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Better-For-You nutritional snacking for protein and sugar intake
CSM Group (CSM Ingredients & HIFOOD)

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Better-for-you snacking: Combining nutrition and indulgence with advanced ingredients

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In today's fast-paced world, snacking has transcended its traditional role as a between-meal indulgence.

It has become a vital component of daily nutrition, particularly for individuals with demanding lifestyles, such as athletes or busy professionals who find it challenging to allocate time for formal meals.

This shift in consumption patterns has brought about a heightened awareness among consumers regarding the nutritional content of their snacks. Concurrently, there's a growing emphasis on maintaining a balance between indulgence and wellbeing, driving the emergence of the Better-For-You snacking (BFY) trend.

The BFY snacking trend reflects consumers' desire for snacks that not only satisfy cravings but also contribute positively to their overall wellbeing. This inclination towards healthier snacking fits perfectly with the broader health and indulgence trends which seek to reconcile the enjoyment of food with wellness objectives.

For example, recent market insights underline the significance of protein in BFY snacks, with 43% of European consumers actively seeking protein-rich options. This demonstrates a notable shift towards prioritising nutritional value in snack choices. Consequently, food manufacturers are seeking more and more innovative solutions to deliver snacks that strike the delicate balance between deliciousness and nutrition.

Protein Croissant with Protein Fillings

Stepping up to meet this demand, CSM Group – comprising of CSM Ingredients and HIFOOD – offers a diverse array of solutions to create snacks that are not only palatable but also better for people and the planet.

"As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of food innovation and sustainability, it's clear that the future of snacking lies at the intersection of joy and wellness. For this reason, through our ingredient systems and solutions, we're committed to supporting our partners in delivering moments of delight to consumers while also promoting healthier and more sustainable choices,” explains Christian Sobolta, CSM Group Managing Director.

“For too long, the concept of healthy eating has been wrongly associated with blandness, lack of flavour, and dissatisfaction. It's time to shift this paradigm and promote a new approach to nutrition, one that is neither restrictive nor dismissive of the widespread focus on wellness.

“Indeed, consumers should be able to find offerings on the shelves, especially when it comes to on-the-go snacking, that satisfy their taste buds while also delivering added benefits in terms of nutritional quality. This means not only reducing the amount of sugar, salt and unhealthy fats in snacks, but also providing products rich in protein and fibre. At CSM Group, we have a vast range of solutions that allow food industries to achieve precisely this objective," adds Sobolta.

Reducing sugar content

To address the challenge of reducing sugar content in snacks, CSM Group introduced two smart sugar-reduction systems ideal both for bakery and dairy: Batter Systems (ideal for doughs such as sponge cakes and pours) and Hydrous systems (anhydrous creams designed for fillings and toppings). Both these smart solutions are designed to reduce the amount of sugar up to 30-40%, without affecting the taste and texture of the final products.

Batter System for Sugar Reduction

Moreover, CSM Group’s portfolio includes Meltec®, a pioneering HIFOOD product that has redefined the snacking landscape. Meltec® represents a breakthrough in snack formulation, serving as a versatile texturising and bulking agent, making it possible to lower the sugar content. Its unique properties, characterised by a low-calorie count and less than 1% sugar content, make it an ideal substitute for traditional solutions.

With successful reductions of up to 30% or more in sugar content reported across various snack applications, Meltec® stands as a semi-solid ingredient of natural origin suitable for a wide spectrum of sugar-free products, spanning bakery items, fillings, sauces, confectionery, ice cream, beverages and bars.

In tandem with sugar reduction efforts, CSM Group introduced SlimBAKE, a reduced-fat emulsion designed to enable a significant reduction in fat content in bakery and pastry products without compromising on taste, texture or process performance. This innovative emulsion, available in both butter and plant-based variants, leverages a blend of functional ingredients and advanced production techniques to cater to the evolving preferences of health-conscious consumers. From croissants to Danish pastries and puff pastries, SlimBAKE facilitates the creation of BFY bakery offerings without sacrificing sensory appeal.

Meltec for Sugar Reduction

Protein-enriched snacks 

Recognising the growing demand for protein-enriched foods, particularly among fitness enthusiasts and athletes, CSM Group offers a full range of solutions to create snacks – both sweet and savoury – with the claim ‘source of protein’ or ‘rich in protein’. In particular, CSM Group’s portfolio includes different solutions, including: CSM Ingredient’s universal mixes for protein enriched bread loafs, bagels and crackers; the possibility of using ready-to-use mixes or tailored recipes from scratch to bake delicious protein croissants; and HIFOOD’s wide range of Proteios Textured Vegetable Proteins (TVPs).

Protein Snacks_Savoury

Proteios TVPs in particular serve as a versatile inclusion or topping, imparting a protein boost to an array of snack varieties, including breadsticks, bars, crisps, pizza dough, among others. Additionally, clients can elevate their snack offerings even more by incorporating ready-to-use protein fillings developed by Italcanditi.

This is a sister company of CSM Group which also belongs to the Ingredient-Tech Platform, specialising in fruit-based solutions, creams and preparations for yogurt and ice cream, candied fruits and marron glacé. The protein fillings are available in popular flavours, including custard cream, chocolate cream, and lemon cream.

Protein Snacks_Sweet

As the demand for BFY snacks continues its upward trajectory, CSM Group remains committed to driving innovation in the realm of snack ingredients. By leveraging its offerings, CSM Group empowers snack manufacturers to meet the evolving needs of today's health-conscious consumers. Through a strategic fusion of wellness and indulgence, CSM Group paves the way for a more vibrant and nourishing snacking landscape.


1. ​FMCG Gurus. Navigating Consumer Snacking Habits in Europe-Africa.