Research finds high demand for healthier snacks in Asia Pacific markets

A study from analytics group Globaldata has found that increased concerns over high sugar consumption, artificial ingredients and boredom with regular indulgence are driving consumers in Asia to move away from traditional confectionery.

In response, the survey found that manufacturers were being forced to respond with extended ranges of healthier snack products.

Dharma Teja, consumer analyst at GlobalData, highlights the major innovation trends that are going to impact the consumption, marketing and sales of confectionery products in Asia the Pacific region (APAC) in 2019.

According to GlobalData 2018 Q4 Consumer Survey, 24% of APAC consumers are willing to experiment with new flavours of confectionery products. Accordingly, confectionery manufacturers are putting efforts to introduce new flavours. For instance, according to GlobalData’s report, ‘Top trends in Chocolate, Confectionery and Desserts – 2019’, Mars Inc. launched Skittles-Flower Fruit in China.

As the study noted, due to widespread availability of information especially over Internet, consumers became more aware of what they are consuming and thus, avoiding excess sugar consumption. GlobalData 2017 Q4 Consumer Survey reveals that 43% of APAC consumers feel that healthy products are often associated with ‘Low in Sugar’ claim. Against this backdrop, Mondelez International Inc launched 30% less sugar variant of ‘Silk’ in India in June 2019.

The report found that APAC consumers are excited to try new and unique confectionery products. GlobalData 2018 Q4 Consumer Survey divulges that 24% of APAC consumers tend to buy a product if it is unique in style such as texture and packaging. In line with this, Taiwan Kaiser Foods launched Kaiser Boba Chocolate, which has a very unique style of chocolate presentation. It comes with gummy Boba inside a milk tea flavouring chocolate ball, which is uncommon in chocolate confectionery.

APAC consumers are becoming more conscious regarding ingredient content while purchasing. As per GlobalData 2017 Q1 Consumer survey, 45% of APAC consumers perceive ‘clean label’ is often associated with ‘free from artificial ingredients’. The claims such as gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free are acting as anchor themes to attract this particular target group. For instance, Fantte Chocolate launched Hazelnut and Pumpkin seed chocolate in India in 2018 with gluten free and diet friendly claims.

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