Summer is here and that means road trips! Along with your suitcases, you will want to pack some snacks! Whether it is for your hunger or the unexpected road delay like excess traffic or road delays, packing your snacks helps you be prepared.
Healthy, convenient, easy, variety, and portability – these are the snack food qualities that consumers most want, according to an industry report (1). Health-conscious consumers want snacks that are low salt/sodium, low sugar/sugar free, low calories, small portion sizes, high in fiber, whole grain and high in protein (2). As consumers age, they tend to seek healthier snacks, and snack more on fruits and cheese (2). Have you ever thought about what you want from your snack?
Despite these preferences, sales data (1) shows that the top 5 snacking categories in Canada in 2014 were:
The top 5 categories showing the most sales growth were (1):
How does this data fit with your snacking preferences? Do you prefer sweet? Salty? Savoury? Creamy? I favour a salty-snack, followed closely by a sweet preference. With this information in mind, here are some food ideas of what to pack for your next road trip.
Using the top 5 snacking categories from 2014 (1) as an organizing framework, here are some snack ideas for your next road trip:
Salty and/or crunchy snacks:
Who doesn’t occasionally enjoy potato chips and corn snacks? If you want something salty or crunchy, but want alternatives to potato chips and corn snacks, here are some ideas:
Cheese is a creamy and flavourful snack to pack along in your cooler. You can find individual cheese slices at most delis or cheese sticks in the dairy case. Of course, you can also slice up your own portions of your favourite cheeses.
Take a trip to the cheese bar at your grocery store and create your own mini cheese platter with an assortment of your favourite cheese…brie, manchego, smoked Applewood cheddar…that sounds gouda to me!
Love chocolate? Me too! Pack along some dark chocolate squares in your cooler. Their flavour can be intense, allowing you to enjoy chocolate and feel satisfied with less. Experiment with different dark chocolate flavours and brands…flavours include added sea salt (the salt intensifies the sweetness), chocolate orange, cayenne (sweet with heat) and more! Choose a bar and share with your travel companions.
If you are looking for something sweet, but not chocolate, here are a few more snack ideas:
Pack along individual pots of yogurt. Some of my favourites are the Oikos Greek Yogurt Creations. These individual pots of yogurt boast flavours like orange chocolate, chocolate raspberry, lemon meringue, passionate fruit and more! And, with ~ 100 calories/serving, these flavourful little snacks feel like a creamy indulgence. This is my opinion and is #notsponsored.
Other ways to enjoy yogurt include tzatziki with bell peppers or pita.
Of course, who doesn’t enjoy baking on a road trip? Here are a few personal favourites for baking snacks.
If you aren’t packing your own snack, the nutrition food facts label can help guide your choices.Of course, remember to eat safely. If you are the one driving, pull over and enjoy at your next rest stop!
With snacks, remember that they are snacks – not main meals…or are they? Four out of 10 Canadians use snacks to replace meals (1, 2). This is an interesting consumer trend, and one to reflect on for your eating habits and preferences, both in terms of what kinds of snacks you choose, how much you eat, and how this fits in with your wellness goals.
Keep your portion size in mind as it relates to your hunger and fullness.
Want a list of DIY 100 calorie snack packs? Contact me and I will share with you!
Road trips can get boring! While many of us like to snack to relieve our boredom, if you are on a long trip, that can be a lot of snacking!
Here are some additional ideas on relieving boredom on a road trip, beyond just eating:
I’d love to hear your ideas for passing the boredom of driving.
1) Nielsen Market Track, National All Channels + Convenience and Gas (C&G) – 52 Week period ending September 2014.
2) Fernando J. Competitiveness and Market Analysis Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Snacking and mini-meal trends in Canada: How to take a bite out of Canada’s snack food market. Consumer Corner. February 2016, Issue 35.