Snack Attack for Food Service post Freshers’ Week






Something Savoury, something sweet? What do Freshers like best to eat? 

A round-up of the snacks contract caterers will want on the shelves of their college and university clients’ outlets, shops and bars come Fresher’s Week.









New Start for a New Generation!


For every student, there are three defining moments that take up permanent residence in the memory: the moment of acceptance, the moment of entry, and the moment of graduation. Perhaps the one that fills each student with an equal measure of excitement, anticipation and trepidation is the so-called Fresher’s Week, seven or so days of wild abandon where all things are possible and the workload is as light as an Eat Real Mango and Mint Lentil Chip. 


During their time at college or university, many students begin to redefine themselves through dietary choices. This creation of a food-related identity is one of the big drivers behind the explosion in veganism and free-from snacking products. 


Beyond snacking


And there are other considerations that influence student buying decisions, too. For instance, they are more inclined to look behind the label, concerning themselves with supply chain issues and choosing snack products they consider to be ethically sourced and produced. Increasingly, as plastic pollution issues rise to the forefront of current thinking, students are even making their purchasing decisions according to whether snacks come in biodegradable packaging.


Where once a snack was a quick filler between mealtimes, and considerations beyond texture and flavour were scant, today snack choices are far more likely to be driven just as much by environmental, social, ethical, and nutritional considerations.


Millennials and Gen Z : Stats point to snack trend changes


And while it would be extreme to over-generalise the UK student population and assume that all are vegan, equally it would be foolish to ignore the fact that, in line with a YouGov poll, approximately 50 per cent of all UK students either become vegan or try veganism for a period of their time at college or university, hinting at a future typified by a growth in plant-based diets.


According to research from Mintel, the vegan sector is forecast to grow 327% in 2020. Combined with the fact that millennials are seriously snack happy (many will snack at least four times a day) and that the Gen Z cohort, aged between 18-24, will, according to another recent survey from Packaged Facts, snack even more than their generational predecessors (74% versus 66%), it’s evident, regardless of the reasons, the way people choose to eat is radically changing.


These are the sort of drivers that have snack producers striving to meet the nuanced buying decisions of future generations of workers. The big trend shift toward ‘free-froms’ (such as gluten-free), vegan, low calorie, high protein snacks has led to a surge in the number of disruptive snack brands (many of which are mentioned below) entering this competitive market. The winners tend to be those that, beyond a focus on flavour, reflect within their products ongoing shifts in student tastes.


So much to choose from – take your pick!


So…vegetarian, flexitarian or meat? This small gathering of brands that work particularly well with contract caterers selling into colleges and universities reflect the varied tastes of a transient population dedicated to up to seven years of study. By the time some of these people graduate and move into the world of work, a time when Freshers’ week for them at least will be but a distant memory, who knows what snack innovations will be around then.



So…discover a range of vegan, gluten-free, and artisanal snacks that will meet the

tastes and preferences of just about every student…



1. Indie Bay Snacks


Indie Bay Snacks are making you think differently about what a pretzel should look and taste like, and how it should benefit your health. The London-based snack disruptors have reinvented the classic pretzel, bringing round bites with a healthy spelt flour base, in three delicious flavours to the market.


What do students love about Indie Bay Snacks (apart from their being round)? 


Great post-workout (or even pre), lovely with an ice-cold beer, perfect with a glass of wine or as a prelude to a vegan meal (yes, they’re totally vegan), Indie Bay Spelt Pretzel Bites are ideal for those looking for something light, healthy, super-tasty, and thoroughly satiating.






Rock Salt, Easy Cheesy, or BBQ. The one thing they have in common (apart from being delightfully spherical) is they’re all made of Spelt—a great alternative to wheat flour that’s lighter in gluten, higher in fibre and protein, has fewer calories and is generally healthier.





