The coronavirus pandemic brought out the inner chef in many of us. Robbed of restaurants, people had to get adventurous in the kitchen in ways they may not have tried before. For all the sourdough baked and new recipes tried, it is also no surprise that snack chips like Tostitos, Doritos, and offerings from Late July all saw big increases.
Trends show that people are continuing to eat at home even as restaurants are reopening, and other influences of COVID are changing what we are buying and eating at home. The focus on healthy living brought about by the pandemic has only increased trends toward clean labels and more nutritionally dense foods.
Healthy Tortilla Chips are Just the Beginning
It may seem on the surface like these two trends are at odds, but snacking and healthy foods like cauliflower and pumpkin go together more often than you might think. Increased attention to ingredient labels and increasing willingness for customers to try new flavors means the plant-based diet trend is bringing alternative flours and previously unexpected ingredients into snacking.
Tortilla chips in particular have seen significant increases in the number of alternative ingredients showing up on labels. Spinach, cauliflower, bean flour, sweet potatoes, cassava, and more are all showing up in the chip aisle along with paleo, keto, and many other specific diet-friendly varieties of some well recognized snacks.
Some of these better-for-you ingredients are being snuck in to replace flour or corn as base ingredients without changing the flavor or texture of the chip in question. Other ingredients, though, such as purple sweet potatoes, are being added to deliberately change the color and flavor of chips and snacks to create new, appealing options for consumers looking to break out of the ordinary.
Dehydrated vegetable chips and snacks like veggie straws have been around for years, with spinach, carrots, and beets among the vibrant vegetables used to bring nutrition and color to these snacks. In recent years, though, sweet potatoes are not just being used to add color, but as the headline flavor to attract more adventurous customers looking to branch out from established snack flavors.
While pumpkin and sweet potatoes are set to continue their upward trend in popularity, cauliflower is a relatively new entrant into this category. Beyond pizza crusts, this nutritious, cruciferous vegetable is cropping up in chips and snack crackers as well made by Real Food From The Ground Up. This trend is likely to continue to gain momentum as more and more people expect more variety and quality from gluten-free products.
Going to the Dogs: Pumpkin and Potatoes in Pet Food
Humans, of course, aren’t the only ones hopping on the clean label bandwagon. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are showing up in more and more dog treats and dog food as well. As consumers place increasing importance on their own health, they are also more and more conscious of the ingredients in their pet’s food.
Alongside trends to whole protein and raw meat diets for pets, there is an ongoing trend away from the fillers that have been used in the past to bulk up dry dog food. This falls in line with pressures to move pets and people away from gluten. Ingredients like sweet potatoes are showing up in the ingredients of more and more quality dog foods to help complement natural protein sources.
Nutrition is not the only reason to add in ingredients like spinach, pumpkin, or purple sweet potatoes. These all have the potential to help add vibrant colors to natural pet treats without bringing artificial colors into the mix. Though our furry friends can’t tell the difference, the colors in dog food are an important signal to the humans buying the kibble, and being able to get vibrant, fresh-looking colors without extra additives is a huge plus for brands looking to keep their ingredient lists short and health-conscious credentials intact.
Cauliflower in particular is seeing new demand in areas you might never have expected. Thanks in part to companies like CAULIPOWER, gluten-free alternative flowers and baked goods that were once in the domain of specialty diets are now gaining traction in the wider market. Vegetable-based pizza crusts were just the beginning for CAULIPOWER, but new product offerings have them moving into other areas such as tortillas, and a hard-to-categorize sweet potato toast product.
Endless Opportunities to Explore
Even with the wave of new, trendy foods that have hit the market in recent years featuring healthier ingredients, the possibilities are still nearly endless for ways to incorporate more nutrition into the products you make, not just for humans, but for dogs as well. Whether it is refreshing an existing line or launching an entirely new product, Silva can help you bring your product line on trend with the quality ingredients you need.
At Silva, we know that the quality of our products, most of which are available in certified organic varieties, is essential. Ensuring the food you make, whether it is for humans or hounds, have the maximum amount of flavor, color, and nutrition begins with including quality ingredients. We work with farmers and growers around the world to provide you with the best possible dried vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, herbs, and spices.
If you are interested in learning more about our full product line, or if you are ready to start experimenting with some of our free samples, contact a member of our customer relationship team today.