Puffed cakes and popped chips are originally from Asia. Arriving on Europe's health food shelves in the form of rice cakes, equipment suppliers and manufacturers have introduced major innovations in shapes (round, triangular), recipes and concepts over the last decade. Today, the popped chips segment is one of the most dynamic on the snack market.
The market is broken down into three main families:
- Puffed cakes are a fairly thick snack food that mostly have a "health food" positioning: gluten-free, organic, low in fat, often rice-based (crushed grains) or corn-based (flaking grits). This is currently the largest market by volume.
- Popped chips are very thin, smaller snacks that are crispier and lighter than puffed cakes. Popped chips are often potato-based (main ingredient), but may also contain wheat, tapioca, etc. and use pellets as raw materials. This is the most dynamic market.
- The larger snacks made in Israel and Asia, often rice- or multi-cereal-based, are used more as a bread substitute (such as flatbread or crackerbread).
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