Trends and opportunities in healthy snack innovation for the Chinese market

May 20, 2021
3 min read

Recently, Mintel was invited to participate in the 2021 FBIC Global Food and Beverage Innovation Conference where Associate Director, Food and Drink, Mintel Reports China, Daisy Li shared the trends and opportunities in healthy snack innovation for the Chinese market in 2021.

Chinese consumers in the latter stages of the pandemic have significantly increased and changed their awareness of health. According to Mintel data, more than a third of Chinese urban consumers want to better understand their nutritional needs through scientific means, and nearly half of Chinese consumers want to be able to eat foods that reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases (such as diabetes and high blood pressure) after COVID-19.

Snacking: Focus on two low-fat, low-cal needs

More than a third of Chinese consumers have a snacking habit and believe that this habit is an obstacle to weight management. Based on this, it applies to a wide range of Chinese consumers who have a snacking habit.

Koikeya Fried Chicken Flavoured Guilt-Free Soy Snack

The entire pack contains 124kcal.  This snack is said to recreate the flavour, umami and crispy and succulent texture of fried chicken.

Hongblanc Food Slimmer Chips

Made with 100% Korean brown rice and sea salt, each pack contains 98 calories, and are low in fat, sodium and calories.

Meal replacement: Focus on two low-fat, low-cal needs

Consumer groups with fitness habits will pay more attention to ingredients and values. 18% of Chinese consumers use meal replacement products to manage their weight through diet. Therefore, product innovation can start from protein, dietary fiber, and low-carbon water.

Dano Protein Brownie

Products with protein and dietary fiber as selling points. This product is free from sugar, butter and wheat flour and contains 35g protein. It is high in protein and made with only seven healthy ingredients.

Glico Sunao Chocolate & Vanilla Soft Ice Cream

Products with low-carbon water as a selling point. The low-carb ice cream now contains only 9.1g sugar and features a bittersweet chocolate sauce to elevate the sweetness of ice cream. The product is high in dietary fibre.

Plant-based snacks have huge potential

The plant-based trend has become a major trend affecting the global food and beverage industry. In addition to the natural and low-calorie health attributes of plant-based ingredients, plant-based nutrition is also receiving extra attention: fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. Plant-based is gradually influencing the snack category as a natural, environmentally friendly, low-calorie, nutrient-rich innovation direction.

Zenb Vegetable Snack Bar Assortment

The product has a crunchy texture. By adding beans, brown rice, quinoa, almonds, etc. to the product, the deliciousness of the ingredients is used to create a flavor that does not depend on additives.

Asahi Slim Up Slim Herb & Salt Flavoured Soy Protein Snack

The crunchy snack provides 10g proteins, 78kcal, 4,300mg dietary fibre, lactic acid bacteria and iron.

What We Think

Health and nutrition is still the main theme of food and beverage industry trends, and consumers will be more willing to pay a premium for health. In addition to focusing on the healthiness of the food itself, it is more important for consumers to find healthy food that suits their lifestyle and personal physical condition. Consumers’ increased interest in health, as well as food, means that new products should be more in line with consumers’ health concepts and perceptions.

Daisy Li
Daisy Li

Daisy is an Associate Director with the Mintel Food & Drink team, speciliasing in the China market. She monitors and reports on the latest innovation and trends impacting the Chinese food and drink market.

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