ProgressiveGrocer.com recently announced supermarket categories that will grow in 2016. One of the categories is important to the nut and dried fruit industry because it states that snacking will go all-natural. What comes to mind when the term “all-natural” is bandied about? Nuts and dried fruit.
According to the article, the term “all-natural” has come to mean products that are free from artificial ingredients. They also mean products producers have kept as close to their most natural form as possible. Over the last few years, many food distributors and retailers have noticed a shift to this all-natural preference. We have seen a decline in sweet snacks, favoring nuts, yogurts, and protein bars. Even though they are eco-friendly packaged, all-natural, and nutritious, too. More than ever, consumers are asking for exotic nuts, such as Brazils, macadamias, pecans, and pistachios.
Marketresearch.com indicates that almonds, in particular, are finding room in healthier snacks; this development is partly associated with research findings that the actual caloric content of whole almonds is 20 percent less than the Nutrition Facts Panel indicates. (see their nutritional benefits here) The packaged food producers place nutritional information in a boxed text on a label called the Nutrition Facts Panel. In this Nutrition Facts panel, producers publish information about the calories, fat, sodium, etc., of the food contained within. Progressive Grocer Magazine uncovered this story in their monthly magazine, linked here.
Another interesting trend is consumers are going for freeze-dried vegetables and fruit. They dehydrate and freeze-dry these vegetables and fruits from their fresh forms to create shelf-stable munchable chips. Research shows that the public’s greatest appeal to vegetable chips will be those with healthy natural ingredients. These include Beans and other legumes, kale, sweet potato, and seaweed.
Progressive Grocer Magazine interviewed major brands that have jumped on the all-natural bandwagon. These well-known brands have announced plans to remove artificial flavors and colors and replace them with natural spices, fruit, and vegetable concentrates.