A new Datamonitor report reveals companies are developing healthier snack foods. The trend towards increased snacking is leaving consumers bored with the traditional options. As snacking becomes more habitual, consumers are also looking for more than just convenience, creating an emerging opportunity for healthier and tastier alternatives.

The continued snacking trend has resulted in innovative new snacks stealing the limelight from traditional favorites such as chocolate and crisps, according to 'Hand Held Savory Snacks', a new report by Datamonitor.

'Unwrapped' snacks are a relatively new segment of hand-held snacks with innovation driven by technology improvements, making it possible to package and sell these types of products as hand-held snacks.

By removing the bread or pastry 'wrapping', manufacturers are able to offer the most indulgent part of a filled bread or wrapped pastry snack - the 'filling' - as a self-contained snack. Almost all recent innovation has focused on development of cheese and meat snacks in individually packaged bar formats. Many child-positioned products have been marketed on the bandwagon of 'better for you than confectionery' alternatives.

Pizza snacks, too, are seeing the introduction of more healthy varieties, following innovation trends in the full-sized pizza market. The low fat and healthier versions now emerging appeal to both weight conscious adults and parents concerned about children's health.

As certain snacking occasions become more routine and less impulse driven, such as substituting for missed breakfasts on the way to work, consumers will become less inclined to forego their health needs by resorting to indulgent options on a regular basis. Hence more routine snacking moments present scope for hand-held snacks that can supply consumers with a good nutritional profile, possibly containing a complement of vitamins and minerals.

Consumers have always been happy to grab a chocolate bar or bag of crisps when they're in a hurry, but they are increasingly looking for options beyond this. Consumers are demanding additional benefits beyond fulfilling basic hunger and convenience needs, such as health and sensory experience. By offering these extra benefits manufacturers will be able to expand the appeal of hand-held snacks to a broader consumer base and target a greater number of occasions.

To find out more about the Datamonitor report 'Hand Held Savory Snacks' please click here.

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