The Sweets & Snacks Expo (SSE18) was a delicious success this year. Eight hundred exhibitors and almost 18,000 industry professionals gathered to attend informative sessions and learn about exciting new products. Before the event, we rounded up the top food trends to keep in mind when going to the expo. In case you missed SSE18, we’ve also collected the biggest trends and takeaways from the event.
1. Mindful snacking
The trend toward health and wellness continues this year, with a special focus on clean, functional, and simple ingredients. Consumers are looking for healthy snacks that taste good, too; minimalist, transparent ingredients are the key. This trend toward mindful snacking is resulting in alternative products hitting the market. Organic, raw, gluten-free, or plant-based protein products are all growing in popularity and will continue to gain traction.
2. Specialty products
With consumers demanding healthy products, the retail landscape is changing. As evidenced by the hundreds of exhibitors at the expo, including Mercer Foods and Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, specialty products are filling the gap. The majority of exhibitors featured products like chocolates, alternative protein, nutrition bars, and healthy alternatives to traditional snack foods. Speciality food is no longer too expensive or seen as futuristic or elitist. Consumers are demanding new choices, and suppliers are rising to meet those demands.
3. Fruits and vegetables
The industry trend toward health means customers are looking for products without additives or extra sugar. Fruits and vegetables are the answer! At the expo, brands like Tastykake and Jamba Juice focused on real fruit and vegetables for snacking items. These simple ingredients are perfect for healthy snacks that taste good, too. The only downside of fresh fruits and vegetables is their short shelf life. Freeze-dried products have all the benefits of fresh ingredients, but can be stored safely.