Eating habits transformed for good

Snacking has disrupted the conventions around how people eat.

Consumers now snack constantly, blurring the line between what constitutes a snack and what constitutes a meal.

The idea of a snack as something consumed between meals has been turned on its head.

Our current lifestyle, with hectic schedules and less time to spend on preparing food, has elevated the snack to a meal occasion in itself In the U.S., for example, research shows that 62% of healthy snackers say they snack in place of a meal. In Poland, the figure is 43%, in the UK 37%, and in Germany 35%. Large numbers of French, Italian, and Spanish consumers also often snack instead of eating a main meal.
This “snackification” of our eating habits is driving growth in the snacks sector.

The global market – including savory snacks, sweet biscuits, snack bars, and fruit snacks – is worth $266 billion and is expected to grow by an average of 2.7% a year until 2022, when it will be worth $290 billion.

But the category is fragmented. Thousands of new products are launched every year. Furthermore, with many formats available, snacks are not a homogenous group of products. As a result, it is becoming ever more challenging for brands to stand out.

Therefore, successful innovation is key.

Our take in Good life Nutrition is Snacks need to be simple yet delicious. After all you want enjoyment, snacking must remain true to this core benefit.

Secondly healthy snacking is gaining popularity because of its ability to deliver nutrition, portion control and convenience- the second generic category value is nutrition the third being convenience.

Therefore: fun + nutrition + convenience defined by consumption situation are the generic must haves for a brand to make any impact.

Global phenomenon

All over the world, more consumers are reaching for more snacks more often. Here we take a look at a selection of key markets and the trends shaping them.

China – Category innovation is most vibrant in China, where salty snacks represented 11% of all new product launches in 2018.4 China is also the world’s largest savory snack market, valued at $57.5 billion in 2018 and expected to growth by an average of 11.3% a year until 2021 to reach $76.2 billion.5 Popular snacks in China include potato and rice-based chips/crisps, packaged nuts, popcorn, pretzels, and fruit, meat, and fish snacks.

United States – Figures for 2018 show that nearly all consumers in the U.S.—95%—snack daily, and 70% do so two or more times a day.6 The U.S. salty snacks market is valued at $12 billion and it is expected to grow 28% by 2022 to a value of $15.3 billion.7 Salty snacks represented 8% of all new product launches in the U.S. in 2018.8 Meat snacks are the largest sub-category, accounting for 30% of sales, followed by popcorn (22%) and cheese snacks (21%).9 In addition to salty snacks, there is considerable strength in the U.S. market for snack, nutrition, and performance bars, a group forecast to be worth $7.7 billion by 2022.10

Latin America – The combined value of the retail snack market in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico is an estimated $8.7 billion in 2019, and it is expected to grow to $10.5 billion in 2022.11 Mexico is the largest retail snack market, worth an estimated $4 billion in 2019. It is also projected to post the most growth, increasing in value by 25% to $5 billion by 2022.

India – India is a snacking powerhouse with a market worth $4.4 billion in 2018, which is expected to reach $7.8 billion by 2022.12 Snacks represented 7% of all new product launches in India in 2018.13 Nearly half of urban Indian consumers (45%) say they snack two to three times a day.14 Chips are a key segment, accounting for 33% of the market by value in 2016, followed by nuts at 5%. However, the Indian market is particularly fragmented with “other snacks” accounting for 62% of total sales. A growing trend in India is snacks for specific need states and purposes, such as elevating the mood, on-the-go convenience, and snacks suitable for fasting during religious holidays.

United Kingdom – Consumers in the UK love snacks, with about a third snacking two or more times a day.15 Brits are particularly keen on crisps and nuts and, in spite of the maturity of this market and its near-universal penetration, sales grew by 14% between 2013 and 2018 to a value of £4.1 billion.16 This growth shows no signs of stopping, with the market expected to reach £5 billion by 2023. The category for sweet biscuits, breakfast biscuits, and snack bars is also significant, with estimated sales of £2.4 billion in 2019, forecast to grow to £2.5 billion by 2022.