The snack industry is continuously evolving to cater to the growing demand for healthier and
more nutritional alternatives. Nutritional and whole grain extruded snacks are becoming
increasingly popular due to their ability to provide a satisfying taste while offering various health
benefits.

Healthier and plant-based options

Consumers are increasingly seeking healthier and plant-based options in the puffed and extruded
snack category. Snacks made with vegetable-based ingredients, such as cauliflower stalks and
butternut squash stalks, are gaining popularity for their unique taste and nutritional benefits.
Plant-based proteins, such as those derived from whole grains, beans, and pulses, are also being
incorporated into snack products to cater to this growing demand.

Functional benefits and immunity support

Today’s consumers are not only looking for snacks with great taste but also those that offer
additional functional benefits and support their overall health. Snacks that promote gut and
microbiome health, for example, are expected to grow in popularity in the coming years. The
inclusion of prebiotic fibers and postbiotic ingredients can help support a healthy microbiome,
adding positive nutritional benefits to snack foods.

Transparency and product story

Consumers are becoming more educated about the products they consume and expect brands to
be transparent about their ingredients and manufacturing processes. A compelling product story
that highlights the origins, processing, and nutritional aspects of a snack can help brands
differentiate themselves in the competitive snack industry.

Market development

The nutritional extruded snacks market is expected to continue growing as consumers look for
better-for-you options with exciting flavors, pleasing textures, and additional health benefits.
Brands that can strike a balance between nutrition, sensory experience, and cost while
maintaining transparency and a compelling product story are likely to thrive in this dynamic
market. As the demand for healthier, plant-based, and functional snacks continues to rise, the
snack industry will undoubtedly continue to evolve and innovate to meet consumer expectations.

For relevant conferences and workshops regarding food & feed extrusion, visit
www.ExtruAfrica.org.za. The next available course is taking place in August 2023, in Kenya. This
course will focus on the applications of extrusion for developing countries. It is focused on
technical and practical applications of extrusion and presented by international industry expert,
Prof Mian Riaz from Texas A&M University.