Thirty to forty years ago, young children snacked once a day, adults consumed coffee or tea between meals, and snacking was a very occasional event.
Nowadays our busy lives have created an eating pattern often described by Nutritionists as ‘grazing’. Traditional meals are often skipped or eaten on the hoof, and we take in up to 30% of the calories we need by eating in-between meals.
Naturally, the Food & Drink industry has taken up the challenge of offering us more and more choice and temptation in these new ‘moments of consumption’. But over recent years the rise of eating disorders such as diabetes and obesity has changed the attitude of government, consumers and manufacturers, leading to the rise of the ‘healthy’ snack.
But what is a healthy snack?
Not surprisingly this definition leaves room for interpretation, but in Europe we now have legislation that is designed to ‘ensure that any claim made on foods’ labelling, presentation or marketing in the European Union is clear, accurate and based on evidence accepted by the whole scientific community. In addition, in order to bear claims, foods will have to have appropriate nutrient profiles… this will enhance the consumers’ ability to make informed and meaningful choices.’
As all good Darwinians know, when the environment changes we can expect the evolution of new species to take advantage, and existing dominant species need to adapt quickly to survive. This is especially true for brands and their packaging.
So let’s find out how the market is starting to evolve, as we go hunting for ‘informed and meaningful’ food and drink packaging. I wonder if they taste good too…?