The Snacking Consumer: Who, What, and Why
The global snack 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 valued at $290 billion.
While the market is growing, the category is fragmented. Thousands of new products are launched every year, and because the definition of a snack is continually changing, it is becoming ever more challenging for brands and products to stand out.
The Solution? Here are 5 tips for creating a successful snacking product.
1. Know Your Consumer
While “innovation” may be a buzzword in discussions of product success, for snack manufacturers, innovation comes from understanding the consumer, their preferences, and snacking habits at a global level. For example, with more consumers reaching for snacks more often, there are differences in what they are snacking on based on where they live. In China, popular snacks include potato- and rice-based chips and crisps, packaged nuts, and popcorn. In the United Kingdom, crisps and nuts are also beloved snacks, but the category of 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. These differences highlight the product category opportunities in different regional markets.
2. Understand Why Consumers Snacking
The drivers behind the rise of snacking also influence why a shopper chooses one snack over another. Enjoyment, variety, and convenience all play a major role here. Beyond that, health and nutrition is becoming one of the most important drivers in purchasing decisions. As a proof point, 77% of consumers globally state they are actively improving their health, and 80% of consumers globally consider health and nutrition to be important in their snack choice. Again, the opportunity is clear.
3. ‘Better for You’ Is Better for Consumers and for Product Success
Consumers are searching for healthier snack options, but around the globe, they are not getting what they want. In India, for example, 51% of snackers say they wish there were more healthy product options available to them, while 50% of consumers globally would buy more snacks if they offered an added health benefit. As noted, the white space for ‘better for you’ snacks is a global phenomenon and is one that product manufacturers can target to create products that consumers want to buy. But understanding what healthy means, or what health benefits consumers want, is key.
4. Gut Feeling
So, what health benefits will resonate with the snacking consumer, no matter their age or location? Research indicates that foods offering digestive and gut health benefits hold strong potential. Digestive health has been named a top demand, and research shows that foods and beverages with digestive functional benefits have grown 16%.
5. Probiotics for Snacks
With gut health a top sought-after benefit for consumers, awareness around the digestive health benefits of probiotics is growing incrementally. Not only do probiotics in snacks have widespread consumer appeal, they also present a major innovation opportunity in the snack category.
Want to learn more about snack innovations globally and just how much consumers are willing to spend on products fortified with probiotics? Download our free white paper here: Download White Paper