Food manufacturers are always looking for new ways to keep consumers engaged with their brands. They're also looking for new ways to encourage you to eat, or a new flavor to tempt you with. After all, the more you eat, the more profitable their product is. Unfortunately this has turned us into a nation of snackers.
We've been so effectively marketed to that we think we have to have snacks. Even more than that, when we say the word snack most people think chips, pretzels, granola bars, or other high carbohydrate foods which deliver a lot of calories and little to no actual nutrition.
a snack is not a meal
Unfortunately the more we snack the less hungry we are when meal time comes around. So perhaps we don't eat a real meal. And then a couple of hours later we're hungry again and it's time for another snack. By the time you get to the end of the day it's possible that you've simply snacked for the entire day. You go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again. The challenge is that you're just making yourself hungrier and hungrier. Your belly may be full, but your body is not nourished.
Snacking is not meant to replace mealtime. It's a mini-meal. A little something to keep you going if you're hungry in between regular, nourishing meals. Preferably something that has a little protein and a healthy fat. Healthy snacking can help to keep your blood sugar stable. All day snacking, especially with high carbohydrate snack foods can put you in the front row seat of the blood sugar rollercoaster.
As part of their effort to keep you snack-engaged, food manufacturers sometimes run campaigns designed to get consumer feedback on flavors. One example is the Pepsi Co. “Do Us A Flavor” campaign which they've been running since 2012. [I'm deliberately not linking to it because I don't want to participate in bringing attention to it — you'll see why in just a minute] Thanks to this campaign they've come up with different, unusual flavors of potato chips such as Korean Barbeque or Smoked Gouda and Chives. Some manufacturers are looking to build brand excitement by “retiring” flavors or creating “limited editions” in an effort to create a scarcity effect.
By creating these campaigns the manufacturers are hoping to build further brand engagement. To hook you a little bit more closely to the brand. They don't need to guess at developing new products. Consumers tell them exactly what they want so the manufacturer can make it. It allows them to save money and tempt you to eat more snacks.
All of these flavors, however, don't add up to good nutrition. They simply add up to more chemicals and more calories.
If you're looking for a healthy snack check out this article on protein snacks to boost energy.
Want to know more about flavors and how they're used in food?
- are natural flavors really natural?
- taste versus flavor
- sour and tangy flavor trend
- some like it hot
When you're looking for a snack, remember, a snack is not a meal. Choose a little something with some protein in it and have just enough to get through your day to your next meal. You'll feel better and your metabolism will be more balanced because of it.