Snack Attack

May 21, 2009
Top to bottom: Dr. Sear's Popumz, Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Bars, La Loo's Frozen Yogurt, and Smart Balance Natural Peanut Butter.

Americans, like most people, like eating snacks. According to the International Food Information Council's 2008 Food & Health Survey, nearly all Americans, or 94% of survey participants, eat at least one snack per day.

Consumers seeking healthier food choices are in kind turning toward healthier snack choices. According to Datamonitor, in the last half year or so alone, marketers saw opportunities to launch a range of healthy snacks, including the ones below.

Savory Snacks
Popumz Bite-Sized Organic Multigrain Crisps contain both DHA and EPA omega-3. The company calls it "the first functional foods created by the renowed pediatrician and noted author Dr. William Sears to meet the nutritional needs of growing children." Another benefit? The individual snacks bags are sold in a fun lunch box–style carton.

Another new salty snack on the market is Beanitos chips by Right Brothers Foods Inc. According to the company, while black beans have been used before as a chip flavor, Beanitos is the first snack chip to be made 100% from beans. No grains—not potato, corn, nor rice—are included.

High Fiber, Low Fat
Numerous new high-fiber low-fat snacks also made their way into the market. Kraft Foods launched its Nabisco Wheat Thins Fiber Selects crackers, which contain 5 g of fiber and 4 g of total fat per serving.

Kellogg's introduced its Fiber Plus Antioxidants Chewy Bars, which are said to contain 35%, or 9 g, of a daily amount of fiber. It also contains 4 g of total fat per serving.

Another high-fiber offering is Leclerc Foods' Praeventia Bars. Marketed as a good source of fiber for digestive health, each serving offers 7 g of whole grains (4 g of fiber) and 3.5 g of total fat.

Frozen and Functional
For cold and frozen desserts, trends lean toward the inclusion of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3.

Each pint of La Loo's Goat's Milk Frozen Yogurt is claimed to contain more live active cultures than does a quart of yogurt. The probiotics, as well as the goat's milk, make this product unique. The product is all-natural and "lactose friendly."

For its So Delicious All Natural Cultured Coconut Milk, Turtle Mountain combined probiotics—six active and live cultures—with coconut milk to create single-serving cups of flavors such as pinã colada.

Old Home Foods' new POM100 Calories Nonfat Yogurt brings high levels of antioxidants to the table with a line that blends pomegranates and other berry varieties. According to its label, "Pomegranate antioxidant boosts metabolism."

Besides unique product names such as Chocolate Monkey, Launch Frozen Innovations' Launch Omega Frozen Bars claim high amounts of DHA, which is unusual for a frozen novelty item.

Well Spread
Functional foods are also spanning everything from hummus to peanut butter. Meza Vita Hummus, from DCI Cheese Co., is touted as "the first low-fat hummus fortified with vitamins and minerals." The product is said to have half of the fat of regular hummus and to contain 25% of the daily requirement of vitamins A, C, and E.

GFA Brands' Smart Balance Natural Peanut Butter with Flax Oil offers 1000 mg of omega-3 per serving, no hydrogenated oil, and 33% less sugar. It is gluten free, lactose free, and vegan.

Sweet Treat
GABA Wafers Choco Cream, from Japan-based company Yamazaki Nabisco, launched chocolate-cream-filled wafers containing high amounts of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Each package of the product contains 70 mg of GABA.