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Here are five ways to think fresh when it comes to snacking, from the maker of Exberry Colouring Foods, GNT.

Snacking is gaining in importance for today’s consumers. People have little or no time to cook or to prepare food. But even when snacking in-between meals or on the go, food has to be fresh, appealing and satisfying.

GNT Group, which makes the Exberry-brand of Colouring Foods that are made exclusively from fruit, vegetables and edible plants, has identified its top five snacking trends.

1 SWEET POTATOES

When it comes to nibbles for on the couch, unhealthy snacks have served their time, and completely natural products are more in demand. Therefore, vegetable and plant-based snacks with ingredients such as beetroot, carrot, kale, nuts or seeds are popping up more often on supermarket shelves. To create the fresh and healthy appearance expected by consumers, it is important to use only plant-based ingredients – from spices to colourings.

2 SPICE IT UP

Colour and flavour go hand in hand. With International cuisine growing, unusual and exotic colours can help to stimulate appetite and enjoyment, a key driver for consumers choosing products for snacking moments. Exotic spice blends and wasabi are growing in popularity in Europe for instance, but these flavours need to be supported by appealing, natural colour concepts.

3 MEAT MEETS NEEDS

When working out, the effort needs to be worth it. After training, people no longer want bars that are loaded with sugar. To guarantee optimal nourishment, snacks such as dried meat and fish bits are on the rise. When it comes to colouring meat, however, additives or nitrites are still commonly used, due to a lack of completely natural solutions. However, these kinds of colourings clash with consumers’ expectations. Colouring Foods made from vegetables and edible plants provide an alternative solution.

4 COLOUR THE INTERNET

Colour is not only required to support new flavours, it has actually become a trend in itself. Innova Market Insights identified “Say it with color” as one of the top developments in 2018, and this applies equally to snacks. Colour is the first characteristic that customers recognise when browsing supermarket shelves. The rise of social media has moved the importance of colour up a level. Colourful and delicious looking food gets photographed and shared with friends and family on social media – be it pink crackers or rainbow popcorn.

5 POPCORN GOES PREMIUM

Popcorn is no longer only a snack for the movies. Having already emerged some time ago, salty popcorn is experiencing a major boom. Unexpected flavour combinations are creating hot, grown-up snacks that go nicely with a glass of wine as well as a relaxing evening in front of the TV. Gradually, the savoury alternatives are outstripping sweet popcorn options – whether in the form of green popcorn tossed with herbs and parmesan or an orange chili-jalapeno snack. To provide premium solutions, brands have to deliver high-end ingredients. This means that additives and artificial colours are becoming a no-go.