 1g fat per serving”, “rich in essential vitamins.”

If you would like to discuss these market trends in more detail and are looking for creative ideas on how to communicate additional health benefits on your packaging, the folks at Outlook Group would be happy to meet with you at the upcoming SNAXPO trade show, April 1-4 in Savannah, GA or the NCA Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago May 23-25. Visit our trade shows page to schedule a meeting.

Author – Joel Schmidt
Director of Market Development