Packaging Best Practices for Healthy Snack Food Brands

June 6, 2019

VP_PackagingBestPracticesHealthySnacks_Blog_960x480The snack food industry is growing rapidly, but that doesn’t mean consumers are buying more snacks. Instead, they’re spending more on snacks that come with bigger price tags and bigger perceived benefits. One of the key drivers of increased consumer spending? The rise of healthy snacks, fueled by mindful eaters seeking out premium ingredients and wholesome nutrition.

Of the premium ingredients making their way into American snack foods, spices such as turmeric and add-ins like Himalayan sea salt are leading the pack. Meanwhile, the popularity of “foodie” culture means more snack foods are incorporating restaurant-quality methods and flavor profiles. Gluten-free, cold-pressed and organic snack foods are likewise on the rise, catering to consumers with health-focused dietary restrictions and preferences. Amid the changes in dietary preferences, some snack food brands are taking a “back to basics” approach to healthy eating. The “snackable” fruit, vegetable and nuts category combines the hunger for healthy foods with the “on the go” trend.

What does all this mean for your snack food brand? There’s never been a better time to elevate the health benefits of your existing products, or create new ones to meet the growing desire for mindful snacking. Leverage these healthy snack food packaging best practices to ensure your product appeals to today’s health-focused snackers.

New Call-to-actionHighlight your snack food ingredients (or lack thereof)

Is your snack food packed with fiber or protein, two of the year’s most popular health food trends? Do you use specialized processing techniques to deliver a snack food that’s cold-pressed or freshly baked? Today’s consumers are more drawn to wholesome snacks than ever before, so share these healthy attributes loud and clear on your packaging.

On the other side of the spectrum is the “less is more” approach. You’ve likely seen protein bars touting just four or five ingredients on the front of their packaging. If you’ve trimmed down your ingredient list in the name of better nutrition, let consumers know what you’ve cut out. For health-minded consumers, understanding exactly what they’re getting—or not getting—could be reason enough to grab your snack off the shelf.

Embrace sustainable snack food packaging

Consumer desire for all things healthy isn’t just about the food itself; it also extends to how it’s packaged. Although it’s too soon to be seen whether plastic packaging is a thing of the past, there’s no denying that sustainable packaging solutions are on the rise. The global “green packaging” market is expected to increase more than 5% by 2024, driven by consumer preferences and new government regulations.

If you’re already embracing sustainable packaging—flexible pouches that use organic additives to convert plastic into biogas are just one popular solution—then don’t be afraid to advertise that to your customers. (Kettle Brand, for instance, recently announced it trimmed its carbon footprint by 51% by switching from 5-layer to 3-layer packaging film.) If you’re not thinking about sustainability yet, now is the time to working with a snack food packaging partner who has the know-how to engineer packaging that reduces unnecessary waste and lowers your brand’s carbon footprint.

Channel nature in your snack food packaging color palette

If you haven’t noticed, wellness is everywhere. Evoke your healthy snacks “back to basics” appeal by using design elements that evoke Mother Nature herself. Nude packaging with a pop of color has become the packaging design of choice for many snack food brands looking to emphasize their healthy attributes and simplicity. Whereas snack foods were once dominated by red and yellow color palettes said to trigger hunger and appetite, today’s healthier tribe is opting for browns, greens, blues and other hues that signify health, nature and balance.

From sustainable packaging to premium ingredients, today’s snack food brands are changing the way consumers think about snacking. Are you looking to attract new customers with your healthy snack food? Contact our Architects of Packaging Solutions today.

Topics: Food Packaging, snack food packaging, packaging solutions, packaging trends