Remember three square meals a day? In truth, you probably don’t. Because for most busy working adults, the luxury of a relaxed breakfast or a leisurely lunch is something that the majority can only dream of.  The reality is normally closer to grabbing a slice of toast as you head out the door or a take-away latte to enjoy on the run.

This food-on-the-go has become the new norm – and with it, the rise of serial snacking.

No longer viewed as an unhealthy way of gaining nutrition, many people graze throughout the day as opposed to having defined mealtimes. This evolution in the way we eat is driving a distinct change in how such food is packaged.

No Longer a Sin

Many snacks have become viable meal replacement option. This shift in eating habits means retailers have altered the placements of such items, with the best-sellers taking prominent shelf-space – in many cases, entire aisles are devoted to the humble art of snacking.

The packaging of such items is also undergoing a metamorphosis, defining features such as high fibre, protein, natural ingredients and calorie count. A noticeable element is the use of bold colours to catch the eye yet embracing simplicity to ensure that the key messages are immediately understood.

Other winners in the retail race include the promotion of planet-friendly nutrition. Plant based, ethically sourced and recyclable packaging are all important to today’s demanding consumer. Snacks are one of the perfect foods to push this theme, so these aspects are important to consider when designing or redesigning snack packaging.

Adult Only Snacks: The rise of indulgent snacking

Another take on snacks that are grabbing good market share is snacks with a distinctly adult theme. From booze inspired to exotic ingredients, indulgence is the name of the game. Examples include crisps that pair stilton and port or herby-spicy veggie snacks that burst with taste and personality. Combining such flavours with high end, luxury packaging directly appeals to the refined consumer.

The Rise of the Independents

Shoppers are a fickle bunch. While they might enjoy their favourite brands, the introduction of artisan offerings continues to shake up the market. This is even more true when it comes to the world of snacking.

As we become more comfortable with replacing our eating habits with grazing, so the consumer embraces the concept of choice. Eye catching packaging is a must-have, with designers using bold colours and a defined message to draw the eye. The best ooze personality and deliver a clear message that makes them easy to recognise.

The big brands often struggle to keep up, with many jumping on the ‘original’ bandwagon to lure customers back. But they’re competing with many fresh faced smaller brands and now, perhaps more than at any other time in history, consumers are aware of the impact of their buying choices. Artisan is big business, with many buyers actively seeking out such brands. Many also choose to buy those that are locally produced, therefore reducing their personal carbon footprint.

Snack Packaging is Crucial to Success

The key to snack packaging is to define your key messages – nutrition, luxury, brand story etc – and create your design around this. Snacks are one of the fastest growing sectors across all areas of the food and beverage market. Small brands are disrupting the traditional status quo and a transformation is taking place.

The packaging of snacks can’t be considered an afterthought. The competition is fierce, and the presentation can make or break a brand. It’s no longer enough to have a great product – if it doesn’t stand out on the shelf then no one will ever know how great it tastes. The importance of how your snacks are packaged needs to have equal status to the product it contains.

For smaller and independent producers in particular, this means working with a professional design team to ensure that your wonderful snack product or line is dressed up in the most beneficial manner possible.