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Guilt-free snacking with plant-forward options

Photograph: Shutterstock

Snacking has become so ingrained in modern lifestyles that it nearly seems unnatural not to do so once or twice (or more) a day. According to Technomic’s 2018 SnackingOccasion report, 80% of consumers say they snack at least once a day, with some having four or more snacks every day. With that many occasions to have a quick bite to eat, it makes sense that some consumers are interested in finding healthier and better-for-you snacks. In fact, 34% of consumers say they’re eating healthier snacks more often than they were two years ago, and 25% say they will be doing so in the coming year.

For noncommercial foodservice facilities, offering healthy snacks means offering both packaged and freshly prepared grab-and-go options, and as more people look for better-for-you choices, plant-based fare is becoming more common in the snacks category. For instance, popular varieties include chips made of veggies such as beets, carrots, sweet potatoes and kale or snack wraps made with vegetable proteins instead of chicken of beef.

Plant-forward snacks: A healthy, natural option

When consumers look for healthy snacks, 35% of consumers say that a snack made with just a few simple ingredients would encourage them to make a purchase. PlantFare, a plant-based shred , has six simple ingredients that people can understand, all of which are natural. What’s more, it can easily be swapped in where favorite animal proteins are normally used. For instance, it can be used as a topping for salad, in place of chicken in chicken dishes, as a taco or burrito filling and more. PlantFare is gluten-free, cholesterol-free and GMO-free and offers 20 grams of protein for every 3.5-ounce serving. For the 52% of consumers who say they look for snacks that are high in protein, that’s a big selling point.

Other plant-based snack options that operators can offer include snack packs of hummus and carrots, cheese, veggies and crackers or snack-sized sandwiches with a variety of proteins.

Draw diners in with sustainability

According to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion report, consumers purchase packaged snacks 67% of the time and prepared snacks 33% of the time. Regardless of what type of snack they’re purchasing, however, they might be on the lookout for sustainable or environmentally friendly packaging, so facilities are wise to ensure they’re packaging prepared foods in recyclable containers. Beyond packaging, offering snacks that are comprised of sustainable ingredients can also pique the interest of diners who are concerned about the environment.

Technomic’s Snacking Occasion report found that 35% of consumers say snacks that are natural or additive-free are important to them. Operators can respond to this demand by striving to source food and beverage snacks that are natural and good for the environment. Plant-based snacks that utilize plant-based proteins such as PlantFare, are ideal for providing the sustainability diners want. Not only is it produced from sustainably sourced soy protein, but according to 2018 FAIRR Briefing “Plant-Based Profits: Investment Risks & Opportunities in Sustainable Food Systems,” producing 1 kilogram of soybean protein also emits 84% less CO2 than producing 1 kilogram of poultry protein, making it an environmentally friendly option, in addition to tasting great.

Whether consumers are looking for smaller portions of foods they normally eat for meals or they want packaged, grab-and-go options, plant-based snacks appeal to those who want a healthier option, and PlantFare plant-based protein shreds makes it easy for operators to offer those snacks.

Get a free sample, courtesy of Kerry Foodservice, here.

This post is sponsored by Kerry Foodservice

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