“Bites are not especially new as a format for sweet or savory snacks; cereal bar bites, for example, have been seen in various markets for more than five years,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight for Mintel Food and Drink. “The concept behind bites is to offer a small, measured portion of a popular snack — in a way, following the ‘100 calorie pack’ trend of some 10 years ago.”
Propelling the popularity of these smaller snacks in recent months is increased consumer interest in health and wellness, Ms. Mogelonsky said.
“One factor driving the current bites trend, which has expanded to include a range of snacks from cheese to granola and meat snacks, is the push to better holistic health,” she said. “This includes taking care of one's physical health (through personalized wellness needs such as weight management, sugar reduction and other attributes). But it also includes monitoring and supporting mental/emotional well-being through treating and rewarding one's self. The wide range of bites fits the model for holistic health, as they provide a mental/emotional boost while at the same time fitting in with physical health needs.”
The challenges of 2020 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic also have played a role in the resurgence of bites.
“Bites also fit our need for something new, exciting and different, especially in 2020, a year of sameness with isolation and restriction replacing experiences and exposure to new flavors and textures in new retail or foodservice offerings,” Ms. Mogelonsky said. “Bites are relatively low-risk – the commitment is just one bite, not a whole bar or bag, and they fill the need for a quick pick-me-up in a long day.”