Healthy snacks growing quicker than ‘conventional’ snacks

Growth of healthy snacks rose by 7% from 2014-2015, compared to ‘conventional’ snacks, which only increased by 5%, according to new research.

The ‘war on sugar’ has dented the potential demand of sweet snacks as consumers have greater awareness of ingredients used in food production and are more cautious on their consumption, Euromonitor International suggests. According to its survey, 47% of global respondents look for foods with limited or no added sugar.

“The demonisation of sugar inevitably created a change in the type of ingredients used in snacks,” says John George, ingredients analyst at Euromonitor.

In 2015, global sweetener use in conventional snacks amounted to 15.5 million tonnes, while in comparison, new snacks included less than a fifth of this at three million tonnes.

The health trend doesn’t only foster ingredients shift, but also new pack sizing strategies: “We’ve seen an increasing polarisation of pack sizes in conventional snacks, as larger formats are marketed for a shared consumption, and smaller sizes, more commonly launched as ‘calorie packs’. The aim of these new formats are to convey greater portion control and lower the guilt of buying a treat while still boosting impulse purchase,” notes Karine Dussimon, senior packaging analyst at Euromonitor.

New products are predicted to take a larger slice of the snacking market, resulting in further acquisitions. In western Europe, the Netherlands and UK record the fastest growth of snack replacements. Jack Skelly, food analyst at Euromonitor International, suggests “conventional snacks are losing share in favour of ‘healthier snacks’, like yogurt.”

Skelly adds, “Snack companies such as Mondelez may think their biggest rivals are Mars or PepsiCo but the reality is different, as the blurring of categories continues. Brands such as Yili and Lactalis may be the real future competitors, and Danone’s acquisition of WhiteWave is a sign on the company’s direction towards more nutritious products.”

Ewa Hudson, head of health and wellness research at Euromonitor International, says, “Consumers are also increasingly aware of the importance of healthy weight in prevention of diabetes and many other related diseases, so minimising sugar and calorie intake is high on consumers’ agenda.

“Big food companies will continue on a health drive as demand for healthy food will transform the industry.”

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