With repeated warnings about excessive sugar consumption and expanding waistlines, along with a marked increase in people snacking on the go, the food industry is continuing to investigate healthier alternatives to traditional baked or fried snacks, with many manufacturers and retailers turning their attention to the benefits of freeze-dried ingredients.
Amongst the innovative new products arriving to the snacking sector are Nothing But fruit and vegetable snack packs, introduced by The Premium Snack Company. Available in six flavours (sliced beetroot and parsnip; pea and sweetcorn; mange tout and red pepper; strawberry and banana; pineapple and grape; and apple and fig), the packs offer a healthy option in a sector traditionally dominated by sweets, crisps and nuts.
David Street, Marketing Manager for The Premium Snack Company, said: “With many consumers now eating lunch on the go or sat at a desk, the demand for retailers to provide good, wholesome food that is convenient and easy to consume has skyrocketed – and freeze drying could be the answer.”
A trend that is already well-established in the US and Asia, and amongst breakfast cereal brands, the freeze drying process itself extracts solely the water from products. This ensures that almost all of the natural flavours and nutritional content are retained and eliminating the need for manufacturers to compensate for a diminished taste by adding further flavouring or sweetening.
Mr Street continues: “With this in mind, consumers can have complete confidence that what they’re eating doesn’t contain any hidden surprises. Nothing But packs contain 100 per cent fruit and vegetables, equivalent to one portion of the recommended five a day, and are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diets.”
For retailers, freeze dried products offer a viable solution to some of the common and complex issues associated with fresh produce – namely waste management.
Pots of fresh fruit and salad are now a staple in the ‘food to go’ aisles, however, such products present retailers with a real challenge. How to ensure a full and expanding product range is available throughout peak times, without over estimating likely sales and the costly risk of wasting significant amounts of stock?
Unlike fresh produce, freeze dried ingredients will not deteriorate in transit or storage, allowing them to be stored for longer periods of time, without a compromise on quality, making them an ideal addition to supermarket shelves.