ECRM’s Snack, Winter Program: 10 Trends to Watch

Can't attend all the virtual expos? Trendspotter Nancy Trent has you covered! Here's a sampling of the trends she spotted at the ECRM snacking show.

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Earlier this year at ECRM’s Snack, Winter Program, companies in the snack industry including met and presented new items to buyers from across all retail channels. We met with the brands and learned what is hot and new in the snack world, and we discovered new trends that we can’t wait to see on shelves.  

Plant-based nibbles

LoCa Snacks are plant-based protein chips that taste great and offer a lower-carb, lower-calorie snacking option. With seven grams of plant-protein, natural fiber, and half the net carbs of traditional chips, these treats are packed with good-for-you ingredients and flavor. Certified vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, and made with no artificial flavors or preservatives, the chips provide a better-for-you alternative to traditional snacking. 

Natural Intentions’ Daily Crave offers a lentil chip as well as an extremely fast-growing quinoa chip. Using only the highest quality plant-based ingredients, these sweet-and-salty snacks have been a huge hit! The company launched The Beyond Series in January 2020, which includes Beyond Puffs and Beyond Churros. Both made from a grain-free blend of black beans, red lentils, and cassava, these new items are packed with protein and fiber and satisfies all cravings! 

Double Joy Select has a new vision for delicious snacking, focused on superior taste and quality ingredients. The company believes in minimally processed food, with comforting flavors. All of the products are gluten-free and vegan, with select low sodium and organic options and they don’t add any preservatives or MSG. Taking it a step further, they help support disadvantaged communities by working with female minority-owned plants that mainly employ single mothers to help those families in need.  

Spotlight on social responsibility 

Everyone wants a snack that is healthy and delicious. But why stop there? These companies take it step further and give back to the community and our planet.  

Turbana is introducing a new line of Plantain and Cassava Chips that provide a healthier alternative for snacking that offers an eco upside: They reduce waste by upcycling fruit that would have been thrown away and turn it into a tasty treat. The company also gives back to the local communities in Colombia, where its natural ingredients are grown, and provides support for employees and their families, ensuring all of the children can go to college. 

Kiwa makes kettle-cooked chips that use unique natural ingredients harvested by low-income farmers in Ecuador and Peru. The mission is to connect small farmers to world markets. The company rescued the Native Andean Potato that was lost for nearly 2,000 years and converted it into delicious chipsAll products are regionally grown, harvested, processed, and packaged in Quito, Ecuador, employing hundreds of farmers that otherwise would not have such opportunity. 

Low-carb satisfaction 

Twin Peaks’ Protein Puffs are the perfect high-protein, low-carb snack that’s packed with protein so you can curb the cravings. At 21g of Protein per serving, only 2g of carbs and 1-2g of sugar. these puffs have been a go-to choice for keto dieters, mindful snackers, and health-focused individuals seeking a better-for-you option with a boost of protein. 

Preferred Wholesale’s Iowa Smokehouse jerky stands out with an old-fashioned, country, fresh market look. The brand also put a lot of product in a little bag, which you will not see from their competitors. They use all USA beef and/or pork, and you can taste the difference in the seven flavors of thick and tender jerky, making this a delicious low-carb, high-protein snack. 

Not your traditional popcorn 

Consumers are seeking healthier yet delicious ready-to-eat popcorn options, which has created a void in the market, but these brands are here to fill it.  

Poptritional is unlike other better-for-you popcorn because the products are jam-packed with vitamins such as folic acid, protein, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and calcium. In addition, the products have fewer calories than other options in the market. They’re better than good, fortified with vitamins, pre-popped convenience with two delicious flavors. 

Blue Evolution Foods is a leading regenerative seaweed company that crafts delicious, wholesome, and approachable seaweed products, including a new seaweed popcorn. The brand combined two of the greatest good-for-you foods: organic seaweed and organic popcorn, with delicious flavor fusions that will keep your body balanced and leave your heart and stomach deeply satisfied! 

Smarter snacking

Santte Foods started with the idea of creating the best natural snack that people of all ages could enjoy with the cleanest possible label. The company developed a less-than-two calorie meringue bite/cookie that is free of sugarlactose, gluten, soy, and cholesterol, and is nonGMO, with natural colors and flavors. The goal: to remake all those traditional treats, but with a twist, taking all the poor ingredients that harm our bodies, and incorporating good natural ingredients for all to consume without ever feeling guilty. 

Better-for-you, great tastingMunch Rights are baked instead of fried, have 30% less fat than traditional potato chips, and are completely free of trans fats and gluten. This family-owned company is redefining what a snack should be with the ingredients you want and the flavors you crave! 

