Must-have snacks that define the Spring season

According to Nielsen, Americans spend about $374 billion annually on snack foods. For many of those snack lovers, items that are only available for a limited time are one of the major highlights of seasonal occasions and holidays, especially this time of year when, according to a recent Cheetos brand survey, 65 percent of Americans profess their love of seasonal Easter treats.

Here’s your guide to the top treats to watch for this spring, and throughout the year.

It might still be too chilly to feel like spring in some areas of the country, but St. Patrick’s Day undoubtedly marks the start of the springtime snacking season. Milkshake lovers kicked things off with mint-green milkshakes, and quickly turn their attention to Easter candies and snacks.

Chocolate and marshmallow sweets are the traditional stars of Easter baskets across the country – for both the young, and the young at heart. It is no surprise that 71 percent of parents who celebrate Easter admit to sneaking snacks from their kids’ baskets, according to the Cheetos survey.

Of course, everyone is familiar with jelly beans, peanut butter eggs, chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks, but the majority of consumers say they desire more variety beyond just candy. This year, there’s a new must-try alternative to satisfy the search for something beyond the candy animal monotony. Cheetos Sweetos, the cinnamon-sugar version of everyone’s favorite cheddar cheese snacks is reappearing in stores — and Easter baskets — this spring, but only for a limited time. Launched in 2015, Sweetos snacks are the perfect, and delicious, twist on Easter snacking.

 

However, autumn also heralds state fair season across the country — and the arrival of a variety of innovative sweet treats that can only be enjoyed among the unique surroundings of fair rides, tickets and games. Funnel cakes are a state fair staple, and what could be better when the weather gets nippy than enjoying lightly sweetened, deep-fried dough dusted heavily with confectioner’s sugar? Depending on where you live in the country and which fair you attend, you can find over-the-top sweets and snacks such as deep-fried ice cream, fried candy bars and even pretzel-encrusted brownies deep-fried on a stick.

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