According to new research from market intelligence providers Key Note, the snack food industry is working to prove that snacks can be part of a balanced diet by developing ‘healthy’ options in response to the obesity epidemic.

Sales of snack foods have fallen to GBP2.22bn (US$3.95bn) in recent years as consumers are discouraged from buying snack foods due to health concerns and a high level of discounting in this competitive sector lower the sale price. Key note predicts that the total UK snack market will grow by 1.3% between 2006 and 2010 to GBP2.25bn.

The ‘healthier option’ is the fastest growing segment of the snack food market, as savoury snack manufacturers are developing lower-fat, lower-sodium snacks from natural, healthy ingredients and free from artificial flavourings, preservatives and colourings.
There is further opportunity for the savoury snacks industry to provide more functional or fortified snacks, which are enriched with fibre, minerals and vitamins, Key Note suggested.