With more Americans fueling their diets with snacks and forgoing traditional meals, the global savory snacks market is projected to reach more than $138 billion by 2020, with a CAGR of 7.9 percent.
While this trend has certainly taken hold in the states, researchers at consumer insight firm Canadean say the anticipated growth is largely expected to come from developing countries in the Asia-Pacific and Eastern European regions, with CAGRs of 13.7 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.
“Rising urbanization levels and busier lifestyles are impacting the eating habits of consumers, who are increasingly replacing main meals with more flexible, light, and convenient snacking options” says Rashmi Mahajan, analyst for Canadean. “Changing consumer preferences and the growing trend of ‘snackification’, which represents a significant portion of everyday eating routines, is driving the demand for portable and on-the-go formats.”
Big opportunities exist in large, populous developing countries with low per capita consumption levels, such as China and India, compared to the high levels of consumption in developed countries such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
But consumers are also trading up and spending more on premium snacks as they look to get the most nutritional value and quality out of their food choices. However, consumers in emerging countries including Brazil, China and India mostly base their snack choices on value and experimentation.
“Despite the regional differences in snacks consumption, innovation in flavors remains an important differentiating factor globally, as consumers across all ages opt for products offering new and unusual consumption experiences,” Mahajan says. “Examples include nacho chips in papdi chaat flavor in India, maize snacks in a tangy fruit chutney flavor in South Africa, popcorn in strawberry and cream flavor in the United Kingdom, and potato chips in chocolate chilli flavor in France.”
According to Canadean, the global savory snacks market is highly fragmented, with the top five brands holding less than 16 percent market share. Lay’s, Doritos, Pringles, Cheetos, and Ruffles were the leading brands with the highest market share in 2015.