Snacking In Ireland in Covid Times and Plant Based Proteins


In Ireland, the latest data shows 85% of people are now snacking at least twice per day, with a variation of younger people indulging more frequently in daily snacks as compered to an older demographic (Mintel, 2020). Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic snacking habits are changing, this has also highlighted how Irish consumers are seeking more snacks due to primarily spending more time at home or working from home. When the  easing of lockdowns starts, it is expected that consumer demand for healthier or energy snacks will lead to a boost for brands embracing these types of snacks (Mintel, 2020).

What are Plant-based Proteins?

Plant based proteins are derived from seeds of cereals and legumes (Atkins, 2018). Soya, tofu nuts, pulses such as chickpeas, lentils, grains such as rice are common examples of those protein sources. Currently research is being carried out on rice protein, particularly on young rice protein as it is more digestible than mature rice and has the potential to be less allergenic  (Pantoa, et al., 2020).

Plant Based Proteins

Available data on plant-based proteins shows reveals that the UN expects plant- based food to worth up to $85 billon by the end of this decade (Whelan, 2019). In a recent interview Juan Aguiriano group head of sustainability and technology ventures at Kerry Group explained that industry can no longer rely on meat and dairy to meet our nutritional requirements and that plant protein must play a role as a sustainable source of nutrition for all the planet. And conversely COVID-19 will see an increase in demand for plant-based food products as consumers will now start considering the benefits of this diet and moving away from the traditional meat and dairy based protein foods (Durrell, 2020).

The Rise of Vegan Snacks

According to a dietary lifestyle report (Bord Bia, 2018) snacking products now account for 19% when it comes to food businesses entering NPD for the vegan market.  Whilst there are no exact numbers in Ireland for those that follow a vegan diet in the UK over 540,000 people classified themselves as vegans and interestingly in the US 25% of millennials now class themselves as vegetarian’s or vegans (Whelan, 2019).


Atkins, A. C., 2018. [Online]
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Bord Bia, 2018. Dietary LifestylesReport. [Online]
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Bord Bia, 2018. [Online]
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Durrell, K., 2020. [Online]
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Mintel, 2020. Consumer Snacking Habits - Ireland, London: Mintel.
Pantoa, T. et al., 2020. Young rice protein as a new source of low allergenic plant-base protein. Journal of Cereal Science, Volume 93, pp. 1-10.

Whelan, J., 2019. [Online]
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