Types of snack foods

Types of snack foods

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Types of snack foods

Since the beginning of time, people have been eating small portions of food between meals. These may have been fruit, vegetables, or nuts. They help to satisfy hunger and recharge their energy. Thus far, the concept has significantly shifted. Nowadays, any type of ready to eat food is known as snack food. It often does not require time consuming preparation. So, most modern-day snacks are processed and packaged foods. Snacks have become substantial part of daily diet today. They come in many flavours, types and convenience.

This trend creates a little more than snack food. In this fast pace living lifestyle, people look for alternative meals to regular home cooked meals. Thus far, turning to snacks are socially acceptable and easily accessible. There are many options to replace a regular meal. So far, there are replacements for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Broad category

Snack food category is broad with many choices. People seem to divide snacks into various types. These divisions depend on many aspects. The main division is sweet or salty snacks. Thus far, it is evident, people categorise snack food as per the food processing methods. The first-generation snack foods consisted of peanuts, nuts and dried fruits. Today, the most common savoury snacks are corn or potato chips and puffed corn products. These are mostly extrusions like balls, and curls. So, these fall into second generation snack foods. In fact, second generation snacks are known to be high fibre, low calorie and high protein. Baked, fried and flavoured pellet extrusion is known as third generation snacks.

Salty snacks

More than half of the total sales of snacks are for salty snacks. So, it makes them a large proportion of the modern consumer’s diet plan. The flavour trend mostly drives the growth of salty snacks in the market. The other driver is the convenience factors. So, the full flavour and intense flavour snacks are a significant trend in the salty snack market. Convenience influences the shapes and packaging pf processed snacks. In fact, the salty processed snack market has further divisions.


Pretzels are knot-like shape twists that are baked snacks. The dough for pretzels consists of brown sugar, wheat flour, yeast and water. So, before baking pretzels, they are dipped into sodium bicarbonate solution and sprinkled with coarse salt. The baking process gives the pretzels its brown colour and distinctive flavour. Pretzels have been on the snack food market since the beginning of the 20th century. The automatization of the production process has given it the additional attention. For example Rold Gold was formed in 1917 as a family business. Soon its expansion throughout America exploded. Today they advertise as America’s No 1 Pretzel. It categorises as lactose-free and baked snacks.  

Salted peanuts

Salted peanuts are one of the original processed snack foods. Peanuts were sold as freshly roasted snacks at fairs, sporting events and by street vendors in the late 19th century. So far, the most popular peanuts are salted in the shell. Nowadays, peanut lovers enjoy them with new flavours. Thus far, a variety of flavoured peanut snacks are in the market. Perhaps the most nutritious salty snacks when eaten in moderation. 

Potato chips

Many surveys show potato chips are all time favourite snacks. More than 60 percent of the people eating them every day. Chips were first sold by street vendors storing them in barrels. However, it did not maintain freshness for long. So, the solution to this challenge was the revolutionary invention of vacuum sealing technology. Thus, it contributed to further evolution of the snack food market. The industry now sees apple chips, banana chips and chickpea chips. There is a window of opportunity in the healthy chip market. While consumers prefer salty chips, potato chips without salt is now available too.

Popcorn snacks

Popcorn is the short name for popping corn. Popping corn is a special type that explodes or pops when heated. Thus it puffs up into various shapes. It is a popular snack food. Popcorn is high fibre, low fat and low-calorie snack food. On its own, it is sugar-free and contains no sodium. It is natural whole grain and makes a perfect snack food. 

Trail mix

Trail mix is a mixture of different types of nuts and seeds. They are rich is healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The mixture may consist cashews, pecans, walnuts and almonds. It may include dried fruits too. Some trail mix may contain breakfast cereals, granola, chocolate chips, and pretzels. Others may have shredded coconut, carob chips, and seeds. Trail mix comes in variety of mixes. Thus far, people refer to it as healthy snacks or student food. They are normally known as brain food too. It is because of the combination of healthy fats, plant-based protein and fibre. Thus, it provide a sustainable energy boost. Trail mix is easy to store and affordable too.

Indian Namkeen

Indian namkeen mix is enjoying major moments in the western world. They are mostly made from whole grains and protein rich flours like chickpea flour, rice flour and legume flours. They are typically made salty. Namkeens contain spices, chilli powder, peppers and herbs. Some versions may include sesame seeds, dried fruits particularly juicy sultanas. They are so popular for the spicy taste and wholefoods. There is a huge demand for Indian namkeens. The market is growing at the rate of 20 percent per annum. 

Sweet Snacks

Sweet snacks consist of chocolates, hard candy, baked snacks and frozen sweets categories. Apparently, the first successful sweet snack in the American market was ‘Cracker Jack’. It was sweet treat made with popcorn, peanuts and molasses. However it did not fall into any of the categories.

Candy refers to sugar confection. They are made using sugar concentrate in water or milk. It forms a syrup. Hence, various flavours may be added. Hard candy comes in numerous varieties and textures. They may be hard and brittle or soft and chewy. There are many different hard candies on the market. ‘Life Savers’ and ‘Saltwater Taffy’ were the among the early brands in the USA.


Chocolate snacks include a variety of processed production. They are processed seeds or cocoa beans of cacao plants. The beans need to go through a fermentation process due to its intense bitter taste. So, after fermentation, cacao beans are dried, cleaned and roasted. It forms into chocolate liquor after grinding and making into liquid. Hence, the chocolate liquor is processed into cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Pure chocolate mostly contains cocoa butter. The cocoa solids may be in varying proportions. Thus far, most of the chocolate snacks today is pure chocolate and sugar.

Baked sweets

Baked sweets normally consist of pastry. Typically baked sweet snacks are made using flour, butter, eggs, baking powder and shortening. The dough is normally butter rich. It disperses through before the baking process. So, it results in a flaky and light texture. Some of the popular range are sweet crust, flaky pastry, phyllo and shortcrust. Thus far, there is a long history of pastry consumption tradition. There is a high innovation rate too. 

Baked snacks include biscuits and crackers too. Nowadays, they are all time favourites. So, the first commercial biscuits or cookie brands were ‘Animal Crackers’ and ‘Fig Newtons’ in America. These appeared at the end of the 19th century. Thus far, the most famous sandwich biscuit is the ‘Oreo’. More than 40 billion units are produced annually throughout the world.