In Packaged Facts’ December 2016 National Consumer Survey, we asked people if they ate salty snacks or crackers made from alternative ingredients. These include snacks made from pulses (chickpeas, lentils, beans, dried peas), made using whole, multi, or “ancient grain” formulations, made from vegetables, or made from seaweed. The survey revealed that 70% of adults had eaten at least one of these types of snacks in the last 30 days. Whole grain and multigrain formulations were the most popular type of alternative ingredient snack, while the fewest number of adults ate seaweed-based snacks.
One aspect the survey revealed is that people living in urban areas are the biggest fans of alternative ingredient snacks, even more so than people who live in suburban areas and far more than those living in rural settings. The differences are most pronounced for pulse- and seaweed-based snacks, but the pattern holds true for every type of alternative ingredient salty snack and cracker; rural snackers are just less interested.
We looked at why people choose to eat alternative ingredient snacks, and broke that down by type of community. It turns out there are considerable differences in opinion as well as use for these snacks. First off, urban adults like the nutritional variety offered by alternative ingredient snacks while most rural snackers could care less. City folk also like the novelty of these products, again something less interesting to both rural adults and suburbanites. Finally, more urban dwellers and less suburban snackers feel these types of snacks simply taste better.
For more information on the alternative ingredient snack market, check out Packaged Facts’ Salty Snacks and Crackers: Nutritional Pulse, Vegetable, and Grain Formulations, which provides a considerable breakdown of these survey results as well as an analysis of marketers and sales of alternative ingredient snacks.
-- by Norman Deschamps