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We live in a SNACK nation---whether it's because noshers feel mini- meals, several times a day are more healthy, are too lazy/don't like to and/or are too busy to cook (like every other urban dweller we know), need help with the portion control...and maybe just prefer the convenience of grab and go world of life...

An editor showcase with several exhibitors showing off the latest in snacks...

SOME Highlights-Snack Trends:

NON-GMO - Gluten Free:

The number of snacks made from Non--GMO and/or gluten free ingredients is booming-and that's because consumers want it...and we've noticed-it's not just the moms now who pick up a package and scan the labels ...for what's inside.

Amidst the arguments in the USA over GMO labeling laws (like the one passed in Vermont)...imo-if a company makes a product with ingredients that are Non-GMO verified -but legally could be ...why wouldn't they put that on a product's label??? Duh.

Fruit Crisp Topping, cookies and cakes by AmongFriends---pictured Phil'emup™ chocolate Cranberry cookie mix $5.99

AMONGFRIENDS®---whole grain, gluten free, non-GMO, no gum, no fillers Hand Crafted baking mixes is a women owned business... Suzie Miller and Lizann Anderson (pictured) 
yup-very good---blend of chewy, not too sweet, dip in something beverage worthy-homeade quality. Darcy's Old-Fashion Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix pictured---fyi best selling mix is the Suzie Q's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

yes this is empty-certified Gluten-Free Crunchmaster SEA SALT Multi-Grain crackers are crispy, oven baked and waaay better than those better known brands that have gasp-trans fats. Lots of flavors-with brown rice flour and sesame seeds as key ingredients-all cholesterol free, low in sodium and saturated fats.

certified gluten free...Harvest Stone original and cracked pepper
new-the devour on the spot Harvest Stone Crispy Mix-crunchy potato chip substitutes for noshers-certified gluten free-in original, bold and cheddar flavors. We tried the original and def. worthy---makes one forget the kind made with a big name cereal

completely new to us-maybe we don't shop enough-MAYA KAIMAL is founded by the namesake-an award winning cookbook author and leading authority on Indian Cooking...and now lives upstate NY. Delish Chickpea Chips in 3 flavors including pictured Sweet Chili-inspired by the crispy South Indian snack murukku-a natural to pair with dips...and sauces made the company too. ALL gluten free, non-GMO, kosher, og trans fat, vegan

Exotic Flavors expand on the originals :

Another benefit of a multi-cultural society is the expansion of the typical American palate. Spices and staples from other countries have tasty impacts on brand extensions:

our mom-LOVED these...The Laughing Cow® flavors #ReinventSnacking join the Creamy Original Swiss Flavor---has a nice melt in the mouth texture...spreadable too-her preferred way was on Melba Toast rounds....pictured with  Creamy Swiss Garlic and Herb (purple), new Creamy Spicy Pepper Jack (brown),-with jalapeno peppers' kick,  and Creamy WHite Cheddar Flavor (lighter blue). Widely available

what would be chips without a sour cream based dip...Heluva Good® Dips are convenient, widely available...and come in many flavors that Americans crave...including the indulgent limited edition NEW-Beer Battered Onion Ring. The website smartly suggests beer types that match up with the different flavored dips---with aforementioned pairing up with a Pilsner, well. FUN.

Widely available-crunchy, buttery-and heart healthy -low in saturated fats and packed with nutrients+minerals - calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc--Mauna Loa's macadamias come in lotsa flavors-Honey Roasted and Maui Onion well as unsalted and dry roasted..and of course-chocolate covered. With a  cool history-born on a Hawaiian plantation of trees back in  1946 on the Big Island. Resealable (pictured in back)bags, air tight vacuum packed cans, gift sets, snack bags packaging options -btw you can visit the plantation too. ..just south of Hilo, Hawaii.

the team from Biena® Foods...

Biena Chickpeas...crunchy good-our sample did not last-with 5g of protein+6 g of fiber, 70-78% less fat than peanuts, naturally gluten free, nut free, and soy free, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, non-GMO verified and kosher too. In Habanero (med. spicy), Honey Roasted (real wildflower honey w/ sea salt), Cinnamon Crunch (sweetish-with maple syrup too), and not pictured Sea Salt and BBQ online $11.96/4 pack

It did not take long for HUMMUS to become a staple in American diets---from its Greek/MidEastern roots. Tangy and nutritious...SABRA® so smartly packages its hummus in single easy to carry single serve packaging now available in single serve (6-2oz packages), single serve with pretzels and NEW- with Tostitos chips ...VERY kid friendly too--including this Pizza Flavor.

new Sabra Hummus with Tostidos Chips-btw we asked-supposedly good outside the refrigerator for 8 hours!

BEEF JERKY EVOLVES aka Not your father's version of...

We wrote up the proliferation of MANLY SNACKS---awhiles back...but now Beef Jerky is pitched for all ---benefitting from its high protein, no carb snack-abilities' contents.

Beef Jerky is a misnomer in a way...from Jack Links meat snacks...all Turkey and new all Chicken version-made from white meat...low in calories per portion (80) and 11-13 grams of low fat protein. $6.99/per resealable bag

founder of Fusion Jerky-KaiYen Mai=smart lady-moist textures-brother approved too...f 8 flavors- beef, turkey, chicken, pork based
Fusion Jerky elevates this snack with artisan flavors...$6/99/3 oz bag....will be huge hit with outdoors crowd, imo