The future has a healthy glow
Indeed, the healthy snacks market is expected to be worth $152.08 billion by 2029, according to a report by Meticulous Research, with North America accounting for the largest share due “to its well-established food industry, the growing health awareness among consumers, the increasing prevalence of celiac disease, the growing demand for gluten-free healthy snacks, the rising demand for clean-label healthy snacks, and the easy availability of healthy snacks at grocery stores.”
Among Canadian c-store shoppers, freshness leads the list of concerns for health-conscious shoppers. At least one-third are also interested in all-natural and non-processed products (a growing concern). While concerns about sugar and calories have waned somewhat since last year’s report, it’s worth noting that gen Z have calories top of mind, while boomers are focused on sodium, fat and sugar.
Convenience customers aren’t just looking for healthier snacks and here lies an opportunity for convenience operators. When it comes to prepared foods, 18% of shoppers say they do not purchase from c-stores because there are “no healthy choices.” Healthier food/meal options are particularly important to gen Z and millennials. Of note, Ontario shoppers are more likely to seek out healthier options, while Alberta shoppers are more intrigued by portion size.
Where is the healthier option trend going? On a macro-level the post-pandemic world has promoted an intense focus on physical health and people are generally more informed and selective about the products they consume. Providing healthier options alongside traditional favourites is a balancing act that will meet the needs of the evolving convenience shopper.