Snack foods have always been a significant part of modern life and with the continuing growth of the processed food industry, the demand for specialty-type snacks is expected to increase. Earlier, few snacks were produced with nutrition in mind. However, nowadays, consumers expect snacks to be healthier, to contain low level of calories, fat, sugar and to contain a high level of whole grain oats, bran, nuts, seeds, pulses and fruit. Additionally, healthy snacks are required to be free from any artificial colors, sweeteners and flavours.
Why cereal based snacks?
01. Increased demand for convenient wholesome food
02. Increased label conscious consumers
03. Enhanced Shelf Life
Major factors encouraging healthy snack consumption include:
- Reduced risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart burn and bloating
- Increased disposable income
- Increased demand for convenient food products
Conversely, perceived taste, portion size, the lack of available convenient nutritional snacks, accessibility and confusion over the credibility of the “healthy product” tag are the main factors preventing healthy consumption in the adult population examined.
“Consumers express a desire for a wider choice of filling snacks with specific health benefits for a variety of usage occasions, particularly those with associated health claims such as ‘high fiber’, ‘omega 3 for mental health’ and ‘reduces cholesterol’.”
Popular cereal based- snack products available in market:
1. Breakfast cereals
2. Snack Bars
3. Puffed grains
4. Popped Grains
5. Biscuits/ Cookies
6. RTE Extruded snacks
7. Organic Chaklis
8. Organic Khakhras
Cereal Snack Bar
Snack bars made from cereals are very popular among ‘grab-and-go’ consumers and is considered a healthier snacking option. The bars can be fortified with vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to make it into a wholesome food.
Selroti is a popular fermented rice-based ring shaped, spongy, pretzel like, deep fried food item commonly consumed in Sikkim and Darjeeling hills in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
Popped sorghum is a very traditional snack food in central India. Popped grains mixed with oil and spice or sweetened are popular snack foods.