Age of The Healthy Food Startup: What the Future Looks Like for CPG Corps & the Snack Industry
A shift has taken place in the American kitchen and it is moving society along a path towards conscious consumption, particularly when it comes to food. Driven by increased awareness about the foods that we are putting into our bodies, we are now at a place where consumers are no longer satisfied with sacrificing their health and wellness for the sake of a sugar high. With the pandemic creating a heightened focus on maintaining health, it comes as no surprise that almost three in five Americans are now opting for healthier snacks and rejecting those that are deemed harmful, according to a 2020 survey by CVS Pharmacy.
Driven by social evolution
Increasingly drawn towards messaging that promotes healthy living, modern consumers have been taking a more holistic approach towards overall wellness since the early 2000s, attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes being more mindful about the food (and snacks) that they include in their diets. Conscious consumers are aware that the ingredient list on the back of the packaging is the key to determining which foods are worth the investment, holding food and beverage brands to a new standard, where an emphasis is placed on organic and ethically-grown ingredients and the use of additives is strictly verboten.
There is also an increased demand for diet-oriented foods, where purchasing decisions are often made based on protein or low-carb content. Between gluten-free, Paleo, veganism, and other popular diet plans, there are now numerous consumers requiring a constant supply of suitably healthy snacks.
Staying competitive in a carb-free world
As a result of evolving consumer behavior, consumer packaged goods (CPG) corporations in the snack food space are now faced with the ultimate challenge: provide consumers with the same tastiness, with none of the nasties, and an added health or lifestyle benefit. The shift is most evident as major CPG food and beverage companies like Mondelez, Mars, and Ferrero continue to add healthier brands to their stables, preparing for the inevitable boom of healthy-but-delicious snacks by gaining solid positioning in a burgeoning market segment.
This has created an open playing field for healthy food and beverage startups to flourish as these bigger brands fight for a foothold in a market that places a high value on wellness and sustainability.
As consumers have increased their focus on their personal health and wellness, the snack food industry has seen exponential growth, with natural and plant-based products taking the lead in popularity. Reports from Euromonitor predict that the global market for healthy snacks will reach $98 billion by 2025, with North America currently ranked as the largest consumer of these products.
This growth has also been driven by another shift in behavior caused by the pandemic, as consumers worldwide are placing increased importance on snacking throughout the day. According to research by NDP Group, 37% of consumers indicated that it was important for them to have sufficient snacks on hand during the pandemic, and this is predicted to increase as we enter 2023. In a 2021 survey from Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian, it was found that over 75% of registered dietician nutritionists in America believed that a shift in consumer eating habits was happening, with consumers moving from a traditional three-meals-a-day pattern to a trend of frequent snacking. This leaves us with only one conclusion for health-conscious snackers – a nutrient-dense delectable dessert that’s designed to be the meeting place of flavor and optimal nutrition.
The time is now for healthy snacking
While many companies may attempt to adapt their existing products to appeal to this evolved market, the opportunity is ripe for new players to enter with unique, innovative products that set new standards for the industry and meet consumers where their healthy minds are at. Entering the arena armed with the relevant background in working with healthy ingredients and sourcing the best that nature has to offer, health-conscious snack startups are set to be the next big thing in developing leading products that are equally delicious and nutritious.
At RUANI we believe that consumers shouldn’t have to sacrifice tasty treats to prioritize their health. Our gut-healthy desserts are geared towards providing a scrumptious treat that individuals can munch without worrying about negative side effects or toxic chemicals. Packed with immune boosting, natural ingredients, our offering is designed to be the ultimate dessert with a difference.