As the shift toward healthy eating or “junk food on steroids” has sped up, concerns about food quality — and its potentially deleterious effects on health and the environment — have increased. This is driving a booming business of “healthy food” labeling and the growing demand for bean-based beverages and foods.

We asked experts at Kantar FortheSQ at Kantar DataShrink about the impact of healthy eating trends on the snacks market and the rise of alternative products.

This article originally appeared in Brandchannel.

As more people increasingly aim to eat more vegetables and fruit, as part of the embrace of “junk food on steroids,” juices and protein- and fiber-based beverages have become a key growth driver. Consumers today are less concerned about the contents of their chips, chips, cheese sticks and energy bars, and are more focused on what they think they’re eating. Bean-based products also offer organic, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free and canola-free options.

But healthy brands are finding competition in a marketplace that is being oversaturated with similar products, with many of them passing the nutritional test. As a result, customers often have to forgo some of the finer qualities of healthier brands to win favor.

The rise of “smart” diets and more health-conscious eating, coupled with new technologies that help keep consumers motivated and successful, have all contributed to the health craze. With an increasing number of individuals, a better understanding of how their behavior impacts their health, and an increasing information environment that makes it easy to monitor diet, smart diets, more conscious eating and a better understanding of food labels are all factors that are prompting people to eat healthy.

In today’s fast-paced world, even casual decisions can be made in a hyper-connected way. An individual may want to weigh the pros and cons of eating traditional meals, but lack information, motivation or ability to make such a choice. Nowadays, it’s easy to track calorie and nutrition information that might help inform this choice.

Smart bean-based brands are showing that brands like Kellogg’s, which started out by making Rice Krispies treats, can truly embrace the bigger picture. In 2015, they launched cookies, crackers and biscuits made with dark chocolate powder, whole grains and non-GMO ingredients. In 2016, they launched a new range of protein bars, soon followed by an expanded line of Glutino bars and 100% raspberry chips. Today, there’s a Kellogg’s snack bar for just about any taste and health occasion.

Read the full story at brandchannel.com

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