Extruded Snack : The Invention and Evolution


What is Extruded Snacks?

Extruded snacks as the name suggests is food processed via Extrusion cooking, which is a widely used method for making snacks. Extrusion foods are often made from cereal flour or starches. Owing to their composition, it is noted that extruded snacks are frequently rich in calories and fat, and poor in protein and fiber. In terms of overall nutritional value, consumers believe that these foods don’t add much to a person’s diet.

As per market analysis, several attempts have been made by researchers and nutritionists to increase the nutritional value of extruded snacks by using products from the food processing sector. The by-products are noted to have a relatively high nutritional value, thus the use of the same would increase the dietary advantages for the consumption of extruded snacks and possibly increase its consumer base. Presently, a majority share of the population is known to be aware of the health benefits associated with proper food consumption, therefore, a rise in the number of nutrients within extruded foods could potentially drive the growth associated with this market.

Market Database suggests that food disposal, as well as wastage, is a major problem within the food processing sector.  The same issue is presently being faced by Thailand which is known to be the largest exporter of foods. The country has a large number of food processing plants and the safe disposal of by-products generated from these sources is known to be a key problem for the industry.  The market database suggests that the re-utilization of these by-products would further optimize the value chain since they can offer increased potential for food supplementation, in addition to offering a sustainable solution to the generation of industrial waste and reduction of food wastage.

Market Dynamics for the extruded foods market

According to business intelligence tools, it is noted that puffed and extruded snacks are a staple in American households owing to the flavor and texture elements associated with the same. To meet the demands of the expanding market for “mindful snacking,” businesses are still investigating novel and healthier ingredients, which is undoubtedly advantageous for product manufacturers. Additionally, the development and sales of these snacks are noted to be directly reliant on the consumption patterns of the population, i.e. several consumers consider sunflower oil as a healthy alternative thus the adoption of the same in the extruded snacks segment is presently being delved into.

Market Database states that protein is still gaining ground in the extruded food market, with pea protein garnering the most attention. As marketers try to eliminate allergens (in the case of wheat) and embrace solutions with a non-GMO halo,  the product segment is noted to see more creativity in using peas and other protein sources as the snack base. Corn and wheat flour, which have long been the foundation for many extruded products, remain popular choices.

As per market analysis, certain companies have also been exploring starch-based extruded foods like Cargill’s SimPure line of functional, label-friendly starches. As manufacturers re-evaluate the starches they use, some are coming up with alternatives that not only fulfill consumer expectations but also serve cost-effective production-based solutions. As companies gradually switch their products to formulations that are more label-friendly, producers are prepared to look at possibilities that offer supplementary advantages.

According to industry experts, food ingredients like vegetables, pulses, and legumes which were essentially found in the food served on a day-to-day basis, are to be found in the ground/ infused forms within the extruded foods domain. Products that offer added nutritional value like fruits, vegetables, as well as root vegetables are noted to be blended in multiple ways to produce differentiated products which offer both health as well as wellness benefits. Additionally, Business Intelligence tools state that cheeses are now used in more than simply soups, sandwiches, and baked goods since they contain milk proteins. Now, the milk protein isolates can be used as a base for extruded snack goods or as an ingredient in products for a breakfast cereal as well.

Market Analysis and Trends

Business Intelligence tools state that the increased implementation of new consumption patterns of added nutrients within foods is noted to be one of the key factors that are poised to drive the growth associated with the extruded foods domain. The taste value in addition to the coming nutritional benefits offered by this market is poised to position this product at an advantage as compared to other consumables.  Their existing market presence as well as the loyal customer base of certain brands are also expected to drive the purchase of these products from a B2C perspective.