In recent years, we’ve seen consumers take a notable shift to purchasing more snack foods that can offer some kind of functional benefit. That benefit could even be something as simple as a product not having a certain ingredient or ingredients.

Consumers are increasingly identifying themselves as belonging to a specific categories of eaters based their dietary restrictions. In recent years, we’ve seen a massive rise in vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and sugar-free products. These all seem to be increasingly attracting a larger portion of the population.

Here are six trends that we see taking off in 2020:

1. Plant-Based Foods

With non-dairy milk and meat alternatives leading the way, the plant-based market is exploding.  Category sales grew at 20% in just the past year alone.

Classic brands like BOCA, owned by Kraft Heinz, are reformulating and re-branding to appeal to a new audience of “Millennial balancers.”  New players continue to emerge into the U.S. market, like Canadian-based Happy Planet, making a splash with beverages made with ingredients such as pea protein, oats, and almonds.

2. On-the-Go Convenience

As families scramble to keep up with today’s fast-paced modern lifestyle, the concept of three square meals a day is disappearing. Instead, consumers are increasingly seeking grab-and-go options they can feel good about for themselves and their children.

Fit Soda (Koios Beverage Corp.)

One category that has been especially appealing for on-the-go consumers is better-for-you beverages like Fit Soda. Fit soda offers all of the satisfying tastes of pop with non of the garbage. They’ve even enhanced the beverage with BCAA’s to offer consumers the functional benefit of muscle recovery.

3. Protein-Fortified Snacks

In their quest to maintain a balanced diet on the run, Moms are looking for creative ways to meet nutritional needs. As a result, protein is showing up in unexpected ways in a variety of snack foods. From popcorn to cookies and crisps, manufacturers are fortifying foods with protein.

4. Health Food that Prioritizes Taste 

Just because it’s better-for-you doesn’t mean it shouldn’t taste good. Curious and adventurous Millennial palates are driving flavour profiles with savoury, sweet, and spicy flavours in demand.

5. Clean Label Ingredients

When it comes to ingredients, consumers want transparency. Moms are demanding products be free of artificial flavors, colors, and hormones. Mainstream companies, as well as niche brands, are responding.

6. Better-For-You Indulgence

From chocolate to cheese, Moms are looking for guilt-free, indulgent treats to satisfy cravings.  Companies are stepping up their game to fill the space between healthy and indulgent.