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Hero Ingredients with Flair

September 2021 | Marketing & Insights

Many consumers find themselves overwhelmed by the options on the supermarket shelves -- or even just the ingredients list on every package. Especially as consumers become more health-conscious, they want to know everything that goes into their food. Simple snacks made with a few recognizable ingredients offer a sense of comfort, helping consumers better understand what it is they’re consuming. Healthy ingredients such as avocado oil, eggs, and nuts are particularly sought-after.

Consumers want two things: Keep it simple and keep it flavorful.

Why This Trend Will Stick


One of the top health concerns in the U.S. is cardiovascular health and as result, consumers are seeking food alternatives that can promote lower blood pressure and less cholesterol, a motivational factor behind uptick in avocado oil.

– Healthline


According to the American Egg Board “Egg bites were quickly embraced by consumers because not only did they taste great, but they fit into many of the dietary eating patterns people were following, from keto to paleo to gluten-free to Mediterranean.”

– Nate Hedtke, Vice President of Market Development, American Egg Board

Healthy Oils

Many consumers are coming to appreciate the health benefits of oils such as avocado and coconut. Avocado oil is full of oleic fat, a healthy fat, and lutein, an antioxidant that’s especially good for the eyes. Coconut oil is also packed full of healthy fats and may even benefit the skin and hair when applied topically.

One way chip brands are giving themselves a healthy edge is by highlighting their cooking process -- specifically, which oils they use. Thrive Market offers two varieties of chips, cooked in either avocado or coconut oils. Both varieties come in classic chip flavors, such as smoky BBQ, salt & vinegar, Himalayan salt, and sea salt. The brand boasts that their chips are all non-GMO and made from just a few simple ingredients.

Meanwhile, Kettle has created their own avocado oil potato chip, which comes in Himalayan salt and chili lime flavors. As with Thrive Market, Kettle places a heavy emphasis on the cooking method. The bag design features a large drawing of an avocado with the words, “Cooked in 100% avocado oil” written prominently in the center.

Eggy Quick-Bites

Eggs may not be the first snack food most think of, but this simple staple food is a perfect addition to the snack aisle. These bite-sized egg dishes can be baked or poached, then combined with other classic breakfast ingredients such as potatoes, meats, cheese, and vegetables and herbs for extra flavor.

Vital Farms’ Egg Bites boast the company’s pasture-raised eggs mixed with delectable, natural ingredients. Currently, they offer four varieties: uncured bacon & cheddar cheese; roasted red pepper & mozzarella cheese; uncured ham, bell peppers, onions & cheddar cheese; and sun-dried tomato, basil & mozzarella cheese. The single-serve bites are ready to eat with just 45 seconds in the microwave, making them a simple, healthy serving of protein for on-the-go consumers.

Perfect Bite Co has taken egg bites to the next level with their elevated flavor options, including ham & white cheddar with bell peppers; egg white florentine with fontina; bacon & veggies with gouda; ham & spinach with gruyere; and soyrizo (soy-based chorizo) & potatoes with cheddar. The company highlights the real ingredients their egg bites are made from, providing all the health of a home-cooked breakfast but in a fraction of the time.

Keto-Friendly Pili Nuts

Southeast Asia’s pili nuts are a rich, buttery snack with high amounts of calcium, phosphorus, fats, protein, and vitamin B. These tiny treats can mix with a diverse range of flavors, from sweet cacao to savory garlic.

Laird Superfood rolls the nuts in three different flavors: matcha, cacao and Himalayan salt. The cacao variety is also rolled in a bit of coconut sugar, bringing a touch more sweetness to the natural creaminess of the nuts. The company’s products are all noted as organic and contain only the nuts plus the simple flavorings they’re coated in.

While Laird Superfood plays it safe with flavor, Pure Tradition throws the rulebook out the window, combining pili nuts with a wide variety of tastes. Their pili nuts currently come in seven varieties: plain, apple spice, Himalayan salt, turmeric, ranch, chili garlic, and dairy-free pizza. Even complex flavors such as pizza are made with just a few simple ingredients, leaning heavily on spices and seasonings to achieve these delectable offerings.


  • Healthy oils are more popular than ever. Finding ways to reinvent old dishes with new cooking methods, such as healthier oils, is a great way to offer snack foods with a health-forward focus.
  • Busy consumers want healthy, whole foods that don’t require a long cook time. Breakfast foods provide plenty of space for experimentation.
  • Pili nuts are a plain base for many flavor profiles. They’re entering the market as a snack food, but could easily expand to other uses. 

To deliver the power of umami to your next innovation, contact your McCormick Account Manager or contact us here today.