2. Healthy Ideas, Delicious Ideas, and Snack Ideas




Changing tastes


Since we, at DIFG, started both creating and distributing snacks, tastes have increasingly gravitated toward high protein, low saturated fat, sugar and salt free-froms…


What we’ve discovered from sales during that time is that students love to reach for a great value hanging bag. Which one (or two) will often depend on mood, mental and physical needs, and, of course, the time of day…


The right bag for big brains


Burning the midnight oil while writing of an epic dissertation, or conducting in-depth research requires sustained levels of energy.


With natural fats, and high protein and vitamin levels, snacks such as Healthy Ideas Luxury Fruit and Nut Mix, or Let’s Go Nuts come packed with things like apricots, golden raisins, cashews, macadamias, pecan halves, and hazelnuts—among other exotic esculents—ensuring the mind stays sharp and focused.


Early start requiring a boost of energy before an important lecture? Delicious Ideas slightly more indulgent Yoghurt Raisins, or Milk Chocolate Raisins promise to provide the necessary springboard for a productive few hours.


Post gym or swim? It’s all about protein with a little natural sugar; something like Honey Chilli Peanuts, in the Snack Ideas range, promises to do the job, with that lovely kick of Chilli perfect for upending any slump.


Trail-blazing snack for prospective geniuses


For all-round brilliance, there’s also the Take the Trail Mix, a mix of crunchy cashews, walnuts and peanuts, with juicy golden raisins and sunflowers seeds.


What do students love about these products?


They’re great value and deliver on flavour, sustenance and nutrition. In addition, all of the Healthy Ideas hanging bag products are vegan, and most in the Snack Ideas range are vegan, too.




Plenty. A surfeit! Too many to count. But you can check them all out in our catalogue – just flick to page 16.



3. Gluten-free flapjacks




Why students love em…


  • High protein
  • Wheat-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Reduced sugar


Carefully selected ingredients and mouthwatering flavours comprise each and every bar, making Brynmor’s succulent flapjacks the perfect addition to the student’s snacking repertoire.


Part of the bars’ unique flavours and textures come from being handmade in the Welsh countryside. In addition to being wheat and gluten-free, Brynmor’s flapjacks are high in fibre.


Packing a 10g protein punch in every bar, they’re also perfect for keeping energy levels up between meals, on long hikes, or for a much-needed power boost after the gym.




4. Wholesums


What’s in it for students?


Up from the ground and plucked from the vine, these naturally-flavoured carrot, pea, and potato snacks are baked and gently popped to ensure a light texture and minimum fat. At just 6% per packet, these are among the lowest fat popped crisps on the market.


They’re also totally vegan and totally right on!



Wholesums also helps reduce the gigantic food waste mountain that builds up in the UK each year by using the entire veg, including the nutrition-rich skins and stalks.


And these fantastic snacks are also CQUIN and schools compliant so they meet accepted standards of sugar, sodium, fat and calorie content.




5. Bepps


Why do students reach for Bepps?


Low calorie, organic, gluten-free, vegan, GMO and MSG-free, Bepps snacks are good in every way, not to mention marvellously moreish. Flavours to choose from?


Try Sweet Chilli, Sea Salt and Black Pepper, or Cheese flavour.



In addition, the company does a lot of great work for charity. Currently, 10 percent of all its profits go directly to Great Ormond Street Hospital.


Plus they’ve given away a whopping ten-thousand packs to homeless people through 260 partnering organisations.


In short here’s a brand that gives students little incentive NOT to buy.




6. Tribe


Made with natural wholefood ingredients including fruits nuts and seeds – nature’s powerhouses, Tribe are are a gathering of bars on a mission.



What makes TRIBE a prime pick for students?


All TRIBE bars are vegan and gluten-free with a focus on performance and endurance.


With no additives, fillers, or extra sugars—the snacks are simply made up of superfoods and natural ingredients—TRIBE bars promise to be an ongoing hit with students focused on healthy snacking that ticks every box (bar none!).


In addition, TRIBE is committed to having all ranges of its bars in home compostable packaging, not plastic.


Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, the company founders regularly embark on hair-raising missions to raise awareness of and help combat human trafficking.




