Global Industry Analysts, Inc., says that despite economic difficulties in major markets across the world, snack foods are an effervescent segment of the food industry. They’re managing to maintain a strong fix on consumers’ taste buds all over the world, says its new global report called, "Snack Foods: A Global Strategic Business Report." The update provides a comprehensive look at trends, issues, strategic industry activities and profiles of major companies worldwide.

Innovation stands out as a major growth driver, spakring the market’s expansion both in terms of value and volume. Fast growing economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe spell strong, attractive, and lucrative business opportunities driven by strong economic growth and increased westernization of diet patterns.

The global economic meltdown over the last four years has a relatively milder effect on the snack foods market, as the “eating in” trend grew demand for snacks and served as appetizers at home. The report says fortification of snack items and new products with exotic flavors has played a bigger role in sustaining consumer interest. The industry witnessed a record number of new product launches and brands in recent years as manufacturers sought to entice consumers with new flavors, value added portability, ready to use varieties, and products with enriched nutritional profiles.

While low prices are still the most important purchasing factor during difficult times, others such as low additive/preservative snacks are also gaining in importance. In the long run, carefree snackers are expected to continue to drive demand for varied flavor and taste profiles, while health-oriented snackers are expected to ignite a greater demand for low-calorie, healthy, organic, mineral fortified and fiber-rich snacks.

The research study also says that the protein-rich diet is projected to drive the demand for meat snacks. And snacks are fast encroaching on the territory of convenient breakfast and dinner solutions, causing traditional meal manufacturers to reintroduce meal solutions as snacks. Frozen appetizers such as frozen potstickers and spring rolls stand to gain from the recent recessionary environment, as cash-stretched consumers who preferred home meals to costly restaurant visits, increased purchases of private-label frozen appetizers.

In addition, lifestyle changes on top of a lithesome approach toward career have fuelled the consumption of snack foods over the years. With women focusing more on successful careers, the lack of time for traditional meal preparations is driving the convenience aspects and other advantages of snack foods.

More information on the report is available.