While traditionally seen as unhealthy food to avoid, one-third of French consumers now say that snacks have become essential due to their busy lifestyles.
Shoppers are, however, looking to combine ‘health’ with ‘indulgence’ when purchasing their ‘goûter’ – or afternoon snack.
According to data from Mintel, gluten-free snacks are perceived by consumers to be ‘significantly healthier’ than their conventional counterparts. This is especially true for consumers aged 16 to 43-years-old, said the market research firm.
French company Funky Veggie is one brand appealing to French consumers with their gluten-free coconut balls. The balls are vegan, and filled with a chocolate and hazelnut centre. Made from dates and coconut, the balls are free from refined sugar, preservatives, flavours and additives.
Belgian brand Nature Addicts offers another gluten-free favourite for French shoppers. The firm’s Vanilla Energy Balls provide a source of fibre and are free from additives – and are cold pressed to better preserve ingredients.
Aside from ‘gluten-free’, French consumers are also interested in snacks that are high in fibre, minimally processed, and that contain vegetable-based ingredients.
“Brands should target younger consumers who are genuinely more convinced of the value of gluten-free claims on snacks.
In terms of purchase intent, gluten-free products that stress minimally processed ingredients fare the best in the overall snacks category,” said global food and drink analyst at Mintel, Ophélie Buchet.
Brands also need to innovate more with more wholesome veggie ingredients as they command a higher purchase intent, Buchet continued.
“The market for veggie snacks is becoming more crowded, however, and the difference will be made on the ‘real veggie’ content communicated clearly on pack.”
GettyImages / Alexander Spatari
Coeur de Boule: Coco Coeur Funkytella / Funky Veggie
Vanilla Energy Balls / Nature Addicts