The future of snack foods, from less sodium to exotic flavors to smaller bags, is on display in Fort Worth.
More than 2,000 snack food professionals from around the world met at the annual Snack Food Association Expo on Thursday.
Packagers said Americans want new and more intense flavors in their snack foods, the hotter or the more exotic, the better.
"You'll see things like hotter spices, different flavors like onions,” said Mark Lozano, of TNA North America. “We’re actually doing very different things as an industry to bring flavor profiles to our customers because that's what they want.”
People want still want their snacks to taste good, despite the pressure on snack food companies to make their products healthier and sell them in smaller portions.
Jim Speake, of the Evans Food Group, said customers want a variety of flavors and different sizes of bags.
Snack food leaders say their industry is unfairly blamed for causing or contributing to health concerns, like childhood obesity. Lozano said parents should step forward and make responsible choices for their children's diets.
But the industry also says it’s working to be part of the solution.
"We're addressing it," Lozano said. "We're coming out with baked snacks. We're coming out with low-sodium products. We are actually trying to meet the trends and supply what the consumers looking for."