First our panelists addressed the question: What is a snack? Hartman Group says roughly half of the eating occasions in the U.S. are now snacks or mini meals, so if snacking is about treating yourself, are we treating ourselves a little too much?
SHANE EMMETT, Health Warrior: The lines between snacks and meals are blurring. We’re eating snacks two or three times a day not two or three times a week, so we have to redefine the meaning of a snack. [The problem is that] we are surrounded by bad options and they have become ubiquitous.
The healthiest snack might be an orange. But packaged snacks aren’t going away. Packaged food doesn’t have to be junk food and hopefully it can evolve even further, into not only being better for you, but something that’s actually good for you.
By having aspirational brands attached to genuinely healthy packaged foods, we can hopefully make a dent in some of these health challenges we’re facing.
JOSH KAHN, Fruigees: We definitely see snacking as a fluid concept, I think the traditional view of a snack being something to tide you over between meals is still totally valid, but it’s not the only type of snacking anymore. Snacking is also something we do to replace meals, and we also snack as a means to an end, maybe to get in protein or calories after a workout or keep us going when we’re in that slump at 3pm or simply for pleasure..
Fruigees is not a meal replacement, but I often pair it with bars and other snacks to make a meal [breakfast] in the morning because time is at such a premium.
NIK INGERSOLL, Barnana: People want simple snacks without so much sugar and without a ton of ingredients. A lot of people also want something that will satisfy a sweet tooth but won’t have them spike and crash during the day.