Sally Lyons Wyatt, EVP and practice leader of client insights at IRI, said adding collagen to snacks is a “fascinating emerging trend” that appeared towards the end of 2017.
The trend has taken the market researcher by surprise, especially when the plant-based protein and probiotic trends are still growing in double digits every year, she told attendees at Snaxpo, hosted by SNAC International in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this week.
Examples of collagen snack bars
Examples of collagen snack bars currently available on the US market include NuttZo’s Bold BiteZ bars; Primal Kitchen’s gluten-free coconut cashew bar made with grass-fed collagen; and NeoCell’s collagen cookie bar, all of which also contain around 10 g of protein
Collagen supplement producer NeoCell, for example, specifically entered the food segment to capitalize on the emerging trend, said Lyons Watt.
“Bars are a hot commodity,” said Lyons Wyatt, noting this was why they became the best method of delivery for collagen-enhanced snacks.
Collagen’s health benefits
According to Lara Niemann, marketing director of Gelita – purportedly the largest collagen manufacturer in the US – 30% of the protein found in the human body contains collagen and numerous studies have found that additional supplements of it could benefit the skin, joints and muscles.
“Collagen peptides are highly soluble and dispersible, and can lend themselves to many food applications, such as muffins, breads, protein bars, and cereal bars,” she said, noting the protein boom will drive the use of collagen in snacks
Probiotics still at the forefront
On another front, Lyons Wyatt said the growth of probiotics in snacks is not going to slow down, noting that: "Granola bars with added probiotics grew by 22% in dollar sales in 2017, while bars and trail mixes with probiotics increased 53% and 48% in dollar sales, respectively.”
Probiotic-fortified snacks are a “strong trend going into this year and potentially next year,” she added.