Eagle Flexible Packaging :: Specialty Health-Conscious Snacks Driving Industry Growth

Specialty Health-Conscious Snacks Driving Industry Growth

More than ever, consumers are watching what they eat in the quest for better health and wellness. But that hasn’t stopped people from snacking—and the industry is seeing huge growth in the category of specialty “healthy” snacks. In fact, these types of snack foods now account for 1/5 of the snack marketplace, and drove 70% of the overall sales growth.

The top segments show that consumers are particularly interested in foods that are compatible with their dietary lifestyle, food sensitivities, and global responsibility. These are among the top of the list:

  • Paleo
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Non-allergen/sensitivity
  • Fair trade

The fastest growing food categories are rice cakes, frozen desserts, and candy, demonstrating that health-conscious consumers still want a treat, even if they have to “lighten” it up compared to traditional snacks and confections. Many of the snack foods in these categories also capitalize on the interest in the above claims: keto and paleo candies draw consumers following these lifestyles, while organic and non-GMO rice and grains are increasingly used as bases for savory snacks.


While it may have taken some time for the snack industry to catch up with the increased health-consciousness of consumers, it’s now capitalizing on the fact that even healthy eaters want to enjoy an indulgence in moderation. Better options (and less guilt) motivate consumers to buy.


Many healthy eating plans encourage eating several small meals rather than only 3 large meals throughout the day. Incorporating snacks into the daily diet can be a necessity for maintaining balanced nutrition. Savory and macro-nutrient-rich selections are great maintenance products that are contributing to the snack market growth.


Anyone trying to squeeze in 5-6 meals/snacks each day understands how challenging that can be in the midst of daily responsibilities. Meal prepping is time-consuming. Adding in snacks can nearly double that time, but pre-packaged and accessible snack items are so convenient. Healthier options make it possible to incorporate convenient snacks without derailing a diet.

Specialty healthy snacks and treats are likely to continue to grow in popularity and sales, whether to support a well-rounded healthy diet or to offer a low-guilt indulgence. And the trends of “good for you” and “responsible” are often found not just in the snack selections, but in the packaging as well. Convenient, user-friendly, responsible, and sustainable are among the values and features incorporated into the packaging solutions we offer. As manufacturers’ snack offerings continue to shift to meet these consumer demands, our packaging products will be there as an ideal pairing.

If you’re in the market for snack packaging solutions, give us a call or contact us!