CiboVita Foods has the brands consumers like to snack on for health and nutrition. From their Nature’s Garden, Chocolate Orchard, and Woodpecker brands, the company is doing more than just filling a hunger gap; it helps ensure that everybody can truly snack with a purpose. Nature’s Garden Immune Boosting Fruit Balls mark the company’s newest launch, exhibiting commitment to innovative snacking…all in a ball! 

International mmm…

Since America is the melting pot, we love to try cuisines from all around the world. Here are a few companies that are the leaders in their market in their country, that you can expect to see in America as well.  

A family run business, Vieira De Castro is the largest brand in Portuguese biscuits, confectionery, and candies. Vieira has been innovating since 1943, and the growing fame and demand led the dynamism and bold vision of the founder, António Vieira de Castro, to quickly transform his business, from a confectionery in a factory, from local to national 

Procomer is home to four nutritional and natural snacks from Costa Rica. Its Natural Sins, SweetwellNutrisnacks, and Todo Natural brands all use ingredients indigenous to Costa Rica. The products are gluten-free, nonGMOketo-friendly, carbon neutral, NSF, and kosher for guilt-free snacking designed with balanced formulations by nutritionists. 

Family-owned, grown and harvested from the heart of the Mediterranean regionTadim produces some of the finest nuts and seeds in the world. Based in Istanbul, Tadim is a leading nuts and seeds brand in the Mediterranean region and was the first company to introduce packaged nuts, seeds and dried fruits in the region. Tadim is now launching two plant-based offering of nut and seed varieties to the U.S. market. 

A twist on pretzels 

The salty, delicious, German-based soft pretzel hasn’t had many changes or innovation brought to it since it was first created…until now.  

Dream Pretzel, maker of innovative pretzel crisps, Pressels, is launching a new Protein Pressel. This delicious snack is made with plant protein from red lentils, white beans, and green peas, providing five grams of protein per one-ounce serving as well as three grams of fiber for an excellent protein-packed snack

A lot of pretzel brands aren’t baked, but Stellar Snacks is, which is why they call themselves stellar! They are launching their new Stellar Braids seasoned pretzel braids, which will come in four mouthwatering flavors. They are are non-GMO, kosher, peanut-free and vegan, so they are a snack for everyone in the family. 

New-and-improved nuts

With so many people allergic to peanuts, these companies set out to offer a safer nut alternative that still packs in all the energy and benefits. 

Jax’s Monster Mix is bringing a new option to the market with the focus on kids. Jax’s Monster Mix has come out with an alternative to trail mix that does not contain peanutsfor a school-safe option. The mixes are organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, and manufactured in a nut-free facility.  

Sorrells Farms is home to pecans, and a handful goes a long way. A single ounce of pecans (about 19 halves) is a hearty, satisfying snack loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Its the original supernutThe company prides itself on farming from the orchard to the table. They grow, care, harvest, shell, package, ship, and sell their pecans. They recently introduced s new pecan granola that is loaded with delicious fresh pecans (no oats) and sure to please everyone! 

Caro Nut is a supplier of tree nut products and offers dry roasted, oil roasted and raw nuts, as well as nut butters. They are an allergen-free facility and offer an alternative to peanut products. 

Food for survival 

Readywise takes an innovative approach in providing dependable, simple, and affordable ready-made freeze dry and dehydrated food for emergency preparedness and outdoor use. The meals are lightweight and easy to prepare; all you need to do is add water and they have a shelf life of up to 25 years. These are the perfect addition to every house to feel safe and have an added sense of security. 

Consumers are looking for a unique twist in the fish snack industry, and KINGS KATCH’s smoked wild caught sardines provides that uniqueness combining affordability, taste, quality, and health benefits. Smoked sardines are rare to come by and fill the void for sardine lovers and pescatarians that want the jerky feel. Due to its long shelf life and high protein content, these are a great product to add to your emergency preparedness kit. 

Your favorites re-imagined 

KrackCorn is an indulgent snack with a one-of-a-kind taste and texture. When you think of a caramel popcorn, the classics pop up in your head. KrackCorn is bringing fun and excitement to a stagnant legacy category. To taste it is to believe it, and it will provide the ultimate snacking experience.

Remember when you ate snacks just because they were crazy good? Well Savory Fine Foods is bringing that carefree snacking back. All of their products are based on the premise that they are, first off, crazy delicious snacks that are meant to be the hit of any party, making you the star of the show. The company is introducing two new flavors that are not only delicious, but MSG free as well. 

You might eat this snack and be reminded of a family recipe you grew up with. Chunk Nibbles uses their 3rd-generation family recipe in a new line of snacks that has been a smash hit because it resonates. Their flagship Grandma’s Original flavor is a combination of pretzels, peanuts, walnuts, and corn chex all bound together with a light coating to form a delicate but addicting combination of salty and sweet. 

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