With consumers saying they want snacks that are convenient, healthful and indulgent, confectioners are repackaging their treats for bite-sized enjoyment. "Sales of our hand-to-mouth offerings have been very strong and key drivers of growth for Hershey for the past two-and-a-half years," said Jeff Beckman, spokesman for Hershey, which now offers bite-sized versions of its most popular brands in resealable pouches.
Kansas-based home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss knew the Babycakes appliance would be a hit with home chefs. The gadget produces bite-sized cupcakes in 5-8 minutes and can be purchased with additional griddles that prepare doughnuts, waffles and other baked treats.
Bite-sized sweets and snacks are gaining popularity because they are seen as guilt-free treats that can be enjoyed without compromising taste or quality. "The stakes are low," said Melissa Abbott, director of culinary insights at The Hartman Group. "We're committing to just a few bites at a lower price point."
When Ferran Adrià visited New York recently, the father of molecular gastronomy enjoyed a 10-course feast with culinary stars including Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud and Wylie Dufresne. Dishes included bite-size crackers made of reconfigured beef tenderloin and cod tripe, as well as ricotta treated with liquid nitrogen and decorated with candied capers and frozen honey.
The availability of quickservice options and a decline in orderly eating habits contribute to obesity. A study found that people who consume food at a fast rate until they are full are three times more likely to be overweight.