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Healthy snacks have been around for since the beginning of time. However, in the past 50 years, there has been an increasing focus on “healthy snacking” as we have had access to more choices and more information regarding the impact of snacks on our health. Despite America’s consistent interest in prioritizing healthy snacking, the definition of what actually constitutes a healthy snack has changed a lot over the past few decades.

So what is “healthy” in 2018, and what do truly healthy snacks look like? Are they sugar free? Nut free? GMO free? Gluten free? Fat free? Clean label? Free from artificial ingredients? And do you have to remortgage your house in order to afford them?

This blog post offers insight into the top healthy snacking trends of 2018, why consumers have decided to embrace the fats (sometimes), and why plant based protein is currently an $8 billion market – and growing fast.

2018 Snacking Trends: Gluten is still an outcast, non-GMO is a basic necessity, and beans, beans, beans.

Over 3.1 million U.S. consumers (triple the number in 2009) follow a gluten-free diet today, with 72% of these individuals classified as “PWAGS” or “People Without Celiac Disease Avoiding Gluten.”

The trend might have reached its peak in 2015, but people are continuing to give up gluten for a lot of reasons – those who aren’t diagnosed with celiac disease can still suffer from gluten sensitivity, with symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and fatigue. Others find that avoiding gluten is a good way to keep their diet balanced and healthy. In the above cited study, more than half of the respondents claimed that they avoided gluten because they believe it’s part of a healthy diet.

For many people, healthy snacks mean gluten free, and luckily, there are more options than ever to satisfy your gluten-free cravings. Saffron Road has an array of sweet and savory gluten free snacks, such as our Zesty Ranch Chickbean crisps, Cucumber Dill Baked Lentil Chips, and Dark Chocolate Crunchy Chickpeas!

As much as gluten is still out, non-GMO is still very much in. Not only are people continuing to make the choice to seek out natural options that are not genetically modified, but it is starting to become more of a necessity than a luxury. The more we learn about the negative effects of genetically modified produce and pesticides, the more consumers are insisting on wholesome, natural options for their families. Millennials in particular are insisting on ethical options – even for their snack food. Lucky for them, all of Saffron Road’s delicious Chickpea snacks are certified both gluten-free and non-GMO verified – a truly clean label snack you can trust.

Another trend is the return of long overlooked, reliable beans and legumes. While beans were once relegated to side dishes and veggie burgers, they have made their mark on the snacking sector in big ways this past year. People want to feel full and satisfied from their healthy snacks, which makes protein the clear option. However, informed Americans are also keenly aware that we are eating too much meat as a society, and cutting back on animal products has become a civic duty and personal goal for many of us. In addition, there are an increasing number of reported allergic reactions to dairy and eggs in children, making excessive animal protein less appealing and even concerning for some parents. Consumers are swapping out Cheetos for white cheddar chickbean crisps, potato chips for green bean chips, and M&Ms for chocolate covered chickpeas. Not only are they filling and nutritionally sound, they also are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. More beans, please!

2018 Snacking Trends: we’re less worried about what’s not in our snacks and more worried about what is.

The late 90’s and early 2000’s were all about making our favorite indulgences as “healthy” as possible. There were more sugar free cookies, cakes, and snacks then you could get your hands on, and fat-free products were considered an essential for losing weight. Fast forward a couple of decades, and consumers have educated themselves about draining substance out of their snacks, and are instead looking for hearty, sustainable options that actually fill them up.


Ultimately, consumers have decided that nature is the best chef, and healthy snacks are becoming more and more about returning to our roots and finding mini-power meals that will keep us feeling our best between lunch and dinner.

Saffron Road offers a variety of filling, natural snack options that keep you feeling full for longer while still consuming a reasonable amount of calories. Check out our crunchy chickpeas and lentil chips to find a healthy snack option that fits your life and taste.

Snacking is an integral part of life in America, and should be taken seriously. 91% of consumers snack regularly throughout the day, and 21% of them are snacking more than they did 5 years ago. Maybe this is because we have gotten smarter about our snacks, making them filling, nutritional options that can replace meals when need be. One thing is for sure, healthy snacks, however we choose to define them, are here to stay.

Try Saffron Road’s Lentil Chips and get a $1.00 off coupon!

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