By 2050, it is forecast that 66% of people globally will live in cities, compared with 54% now. This is likely to mean more people will be leading busy lives with less time for sit-down meals – creating increased demand for convenient and satisfying solutions that can be eaten on the go.
Reflecting this trend, convenience stores worldwide have generated revenues of US$543 billion so far this year, and are set to record a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% between now and 2020. Sales are being driven by rocketing demand for ‘grab-and-go’ products that are quick and easy to purchase and consume while on the move. In the past few years, convenience has been communicated on-pack more frequently than any other benefit - in 2015, 82% of newly launched food and beverage products have featured a convenience-related claim.
However, the most widespread convenient food and beverages are not necessarily the healthiest options. It is estimated that snacks currently provide nearly a quarter of our daily energy intake, and 42% of our daily sugar intake – but a low percentage of the key nutrients we need. Unhealthy snacks can contribute to excess energy intake, leading to obesity and diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Yet consumers are more aware than ever on the impact of what they eat have on their health. They are beginning to understand that healthy, nutrient-dense snacks are a better choice than sugary, fatty products that offer little more than empty calories. It is no surprise that after convenience, health is today the second-most frequently communicated benefit on-pack, featuring on 64% of all new food and beverage products launched globally in 2015.
Arla Foods Ingredients’ Health to-Go concept addresses the unstoppable trend of healthy and convenient foods and beverages with a combination of Nutrilac® PB-8420 proteins and Capolac® calcium from milk. Snacks high in whey protein deliver excellent satiety and can have a favourable effect on blood glucose levels, weight and body composition. Meanwhile, in addition to supporting bone health, calcium has been shown to positively influence fat loss by reducing the absorption of dietary fat during a meal.
Arla Foods Ingredients has created Protein & Calcium Bites to illustrate how it can be used in a healthy snack applications. Set to be introduced at Food Ingredients Europe 2015 (Stand 6F9), the Bites are tastier than standard protein bars and offer longer-lasting softness. They are rich in dairy proteins that have excellent amino acid and DIAAS profiles.
 World Urbanization Prospects, United Nations (2014)
 Revenues for Conveniences Stores and Forecourt Retailers Globally, Euromonitor International
USDA Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Comitee (p 47-51)