What’s for Breakfast?
March 17, 2017
cheese stick
The Hottest Trends in Condiments
April 19, 2017

What’s Trending in Snacks?


Take a hot minute to learn more on the latest trends

Defining the gaps on a menu that could capture more profit is a unique opportunity for any foodservice operator. With some recent data offered by Datassentials and Texas Pete®, opportunities for growth are easy to understand.

Anything eaten between traditional meals and dayparts is of interest. Foods prepared for small-quantity consumption that are drivable and delivered in packaging that aids consumption are part of the discovery.

Snacks can by categorized into four groups: Salty, crunchy snacks like chips, puffs, pretzels, and fries; sweets like cookies, candy, ice cream, and cereals; natural snacks like trail mix, hummus, fruit, and veggies; and entrée snacks like mini sandwiches, pizza, wings, and nuggets.

The opportunity is with 94% of the population who told Datassentials that they had a snack food yesterday. On average, Americans have 4-5 snacks in a day. Consumers also consider a beverage a snack, and 91% consumed a “snack” beverage yesterday.

The guilty pleasure of consuming a salty snack is evident in a survey of consumers. Only 26% said that salty snacks were their favorite, yet 41% said that they eat a salty snack at least daily. Meanwhile, 34% said fruit was their favorite and 34% consumed a fruit snack every day. Twenty-three percent said cheese was their favorite, but 21% ate cheese every day.

Consumers say they are looking for healthier mini meals that are affordable, with less sugar and sodium. Look for more portable veggies and crackers that pair with a healthy dip in a grab-and-go or drivable package. Look for guacamole or salsa options with jicama sticks or yogurt-based dips with carrot sticks. Higher protein-based foods with fewer carbs offer greater perceived value.

Combining vegetables that have been braised with a spicy or savory sauce, such as Texas Pete® Wing Sauce, is working for some operators. Easy combinations of sauces, such as maple syrup or honey with a Texas Pete® hot sauce or CHA! by Texas Pete® sriracha sauce, work great with proteins. For a half-dozen more quick sauce combinations that work, try these with a snack or appetizer menu item:

Texas Pete® Original Hot Sauce, teriyaki sauce

Application: Asian wings


Texas Pete® Fiery Sweet Sauce, Dijon mustard, sour cream

Application: Dipping sauce, wings, sandwich spread


¡Sabor! by Texas Pete® Mexican-Style Hot Sauce, Maytag sauce (Maytag blue cheese and milk melted into a sauce)

Application: Homemade potato chips, fries


Texas Pete® Hotter Hot Sauce, sour cream

Application: Spicy dip for veggie sticks, crackers, fried protein or veggies


¡Sabor! by Texas Pete® Mexican-Style Hot Sauce, cream cheese, caramelized onions

Application: Dip, sandwich spread


Texas Pete® Extra Mild Wing Sauce, maple syrup

Application: Sweet potato fries


Get to the point by merchandising a snack menu. The greatest opportunity is between lunch and dinner, but morning and late-night snacks also exist. Be sure to bundle every snack with a beverage.

Snacking occasions are being stolen from foodservice by a variety of challengers as varied as vending machines, food trucks, and convenience stores. Make sure that your operation makes a play for the extra snacking dollars. For more great ideas using Texas Pete®, check out our recipes section.