I guess it is a grey area. But generally if you are looking to lose weight without the exercise then it’s a no. Because you get enough of it from food. They are usually pricey and some of them don’t offer much in terms of nutrients and protein.
According to the Guardian, people obsess about these protein snacks. Last year they were a huge thing. That year protein ice cream was introduced in the market and people wanted it. When there were free tubs at Fitness first people took them and the fridge was always perpetually empty.
We tried many protein based snacks and loved the ice cream and the yoghurt. But some of them are sugar laden as well. These protein based ice creams don’t have a lot of sugar according to Cassetty (2018, nbc.com). The John west one was priced at $4 but it didn’t have much to give. I can buy that same thing as a meal for just $3.50 and they offer better value. Quest’s protein chips are just chips that are priced at $5.50. I wasn’t full afterwards. Protein is supposed to make us feel fuller afterwards.
A treat is certainly fine.
But if you want real protein its best to get it in the form of a shake or meat/vegetarian sources. We usually don’t need that much protein unless you are a bodybuilder or a marathon runner. These people would need about 1.2g-2g of protein per kg that they weigh.
In short: we usually eat enough protein without the need for those protein snacks. But of course a treat is perfectly fine if you want to have it. But don’t obsess about the protein.