Pulse-based snacks continue to gain ground as a functional choice

18 Apr 2022

Pulse-based snacking options such as AirSnax chickpea-based puffed snacks and Tarwi Foods lupin-based hummus in the UK and Hippeas chickpea chips in the US have recently come onto the market as alternatives looking to gain a foothold in the increasingly-crowded, grain-free snacking market.

Grain-free options have been popular for many years as consumers look for alternatives to promote healthier eating habits. While there are multiple alternatives to wheat and rice flour such as cassava, nuts and root vegetables, pulse products have developed a following that has catapulted this flour into one of the top spots in the snacking market. Pulses include chickpeas, peas, lentils and lupin.

Pulse-based snacks continue to gain ground as a functional choice
Courtesy of AirSnax

Food manufacturers looking to keep their finger on the pulse of snacking trends are reflecting the lasting interest in pulse-based formulations with the continued launch of snacks using pulse flour in place of grains.

Pulse flours are known for their added value, which includes protein and fibre, as well as their ability to reduce the fat content of formulations. As an ingredient, pulse flours can also improve the texture and shelf life of food. Despite their growing presence in the market, pulse flours represented only 0.9% of the global flours market in 2021, according to a report by Future Market Insights.  

Pulse snacks have a long runway for growth

However, the market research firm forecasts that by 2032, the global pulse ingredients market will reach $3.06 billion (€2.83 billion), growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2%. Peas are predicted to be the dominant pulse option for manufacturers. 

Pulse-based snacks fit squarely into the better-for-you snacking category, which is a ballooning segment whose growth was accelerated by the pandemic. In a report from Packaged Facts, 31% of consumers reported increasing their snacking activity because of the coronavirus, and better-for-you options comprised a significant proportion of shoppers' snack purchases. Better-for-you snacking is a wide umbrella term that encompasses claims such as clean label, no sugar added, lower sugar, lower fat, low carb, high protein, plant-based, whole grain, natural and heart-healthy.

Pulse-based snacks align particularly well with consumers looking for higher protein, plant-based options. AirSnax offers 14.6 g of protein for every 100 g of its puffed chips. The original hummus from Tarwi Foods has 7 g of protein and fibre for every 100 g; lupin beans have up to 44% protein content.

Better for the environment is important too

Snacks with pulses are also aligned with those that look for options that are better for the environment.

While it is nothing new that shoppers look for options with a lighter environmental footprint, their interest in this attribute is far from waning. In fact, in this year’s State of Snacking report from Mondelez, 85% of people said they would like to buy snacks from companies that are working to offset their environmental impact.

“Many demographics want to eat more healthily, consume products without the use of animal products, cut back on gluten consumption, and generally eat better-for-you snacks. These were important factors for me and I know they are critical in many people’s purchasing decisions,” founder of AirSnax Nati Azar said in a statement. 

 

Related news

Dairy butter carbon footprint is 3.5 times larger than plant-based spreads, says Upfield

Dairy butter carbon footprint is 3.5 times larger than plant-based spreads, says Upfield

25 Apr 2022

Plant-based margarine manufacturer Upfield says its spreads have a 70% smaller carbon footprint, require half the amount of water and use two-thirds less land across the product cycle when compared to conventional butter, according to a life cycle...

Read more 
PepsiCo launches 'non-HFSS' crisps in UK

PepsiCo launches 'non-HFSS' crisps in UK

15 Apr 2022

PepsiCo has launched lower-salt crisps under its Walkers range that it is marketing as 'non-HFSS' following recent UK advertising restrictions that limit high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) foods.

Read more 
Low- and no-alcohol beverages see significant growth globally

Low- and no-alcohol beverages see significant growth globally

11 Apr 2022

Alcohol-free and low-alcohol beverages are helping drive growth for many alcohol manufacturers that have been struggling to adapt to the changing tastes of the market in recent years.

Read more 
UK ban on 'junk food' advertising to take effect in April

UK ban on 'junk food' advertising to take effect in April

1 Apr 2022

New UK legislation that limits advertising - including in-store promotions and special offers - on products high in fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) will enter into effect in April.

Read more 
Why the future of alternative protein is fermented fungi

Why the future of alternative protein is fermented fungi

16 Mar 2022

Fungi fermentation has stepped into the ring in a big way in recent years, and the number of companies that are looking to mycoprotein as a method to manufacture plant-based alternatives has proliferated.

Read more 
Does the home baking boom have longevity?

Does the home baking boom have longevity?

15 Mar 2022

After years of decline, home baking mixes experienced a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the right positioning and claims, such as clean label and plant-based, brands can continue to leverage the trend for home baking.

Read more 
French government survey reveals cases of vanilla fraud

French government survey reveals cases of vanilla fraud

14 Mar 2022

Vanilla is a prized flavouring whose high price has prompted the production of fraudulent substitutes throughout the supply chain. Recently, a French investigation revealed examples of retailers and manufacturers using artificial vanillin and frau...

Read more 
Plant-based whole cuts: The next-evolution of meat analogues

Plant-based whole cuts: The next-evolution of meat analogues

9 Mar 2022

While there has been significant success in replicating burger patties, sausage and chicken nuggets, one type of meat remains in conspicuously short supply amid the available options: plant-based whole cuts. However, whole-cut protein analogues are in ...

Read more 
Global pressures on chocolate industry prompt alternative formulations

Global pressures on chocolate industry prompt alternative formulations

23 Feb 2022

Even as coca prices have increased, consumer chocolate consumption has increased. Now, one-third of people say they are eating more chocolate as a result of the pandemic, according to Cargill’s 2021 ChocoLogic study. Only 3% said they avoid ...

Read more 
Pet food generates buzz for using insect protein

Pet food generates buzz for using insect protein

22 Feb 2022

Pets consume a significant amount of protein, but as concerns about human protein consumption continue to rise, pet owners are beginning to scrutinize their pets’ diets in addition to their own. As a result, alternative proteins for pet...

Read more