We often talk about how young consumers are revolutionizing the snack business through their demands for healthier snack options, but other trends have also emerged of which all candy manufacturers should be aware if they don’t want to be left behind. Confectionary News released an interesting article in which they interviewed Marcia Mogelonsky, director of Insights (part of Mintel, the market intelligence agency) and talked about five important trends emerging in the snack business.

It is important to not only worry about what Millenials and Generation Z consumers like to eat but how they interact with one another. These consumers are massive users of social media and enjoying posting a lot of aspects of their lives on social media platforms, including what they eat. We have all been out to dinner at some point where we have seen someone person take a photo of their dish right before digging in. For today’s consumer, it is not only important that snacks taste good but that they look good as well. The snacks must be dynamic but most importantly they must be “Instagrammable.” This means that they must be presentable, as more people will post pictures of the snacks on social media, increasing the publicity of your candy and, therefore, making it more desirable.

Traditional sugary and fatty snacks may be alarmed by the sudden change in demands but that up and coming candy manufacturers won’t be able to aquire for quite a while: nostalgia. Evoking childhood memories is a proven way of increasing your sales. If a snack finds a way to take you back to a time that you long for, odds are much higher that you’ll purchase it. New manufacturers can overcome this by making their snacks resemble snacks that have been around for quite a while but will likely not have the same effect. Instead new manufacturers have to find a way to be ‘new-stalgic’ by relying on millennial and Generation Z consumers to feed healthy snacks to their children.

Part of social media is expressing yourself, which is why snacks should find a way to reflect the demographic that is purchasing them. Personalization is another key trend emerging in today’s snack market. Some brands are even allowing consumers to customize packaging and choose ingredients. These brands are all about listening to the demands of their clients and will likely benefit from doing so.

Let’s get something clear. Young consumers want healthier snacks but there is a reason they aren’t sticking to carrot sticks and hummus. What they want is the optimal balance between healthy and indulgent. One of the ways to achieve this is through portion control, which is not a new idea but something to explore for those manufacturers a little too on the healthy side.

Since Millennial and Generation Z consumers are always on the go, it is important that snacks can be eaten anytime of day. That means that they have to be designed to be desirable for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though the most popular snack time is still in the afternoon, it is not uncommon for the average millennial to replace meals at any time of the day with snacks.

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