Current snacking statistics speak for themselves: 94 percent of adults in the U.S. report that they snack daily, and 15 percent of that group claims to snack four or more times throughout the day. Those same figures are even higher for millennials. Whether referred to as snacks, mini-meals or by any other name, stepping outside of the breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule is how people are eating.
But what is it that consumers want from mini-meals this year? They want protein. Industry experts predict that protein snacking will rise, especially for millennials and Gen Z, who are more apt to select plant-based sources that align with their personal views on sustainability. Manufacturers are also capitalizing on the mini-meals trend with single portion servings of everything from soup to nuts – literally.
Here are some ideas of how to tap into this trend for your operation:
- Go big by thinking small. Review your menu and seek out new ways to swap traditional proteins with smaller, plant-based mini-meals. For instance, replace single-portion items like grilled chicken salads with portable quinoa bowls that your customers can enjoy while on the go.
- Soup is edging its way onto breakfast menus and it is perfect to sip in a mug. Campbell’s, an entegra-contracted supplier, has a vast array of portioned soups and broths that will meet consumer demand for healthy, protein-rich snacks. Consider serving varieties that can be consumed at any time of day, like Campbell’s Butternut Squash Bisque.
- Consider how you can transform one of your top-selling protein dishes into a portable mini-meal for a grab’n’go option. Create portable sliders with a smaller lean ground beef patty or veggie burger and incorporate it into an ethnic-inspired, single portion pita with other fresh, sustainable ingredients.
For more 2018 trends information, download entegra’s Top Ten Trends paper for Leisure paper.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.