The definition of the word snack has changed. It no longer refers only to something that has very little nutritional value and is eaten between meals. Snacks need to be healthy, delicious, and convenient as they are often eaten as a meal replacement.
This shift gradually occurred as Millennials became more influential consumers. Together with Gen Xers, the two demographic groups created an increase in demand for healthy or alternative-ingredient snacks, and that demand continues to grow. According to Packaged Facts, a market research firm, “sales of alternative ingredients snacks in 2017 are forecast to rise to $1.2 billion.”
But what is an alternative ingredient snack?
An alternative ingredient snack is a snack that is made from ingredients including pulses (dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas), vegetables, ancient grains, multigrain and whole grains. Snacks made with these ingredients include salty snacks and crackers, and often offer both flavor and textural variety. In vegetable-based snacks, sweet potatoes and spinach are the most frequently used vegetables. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are used most often in pulse based snacks, the fastest growing snack subcategory.
Why spinach, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas? Because each one offers a different combination of vitamins and minerals, and a wide variety of health benefits.
- is a great source of vitamins K, A, C, and B2 as well as folate, iron, fiber, magnesium, manganese, and calcium
- is known to help with energy production and to improve blood quality because of the role that iron plays in red blood cells’ ability to function
- is known to help maintain bone health because of the vitamin K
- contains carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) which have both anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties
- come in 3 different flesh colors: orange, purple and white
- are a great source of vitamins A, C, and B6 as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese
- are known to help guard against health risks caused by carcinogens and toxins
- are known to help maintain healthy blood pressure and healthy bones as well as help with healing wounds
- are a great source of protein, fiber, manganese, folate, and antioxidants
- are known to help control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and to support colon health
- are known to help combat cancer development, especially colon cancer
- are known to help wounds heal and to maintain healthy bones
Which alternative-ingredient would your New York City employees like to try in their next salty snack? Contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671 to learn more about which healthy snacks and beverages you can include in your school or healthy breakroom vending machine.