The global savory snack products market size is estimated to reach USD263.0 billion by 2027 (Research and Markets). The market is primarily driven by factors such as shifting consumer preference for convenience foods. In recent years, the savory snacks market has been highly impacted by innovations as manufacturers rush to introduce new ingredients, new variants, and processing techniques to meet the increasing demand and cater to the changing consumer preferences.

Meanwhile, the expansion of the retail industry has significantly increased the number of hypermarkets and supermarkets across the world. This, coupled with rising disposable incomes of consumers, urbanization, and increasing prevalence of obesity and other lifestyle diseases has further increased the consumption and sale of healthier snacks.

Asia Pacific is estimated to be the largest region with a significant growth rate over the forecast period. This category is experiencing higher growth due to consumers’ busy lifestyles and preference for on-the-go and ready to eat (RTE) products. The concept of pre-dinner appetizers is gaining popularity, and with a proportionate increase in dual-income families, snacks are becoming an integral part of planned purchases – with an element of indulgence.

A recent survey report by Mondelēz revealed that with 64% of consumers choosing to eat many small meals throughout the day as opposed to large ones, the preference for snacking is rising in tandem (up from 59% in 2019).

The report surveyed consumers across 12 countries found that that more than three-quarters (79%) think the definition of snacking has changed over the past three years, and brands must adapt to meet the evolving demands of the snack-savvy consumer.

Brand focus has shifted significantly to sustainable and low waste packaging for their products. (Photo: Sarah Chai)

Highlights of the report:

  • Balanced indulgence: There is growing interest in functional snacks that “take care of the body” or “serve nutritional needs” (78% snack regularly for this purpose). Seventy-two percent of consumers are looking for portion-controlled snacks (up from 63% in 2020), while they imagine seeking functional snacks in the next few years that are “vitamin rich” (48%), “boost immunity” (46%), are “high in protein” (44%) and “support gut health” (44%). Eighty-eight percent of consumers consider a balanced diet to include small indulgences, with 68% saying they cannot go without a sweet treat during their day.
  • Digitally driven: Eighty percent of consumers said they expect to be able to buy the snacks they want whenever they want, with over half of participants reporting that they shop more using at least three emerging channels that included delivery apps and direct-to-consumer websites. The digital world is driving snacking inspiration, with 55% of respondents confirming social media has inspired them to try a new snack (up from 50% in 2019). Overall, 62% of global consumers and 82% of Gen Z participants enjoy online food content.
  • Sustainable snacking: Consumers are becoming more reflective about their snacking choices, opting for brands that align with their values (80% became more aware of these values in 2021). Eighty-five percent want to buy snacks from brands striving to offset their environmental impact, with a particular focus on low-waste packaging (78%).

The snackfoods market is segmented by bakery products, chocolate, savory snacks, frozen snacks, and others.