Americans have always loved their snacks. Every day, 28 million people will buy at least one snack food, but grocery shoppers aren’t indiscriminant in their purchases. There are a few factors driving the trend toward these smaller, more convenient meals.
Even though nearly half of all meals and snacks are eaten alone, note researchers with The Hartman Group, American consumers are still mindful of what they eat. As a whole, we're getting increasingly savvy about what makes a healthy indulgence and, more and more, looking for ways to conveniently satisfy hunger and cravings while saving time. Because of this, single-serving snacks like protein bites have been a boon to hungry snackers.
Portion Control and Nutrition
Nutritionists say that problems estimating portion size are a major factor in weight gain and obesity-related health issues. It's difficult to eyeball portions and many people greatly underestimate the size of a serving. And, if you are snacking while you are engaging in work or leisure activities, it can be too easy to open a bag of chips and consume thousands of calories without ever noticing them. To combat this, experts have recommend carefully controlling portion size to keep from consuming the excess calories that can lead to weight gain, but few people have the time to weigh every serving of snacks.
Consumers can take the hassle of weighing and portioning snacks out of their hands by choosing foods that come in pre-measured individual-sized portions. The popularity of 100 calorie snack packs is a mark of a desire to reduce portion size and keep between-meal snacks more healthy. Protein snack foods are particularly popular because of their benefits to those who are watching their weight and working to keep fit.
A diet high in protein helps people build muscle and recover from workouts. And, snacks like protein bites are better at tiding people over between meals and reducing the temptation of sugary snacks from the office vending machine. Researchers have learned that consuming protein activates signals in the brain that make you feel satiated and fed. Besides bites, people looking for protein can enjoy food items including single-portion hummus and protein-rich bites like beef jerky.
Convenience and Choice
Two additional factors of American life become more and more apparent every day:
We're busier than ever.
Our palates have expanded.
On most days, people are rushing from home to the gym to children's activities. Many people take work home and do at least some of the work associated with their job in the evenings or on the weekends. A grab-and-go snack is a lifesaver on days when meals are delayed by the daily whorl of commitments. People are choosing to go with protein-rich snacks to avoid the dangers of fat and sugar-laden foods.
Plus, as people develop new tastes, the opportunity to try different flavors is valued more and more. By offering a package of single-serve snacks, you can give consumers the opportunity to try and enjoy different flavors. A variety pack allows an individual to try out every flavor, or enables a family to satisfy the diverse tastes of each person in the household. And, as people find favorites, they can indulge those tastes with your other package sizes, as well.
By catering to consumers' evolving needs, manufacturers can benefit themselves, as well. Each individual pack of snacks is an opportunity to reinforce a company's branding and build positive associations with your company. By providing protein bites and other tasty, healthy options, you can enjoy the business of people who are trying to fit it all into their busy lives. Appealing to this growing niche of busy, health-oriented and active consumers can win business not just for your single-serve packs but can expand to every part of your line.