While the growth rate of traditionally indulgent snacks is slowing down, sensibly indulgent products including those with perceived health benefits continue to rise. Just look at what’s available in the least healthy places you can imagine buying snacks, convenience stores and airports, and you’ll know what your consumers are looking for.  Healthy food marketing needs to pay attention.

 

Gone are the days when snacks only needed to be yummy and get you from one meal to the next. Today’s snackers are looking for treats with benefits (think functional beverages).

 

Will this help me sleep better? Will it be good for my mental health? Can it speed up my metabolism?

 

These are the questions snack food marketers should be thinking about as they communicate with the newest generation of healthy eaters (although healthy food marketing has already been asking these for years). Formerly a cheat in an otherwise healthy day, snacks are now playing a somewhat unexpected part in a healthy lifestyle (sort of like functional beverages). For example Good Day Chocolate has treats that are designed to do specific things. There’s Chocolate with Calm to help you relax, Chocolate With Energy to keep you going, and Chocolate With Sleep to help you get some zzz’s. The branding is simple and direct, and the product does way more than subside your craving for sweets-a trend that is definitely on the rise.

 

Why just get a plain old delicious granola bar when you could get a Health Warrior Bar. This brand’s claim to fame is “The world’s most powerful super food” also known as chia. The product is filled with Fiber, protein, omega-3’s, and minerals. They swear that you’ll be running faster, lifting heavier weights, and have extra “natural” energy all day long. That is quite a promise. And one that consumer’s want to believe in. They’re not just selling snacks. They are selling things that are way more compelling-energy and productivity. How much would you pay for that?

 

And the benefits go beyond sweets. The Watusee Foods Spicy Cayenne Chipeatos have incredible reviews. This particular recipe is loaded with capsaicin, the compound responsible for giving chilies their hot, hot heat. There’s also evidence that capsaicin decreases stomach fat and cools down your appetite. And if that’s not enough, the product boosts thermogenesis—the body’s ability to burn food as energy. Oh, and they just happen to be crunchy. Snacks like these should have regular old potato chips watching their backs.

 

With options that are delicious and so much more, it’s unlikely that millennials and others will be choosing the “just tastes good” snacks for much longer. Why would they when they could be buying faster metabolisms, increased productivity and more energy. Maybe its time snack food marketers got a wake up call from healthy food marketing. Or a wake up chip.

 

When it comes to snacking, health conscious consumers want to know, “what’s in it for me?”