The nation is feeling very snacky. We creep to the kitchen in between Zoom calls daily. We spent our days hunkering down this spring binging shows about tigers and cheer squads or the latest documentary series Netflix served up as we served ourselves our favorite sweet and savory snacks. This year is shaping up to be a stellar year for snacks. There are more plant-based options to flavor innovations. And of course, everyone wants to know the story behind these treats! We have compiled a list of trends to keep your pantry stocked and your stomach sated.

Fruity Flavors

Remember when watermelon was a hard to find flavor in gum or candy?  Not today. This year we welcome lychee, Japanese plum, kumquat, and Meyer lemon to replace the standard lemon. We may not be able to travel beyond our home right now, but our taste buds can experience an array of new flavors from around the world. Expand your tastes by looking for these flavors in teas, drink mixes, chewy candies, and bars.

Spicy Heat with Sweet

It is no surprise that we like our sweets but the increased demand for spice with sweet showed an uptick in 2020. When it comes to our chocolates, baked goods, and candy the heat is rising. We want chile peppers in our chocolate. Create dishes based on acidic fruits such as oranges and grapefruits paired with extra spice including nutmeg, cinnamon, sumac, or Chinese Five Spice. Spicy sweet desserts are increasingly popular as the spice cabinet enters the baking arena. 

Next time you bake up a batch of brownies consider adding a dash of cayenne to the mix. How about a coriander and Meyer lemon cake? You will see what all the fuss is about. 

Texture & Taste

Right along with our desire for fruity flavors we will see a lot more gummy candies crowding the market shelves. Sales of fruit snacks spiked during the pandemic and our love of adult gummy vitamins is certainly not declining.  Expect to see more alcohol-infused gummy products as well as those made from organic fruits and veggies, all-natural dyes, and exotic flavor pairings.

Hybrid flavors are another trend on the rise. It is not enough to like salty and sweet anymore. Now we are seeing snacks in sweet with heat. Nuts, chips, and crackers are all coming into the stores showing that our palettes are becoming more global in taste too. 

Hello Hybrids

Mix and match our wardrobe? Yes, please. Hybrid vehicles we love too.  How about hybrids in our snack foods? We went nuts for the cronut a few years back. In 2020 we are all about mixing things up and trying them out. You have probably even experimented with this at home during the pandemic. Popcorn on your ice cream, anyone? Donna Martin loved it on 90210 and so do we.  Jalapeño cheddar snack chips, thin cookie chips, and expanded dessert popcorn flavors like birthday cake are coming to a store near you this year.

What snack trends are you loving this year?