7. Retrocorn


And on the subject of classic sweets, Retrocorn recently threw are a sweetly tantalising curveball into the otherwise saturated popcorn market. By taking naturally cooked popcorn and dusting it with crushed retro sweets Retrocorn has literally transformed this humble snack into something tastier and more tempting.


Why students are primed to pop…


The only thing you won’t find in this ‘retro snack’ is retro additives. All of the e-numbers of a bygone era have been eradicated, and every pack of Retrocorn is made of entirely natural ingredients. So no chemicals, additives or preservatives in sight.


Oh, and they’re also vegan and gluten-free with less than a hundred calories in every pack. What’s not to like?


Strawberries and Cream, Cherry Pips, Cola Cubes, Rhubarb and Custard—these are just some of the memorable delights now created for the first time as popcorn flavours.




8. The Curators


Lest we forget, although statistics indicate that around 50 percent of UK students will at some point in their educational tenure become partially or entirely vegan, there are many who eschew an entirely plant-based diet and who will more readily reach for a pack of tasty jerky or Biltong.


For those meat eaters, they’re in luck. The Curators have brought both jerky into the present with great packaging, and high-grade British beef full of the sort of foodie flavours consumers and chefs love.’



Why students go mad for The Curators…


Lovingly marinated, high-quality British steak in a bag, they’re also gluten-free and have very few carbs. Yet they’re satiating because of the high protein content.


The Curators’ Pork Puffs (not pictured here) are also low in fat and high in protein.‘There’s about 70% less fat in these Pork Puffs than in your average pork scratching.


And…with zero carbs and 17g of protein—ridiculously high for such a light bite—Pork Puffs make a fantastic alternative to traditional crisps.






This portion-controlled, on-the-go range of snacks provides a quick energy boost with its healthy and free-from ingredients.



Why #SNACKBOOST is a hit with students…


For starters their nutritious, practical and plenty of fun. Oh, and there’s loads to choose from. Here’s the full range…


  • Crazy Cranberries (don’t get nuts, get fruity)
  • When Yoghurt Met Raisins (a romance tale)
  • Spicy Protein Crunch (flex!)
  • Cashews, and Peanuts (simply nutritious)
  • Nature’s Nibbles (totally nibblin’)
  • Sensational Cream and Onion Hit (POW!)
  • Sugar-Free Fruit Gums (terrifically tasty and won’t rot your teeth)
  • Sugar-Free Gummy Bears (kids just love ’em)


See what we mean about fun!


Of the #SNACKBOOST range, launched in 2017, most are vegetarian and half are vegan. For more info or to order your boxes today visit #SNACKBOOST range




10. Sweet Ideas Classics




And there’s always time to squeeze in a series of proven best sellers which comes from none other than DIFG’s own staple – the Sweet Ideas Classic Range.


Among university and college students, amid all of that super healthy snacking, there’s also time for a sweet treat, and for many years the Sweet Ideas Classic Range has proved a sure-fire hit with young people looking for something to satisfy them.


In particular, our ALL NEW totally vegan fizzies are proving a particular success, no doubt by virtue of being VEGAN. Packed with fruit flavour and leaving a wonderful tingling sensation on the tongue, it’s no wonder contract caterers have them on automated reorder!


Still there are dozens of other options on offer in the Classic Range. Why not tak a look at the the full list of everything in the Sweet Ideas Classic Range here?





Are you an independent food brand, with exciting new snack products, looking for successful routes to market? Or a contract caterer or retailer keen to stock expertly selected snack brands that sell? Then get in touch with Delicious Ideas Food Group today.

To find out more, or place your order call 01733 239 003 or email now.

And if you’d love to see the team at work, have a two-minute fly-through of the premises and see what makes DIFG the first snack distribution and private label packaging option, as well as retailers and contract caterers’ first brand of choice, check out our super-slick two-minute video on the homepage.

To read more great stories from DIFG, or see the latest news and announcements,visit our LinkedIn Company Page.

Oh…and please follow us. Just one click and you’re done. We can’t tell you how much we love followers!

Finally, for press and media contacts, or for quotes from industry insiders at DIFG, contact writer and head of content and communications, Matthew Pigott:


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