Each year brings a whole host of delicious new flavor combinations to the food and beverage industry. Some end up being mostly novelty, while others set the tone (and flavor) for how a perpetually on-the-go consumer will snack.
Here are a few of the best savory snack trends of 2019:
#1: Healthier Food Swaps
What’s the biggest rage in snack foods for 2019? Swaps for healthier ingredients like plant-based food substitutions. Think foods like cauliflower crust pizza, mashed cauliflower and zucchini ‘zoodles’ with cheese.
Even snacks like cauliflower tots and dried zucchini have started to become popular as a potato alternative thanks to trends like the Ketogenic, low carb and Paleo diet plans. As the general population becomes more cognizant of carbohydrate intake, the desire to swap bread and pasta for veggies and other plant-based options is likely here to stay.
#2: Regional Flavors
Regional flavors are another popular savory snack trend this year. Retailers understand that consumers enjoy the novelty of finding their favorite essences in unexpected ways. Examples of savory enhancement items include tastes like Chesapeake Bay crab spice, Southwestern con queso, Thai sweet chili, Southern barbecue and more.
These flavors bring out the best of regional fare and add them to convenient snack food items like potato chips, salted nuts and crackers, which is why the craze is so popular.
#3: Pork Rinds
One big trend in snack foods on the rise is the pork rind. This classic and seemingly unusual crunchy snack has seen a 15% increase in sales over the last decade, according to ABC News. Many food experts contribute this to consumers who want to mimic the same texture as their favorite chip brands while still staying true to a low carb and/or high-fat diet.
In some cases, die-hard fans of these types of diets even recommend utilizing crushed pork rinds as a breading alternative for meats like chicken and pork, which opens the option for tons of homemade recipes.
Another hot trend in savory snacks continues to be jerky – but the choice isn’t just limited to beef. Meats such as turkey, pork, chicken and even bacon are surging in popularity right now. And spice is a critical factor for companies looking to include savory ingredients like kick’n jalapeno, Sriracha, Korean barbeque and others. Plus, you can add jerky to other snacks, such as trail mixes that have diced bits of beef jerky for an added protein punch.
Dig deeper into this healthy snack movement by checking out Nikken Foods’ top jerky trends.
#5: Single Serving Snacks
Many consumers are interested in single serving snacks with savory ingredients. Think things like little snack kits with meat, cheese and nuts packaged together for a boost of protein. Or packets of organic peanut or almond butter with crackers – basically, any sort of combination of savory ingredients together in a small, convenient package.
These items offer the ability to enjoy a tasty treat while still providing convenience for those on the go, which makes them a very popular choice at local coffee shops, gas stations and convenience stores.
Time to Get Snackin’
In short, it appears that the biggest snack trends of 2019 center around two key factors – lots of flavor and an uptick in healthy eating following eating plans like the Ketogenic or low carb diets. Convenience and serving size will also always be a key factor for Americans who are busier than ever and want quick meal options.