Healthy and indulgent: Women’s snacks – digital magazine

Women want healthy snacks that address their specific needs — like those related to menopause, as an example — and the snack industry is recognizing the opportunity. Food formulators are turning to ingredients such as plant-based proteins, probiotics and fiber, to meet the demand. In addition to the health benefits, snacks are being designed to be convenient and tasty, features particularly beneficial to busy women.

May 28, 2024

3 Min Read
Healthy & indulgent: Women's snacks

The opportunities in the snacking category for women are unique because women’s particular life stages require nuanced nutrition. Brands can help women navigate through these chapters by providing products with substantiated ingredients. Plant estrogens like soy isoflavones, for example, have been shown to provide support for women experiencing the journey through menopause. Protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamins B, D and E are among the solutions supporting women during pregnancy, as well as after. Botanicals like peppermint and turmeric, and folic acids like L-methylfolate, can be key food formulation inclusions as well. Whole and ancient grains, and tried-and-true fruits and vegetables, are also ways that snack foods can become truly functional for women looking for healthy boosts in their wellness journey across life’s many stages.

With 25% of U.S. women snacking three or more times a day, according to Mintel, modern brands are offering nostalgic, nourishing and natural options for a consumer base that’s hungry for quality. Dive deep into the latest women-centric product solutions by downloading this free digital magazine. The articles include:

Viewpoint: Small bites, big flavors

Women-led brands are redefining wellness with delicious options for every stage of a woman’s life. That has led consumers to discover guilt-free treats, many with clinical science behind all the satisfying snacking. Content Director Audarshia Townsend raises the example of UNiTE — gluten-free power bars in global, nostalgic flavors like Mexican hot chocolate, baklava and churro. They’re smaller than the average nutritional bar, yet they’re still oozing with flavor and clean ingredients.

Tailored treats tackle menopause symptoms, more

Snacking is a big business, and food companies are developing options specifically targeted to women’s health needs, from pregnancy to menopause. Modern choices include ingredients like probiotics, prebiotics and whole grains alongside reduced sugar and salt. Cindy Hazen talks with sector innovators ADM, Van Drunen Farms and Cargill about their ingredient solutions that meet this market-based criteria. 

These quick, nourishing bites awaken a sense of nostalgia

Busy women need snacks that are healthy, convenient and delicious. These female-founded companies are creating snack bars that are both nutritious and indulgent, with flavors that rekindle childhood memories. Kimberly J. Decker describes how gut health in particular sits perpetually near the top of women’s health concerns. She cites the success of Truth Bar, a brand that boasts a 70% repeat-purchase rate — with 70% of those return customers being women.

Don’t judge a snack by its wrapper: How to design snacks for all senses

Experts recommend ditching the sterile lab and considering factors like context, packaging and even the age of your target audience when testing whether healthy snacks will land well with female consumers. Nick Collias also notes that relying on blind taste tests to see how a consumer viscerally responds to a product can be tempting, but in the case of healthy snacks, a little extra info goes a long way.

Tasty tidbits for women win on quality

Innovative brands are catering to women who want healthy, delicious and nostalgic treats. Founders from B.T.R. NATION, Daily Crunch and UNREAL discuss how they’re winning over a female audience with clean ingredients, real flavors and transparency. Some of the topics taken up in this Q&A coordinated by Melissa Kvidahl Reilly include aiming at vegan, paleo, keto and gluten-free preferences, and using natural veggie-based dyes and avoiding artificial processing agents.

Examples of women’s snacks takeaways for your business include:

  • With an estimated 1 billion women entering menopause by 2025, the global menopause market is anticipated to have a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 5.33% until 2030, according to Grand View Research.

  • Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are ideal for many snack applications due to their low moisture content and longer shelf life than fresh. Freeze-dried fruit pieces, for example, preserve the flavor of fresh and provide a crispier texture, making them ideal for crunchy snacks like granola bars or trail mix.

  • Women of all ages are calorie-conscious, and they’re likely not to commit to a lot of calories in a midmorning or afternoon pick-me-up.

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