BETTER FOR YOU, health concerns and the snack industry

Can snacks lay claim to BFY - better for you - when an increasing number of people around the globe worry about heart health, obesity and diabetes? Rising health concerns, calorie intake, packaging sizes: This article explores how the industry is responding to consumer trends.


Clearly, the snack category continues to enjoy unprecedented growth. However, offerings on supermarket shelves today are a far cry from the calorie-laden products offered in the past. A huge variety of tasty alternatives and options are made available to health-conscious consumers by manufacturers around the globe. From low-fat products such as pretzels to snacks boasting non-GMOs and clean ingredients, the range the industry rolls out continues to broaden.


Indulge, yet opt for quality? Nowadays, discerning consumers can choose: Convenient 'grab and go' single-serve bags, organic, added prebiotics and antioxidants, vitamin and protein-enriched, sugar-reduced, plant-based, gluten-free, premium, fat-reduced, added-value, whole-grain, no preservatives, no artificial flavors and much more.

Reportedly, another increasingly important aspect is portion control through reduced pack sizes. This trend is increasingly apparent across the confectionery, biscuit and snacks categories, where strongest growth is to be expected in the 0-50g size bracket i.e. single-serve options. A large number of manufacturers are offering bags to fit this demand, including market leaders such as Mondelez and Nestlé.

Increasingly on-the-go lifestyles are encouraging snacking throughout the day, so-called grazing, giving convenience and added value yet more priority in the list of specifications manufacturers need to take into account.

Finally, the BFY trend has also supported the launch of more snacks containing milk, cheese, meat, fruit and vegetables as these are seen as healthier alternatives to chips or chocolate. Certainly options are available for every requirement, which allow consumers to consciously choose and enjoy a lower calorie count than in the regular standard size.


Our new concepts follow latest trends

"Haas do Brasil is offering all possible options combining thin wafer technology with different flours - such as gluten free flours - and options for filling," says Marcia Corasolla, Head of Product Development/Application Management at Haas do Brasil. This can be regular, diet or savory fillings. Haas do Brasil has been offering solutions to customers who are searching for innovation, or who want to expand their wafer business, but with an innovation. We also have new customers who are exploring the healthy products market, biscuit makers who have not yet entered the wafer business, and producers who are searching for differentiation, or seeking healthier options.


Aerated fillings to reduce calories

Aerated fillings give products a fluffy, lightly pleasant mouthfeel and provide an indulgence factor while reducing the calorie count. "Due to density reduction, the appearance is the same as a regular filling application but with less weight," explained James Outram, Senior Applications Technologist at Haas-Meincke. "This reduces the calories without compromising on mouthfeel or size. The option is also interesting for cost reduction, because the volume of the standard product remains unchanged while much less raw materials such as fat and sugar are required."


Baked, not fried for less fat

Haas technology also supports the healthier baked-not-fried trend. "Haas has two big pillars to offer this concept to customers," James Outram added. "Wafer technology for snack production and biscuit technology, too. By implementing cracker technology it is possible to make thin products - baked, not fried. For these products we use hot air as the heat transfer medium rather than hot oil; this delivers healthier, great tasting products to health-conscious consumers. Baked products typically have less fat and calories when compared to fried alternatives. Haas cracker lines have therefore been expertly adapted to form the product from dough containing very low levels of fat and specialist starches. The all-important baking process takes place in Haas baking ovens, where uniform heat transfer is essential to evenly bake the typically very thin products," he explained.


Haas answers to industry expectations

As a market leader, Haas has been monitoring BFY trends to keep abreast of the latest developments. With a wealth of efficient and innovative solutions, we offer manufacturers around the globe ideal technology for the production of various snack products. Please contact us for more information.

HAAS of America
For customers in the US and in Canada, we founded our affiliate in Richmond, Virginia. We are the leading supplier of baking ovens, processing equipment and related services. Our local sales and service team ensures your access to the reliable HAAS services.