Snack Replacements as a new opportunity for dairy

Indulgence 2 Go - Giving consumers what they want

You have surely noticed the buzzword “snack replacement” popping up more and more. Let’s take a closer look since this trend most likely won’t be short lived. It is no surprise to anyone in the food industry that snacks are a huge topic of interest for today's consumers. Snacking has become nearly universal, as 94% of US adults and 95% of UK adults snack at least once a day. 
 The urban work/life situation restricts ease of accessibility to traditionally cooked meals. To compensate consumers turn to snacks and more and more are seeking snack replacements which are typically miniaturised versions of common staple foods positioned for “on-the-go” occasions. In contrast to conventional snacks, snack replacements are often found in the refrigerated section in retailers and are therefore perceived to be “fresher” and more naturally nutritious. 

Accounting for 27% of snacks and growing at a fast rate, snack replacements are fast becoming real competition for the conventional snacks industry.

Source: Euromonitor International Passport

Why do we snack?

Although the demand for healthy and “better for you” snack choices is on the rise, most consumers predominantly snack to treat themselves and to satisfy a craving. 
The “Healthy Indulgence” perception is key when consumers select a snack.

Snacking motivation

Millennials are slightly more likely to be emotional snackers. 27% snack because they are bored, and 17% snack because they are stressed. Millennials are also functional snackers; they are more likely to snack to stay focused throughout their day. 

Snacks featuring a variety of flavours, especially exotic ones like Passion fruit especially appeal to this demographic.


Health Claims on the products:  60% of consumers wish for more healthy snack options. 

Packaging:  One third of snackers agree there are not enough conveniently packaged snacks, such as individual portions or resealable packages. This is even higher among households with children (42%). Since a lot of consumers are spending time „in between places“ new innovative packaging approaches like „Pouches“ are gaining in popularity. They are easy to use, need no spoons and are a good fit for on-the-go lifestyles.

Dairy and Fruit - the perfect combination for an indulging dairy snack

Viewed as naturally nutritious, dairy products, in particular drinking yogurts, have become an obvious option for brands looking to build a “healthy/ier snack” line extension.

Across the world dairy is fast becoming the snack of choice.

Focus on dairy

The combination of healthy and creamy along with fruit and brown flavour like chocolate are winning combinations for a snack that satisfies indulgent cravings.  

According to a 2015 MINTEL study 2/3 of adults eat some type of yogurt or fromage frais. Seven in 10 users eat yogurt/ fromage frais at least once a week, 13% eat it once a day or more.

Due to the naturally healthy image of yogurts dairy products have become a main focus of attention. Flavor combinations with fruit + chocolate are viewed as a healthier alternative to i.e. chocolate bars. Cravings are satisfied and we can feel good about the choices we make.  

But health is not the only reason to indulge in dairy products. A MINTEL consumer report  (source: Lightspeed GMI/Mintel) shows that drinkable yogurt usage peaks among young Millennials, parents and those living in an urban location, suggesting that the appeal of these drinks is driven by busy lifestyles. For this target group to-go-products are especially appealing.

Flavour trends

Brown flavours, like chocolate, caramel, toffee and nougat, are becoming more and more popular in yogurts and desserts. 

The addition of toppings including chocolate chips, granola, cake pieces etc. can play a key role in adding texture, providing consumers satisfying sensorial experiences like crunchy, crispy and creamy 

Through our global network of product developers, AGRANA Fruit has a lot of experience with indulgence concepts and trends, offering you tailor-made solutions for your product development needs. 


  • Nearly all adults snack, and this eating behaviour shows no sign of slowing.
  • Health plays a role in the snacks that consumers chose but the impact of satisfying a craving has provided the dairy category more opportunity to capitalize on the growing snack replacement trend.
  • Manufacturers could benefit from a broader approach to widen their competitive advantage: if yogurt is eaten as a snack, then it competes against chocolate bars and fresh fruits. Combining them offers the consumer more choices that appeal to their need to satisfy a craving as well as making smart choices.

Have you been inspired?

AGRANA Fruit would like to inspire your product development efforts and support you with our wide-ranging knowledge and experience. We have developed snacking concepts for drinkable and spoonable yogurt targeting the snack replacement eating occasion. 

If you want to know more about indulgence trends, snacking on-the-go and our concepts, please contact us for a customized presentation and concept tasting.