Healthy Vending Machines

2009 was a year fueled by the sales of healthy snacks. The market is rising in both popularity and potential sales. For the promising entrepreneur who invests in a healthy vending machine this “top 10,” can give you a better idea on what to serve-up to customers. And for 2010, the market seems to be growing a bit more. As people search for healthy snack alternatives, more snack products are being introduced to serve the demand. In this article, we will display 10 healthy snacks that show promise in terms of sales, and consumer appeal. Click here to purchase from NHS Heroes

High-Protein Healthy Snacks

A combination of high-protein and low calories is a great trend for this year. Products that offer this kind of nutrition are enjoying a remarkable appeal to consumers, as they search for a snack that will refuel their energy, and keep the calories low.

Products that deliver on this are many, including individual servings of cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and Edamame (or soybeans for us less informed).

Other high-protein additions are hummus (a middle-eastern dip traditionally made from olive oil, beans, and other ingredients). As well, snack crackers to go along with everything; whole-grain or lower calorie ones.

Go Vegetarian, for Healthy Snacks

Getting rid of meat altogether is another choice for the snacking consumer in 2010. With the price, cost and associated stigma of eating meat, some people are simply switching to vegetarian for either financial or lifestyle choices. Products popular with vegetarian consumers are tofu-based, rice-based, noodles, roasted or fresh veggie based snacks, and cuisines like all-veggie Asian inspired snacks.

Gluten-Free Products

Gluten is vastly becoming a problem for many snacking consumers who have associated food allergies to it. Gluten is formed in the process of making wheat-based/flour-based products. Gluten-free products are becoming popular, as alternatives to popular snacking choices. There are gluten-free noodles, cakes, cookies, breads and more available to everyone looking to eliminate their food allergy concerns.

Antioxidant-Rich Snack Food

Snack companies are tweaking some snacks for additional antioxidant power this year. Popular inclusions are vitamin C, B6, B12, E and A. All of which are great antioxidants to support the body’s immune system. Look for snacks with these additions, including the “all-natural,” brands. Consumers are looking for these types of snacks to provide a healthy overall boost, but a tasty snack as well. Flavors such as citrus (orange, lemon and lime for example), apple, grape and cherry are great “natural” choices for this year; they show promise for consumer driven snack sales.

Low Sodium Snacks and Other Innovations

As many consumers look for reduced sodium in their snacks, like potato chips, snack companies are responding by offering lower sodium alternatives. Chips, pretzels, ramen, soup, and crackers are seeing lower-sodium introductions. More innovations are to come. Some snack makers are introducing new ideas into the development of their product. Potato chip makers are finding out ways to have flavorful snacks, without the need to fry the product in the process. As well, many preservatives are being looked at, and possibly removed, keeping the “natural,” quality of the snack. Items like food coloring are being replaced with natural food colors.

Good for the Heart, Snacks

Snacks that switch out “bad fats,” to good are becoming popular with consumers. The bad news around trans-fats has motivated many snack makers to use “heart healthy” fats instead; eliminating trans-fats and hydrogenated oils in their products. Fiber is another important concern for heart healthy snacks, and snack makers are looking to increase the fiber content of their products. Overall, it is suggested the fiber helps maintain normal levels of cholesterol.

Go Nuts, for Nuts

Nuts are playing an integral role for snack additions as well. They provide a great source of essential oils, like omega 3 fatty acids. They also are nutrient-rich. We see snacking products mixed with nuts, like almonds, cashews or others, with the addition of chocolate or dried berries. The idea of “healthy trail mix,” is popular with consumers as a nutrient rich offering.

No “GMO” Please

As consumers start to research the roots of their snacks, many are deciding on what is called “no GMO,” products. GMO stands for genetically modified organism, and is related to the various methods the food industry uses to create plants, and food products based on a certain set of modified genetic characteristics present in the source crop. GMO grown crops, such as soybeans, corn or others are present in many snack foods. In an effort to get “natural,” snacks, without the inclusion of GMO’s, consumers can now select snacks that carry the “no GMO” stamp of approval.

These are usually organic snacks as well.

Certified Organic

Organic snacks continue to gain in popularity, due to their focus on providing a healthy snack, but getting rid of unneeded preservatives and synthetic snack additives. Certified organic snacks are produced without the aid of any harmful-to-humans based chemicals, like some pesticides, herbicides or others. Many source crops for vegetables, or fruit will be sprayed with these over their growing season, but organic crops are the only ones that enforce an “all-natural,” approach to growing the source crop.

The Art of Tofu

  • Many vegetarians and healthy snack consumers are looking into the numberless choices of soy-based products.
  • Soy products continue to rise in popularity, due to their 100% vegetable source of protein, and nutritious appeal.
  • Soymilk, soy chips, tofu, tofu hamburgers, tofu hot dogs and more are becoming exceedingly great soy-based sellers and alternatives for the snacking consumer.

Conclusion

In response to obesity concerns in America, consumers are choosing many other avenues of snacking choices. From Edamame, to gluten-free, the healthy snack industry is vastly becoming a real winner in terms of potential sales, and consumer popularity.