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Nuts, seeds and dried fruit have for many years been palmed off as ‘hippy health foods’. Today, however, latest research from MINTEL finds sales of these guilt-free snacks set to crash through the £0.5 billion mark by the end of the year, following 50% growth since 2001. But it is seeds that have really exploded onto the market, as consumers are now increasingly reaching for what was once considered only good enough for Britain’s birds. Indeed, although the seeds sector is still a niche market, it has seen a massive 300% growth since 2001 and is forecast to reach £20 million this year. “Healthy eating has been the overriding influence behind the growth in the market for seeds, nuts and dried fruit, with a rising demand for ’better for you’ and natural products. These snacks are also continually promoted by television programmes such as You Are What You Eat and Celebrity Fit Club, which has undoubtedly helped to boost sales. The market has successfully met the nation’s demands for exciting and more adventurous snacks, and the ever increasing range of nuts and mixed nuts available has appealed to a wide variety of different people,” comments Harry Foster, senior market analyst at MINTEL.