Texture emerges as a differentiator at Sweets & Snacks Expo 2024

Texture emerges as a differentiator at Sweets & Snacks Expo 2024

May 21, 2024
3 min read

Innovations in texture were a break-out trend from the Sweets & Snacks Expo 2024 hosted May 14-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana. From freeze-dried candy to melty baked goods, texture was a key factor that companies used to create new, but familiar departures from the status quo – or, shall we say the “snackus” quo. 

According to Mintel GNPD (client link only), crunchy, smooth and chewy were the leading texture claims used from May 2019 to April 2024 by global launches of confectionery and snacks (excluding hors d’oeuvres/ canapes). 

This year, companies diversified from crunchy, smooth and chewy with four stand-out themes: freeze-dried confectionery, peelable chewy gummies, a crunchy and chewy protein snack mix, and melty-centered snack cakes.

Freeze-dried confectionery

Providing a different crunchy and crumbly eating experience, several companies at the Sweets & Snacks Expo featured freeze-dried confectionery. Some companies used traditional confectionery as the basis for their freeze-dried treats, such as Bebeto Crunch It Freeze Dried Crunchy Peach Gummies and Andersen’s Crazy Candy Freeze-Dried Peanut Brittle. 

Another brand, Astro Freeze paid tribute to the history of freeze-dried foods as options for astronauts with space illustrations. Astro Freeze’s out-of-this-world branding reflects the resurgence in consumer interest in space predicted by Mintel’s 2023 Global Food & Drink Trend Cosmic Comforts

Peelable fruit-flavored gummies

As outlined in the Mintel Trend Experience is All (client link only), consumers crave real, tangible experiences, especially ones they can post about on social media. Peelable fruit gummies have already gone viral in China, as reported by Mintel’s Daisy Li, Associate Director of China Insights, and could soon be a global viral sensation. On display at the show, Amos’ Peelerz brand of gummy fruits are shaped like their fruit flavors and have a peelable outer layer that’s similar to the experience of eating the actual fruits, such as banana and mango. 

Crunchy and chewy protein snack

Baked cheese brand Whisps featured its new Protein Snackers, a multi-compartment package with crunchy cheese snacks, chewy dried fruit and salami. This blend of crunchy and chewy could appeal to the 69% of US adults who snack and say that texture influences their snack cravings. In another differentiator for a cheese and meat snack, Whisps Protein Snackers are sold shelf-stable, priming them for on-the-go snacking.

Melty-centered snack cakes

J.M. Smucker’s Hostess brand introduced Meltamors snack cakes that are a convenient take on the melty, lava center cakes that are popular in restaurants. Available in Double Chocolate and Chocolate Creamy Caramel, the snack cakes have a sweet, runny filling. Consumers can more closely replicate the restaurant experience by heating one cake in the microwave for five seconds. This warm and gooey experience could connect with the 48% of US dessert or candy consumers who agree texture is an important part of the overall experience of eating desserts.

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Jennifer Zegler
Jennifer Zegler

Jenny Zegler is the Director of Food and Drink at Mintel. Jenny blends her trends expertise with food and drink topics such as health, formulation, sustainability and premiumization.

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