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Gen Z Embraces Plant-Based Protein Snacks Over Traditional Meals

The snack industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation, driven by the shifting snacking patterns of the Gen Z and millennial generations seeking out new flavours and sustainable options.

Source: AI Perspective of Future Snacking Option

In 2022, salty snack sales surged by an impressive 16%, reaching a $28 billion, with projections soaring to a $38 billion market by 2028, according to data from Circana and Mintel.

49% of consumers, particularly younger demographics like Gen Z, indulge in snacking more than three times a day, marking an 8% increase in the past two years.

What's intriguing is Gen Z and millennials are leading the charge in replacing traditional meals with snacks, with a massive 92% of them swapping at least one meal a week for a snack.

Source: AI Perspective of Future Snacking Options

Their increasing purchasing power is driving a surge in the snack consumer category, particularly during the late-night hours. As cravings for calorie-dense options peak at night, the industry is gearing up for an influx of snacks tailored for nighttime consumption.

Furthermore, consumers' tastes are gravitating towards plant-based protein snacks, with a 40% growth in snacks offering 15grams or more of protein.

This shift aligns with Gen Z's emphasis on health and sustainability, as they actively seek snack products mirroring their personal values, including commitments to environmental and social causes.

Amid a global palette of flavours, spicy is gaining traction, accompanied by a rise in tangy and sweet flavours. However, even in the midst of this diverse flavour landscape, the lure of indulgence remains dominant in snacking choices, with 54% of consumers considering snacks as a special treat.

Source: AI Perspective of Future Snacking Option

Nevertheless, the rise of better-for-you (BFY) snacks, which incorporating prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, and plant-based attributes, signifies the growth of a health-conscious consumer base.

The snack industry's future is being shaped by the eating patterns of Gen Z, a generation valuing health, sustainability, and ethics, with their influence shows no sign of waning.

As the industry continues to adapt and innovate, it will be exciting to see how these evolving preferences reshape the world of snacking in the years to come.

Could the shape of things to come be in the form of 3D bio-printed protein cake offering not only health benefits but also meeting indulgent pangs? Very possibly and this is what it could look like.

Source: AI Perspective of Future Protein Cake Option

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