Rising urbanisation 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.
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.
It was generally agreed that health is a key consideration today and there is a need to fight against the obesity epidemic. The younger demographic in particular were informed about nutrition and healthy eating. The media is playing a large role in influencing consumers about what to eat and cook, in terms of celebrity chefs, magazines and cooking demonstrations. Slimming clubs and points schemes are very much part of everyday life and helping consumers to be more informed about snacking. The healthy lunch box policies implemented by schools are also impacting what children are allowed to snack on and influencing general attitudes around what is good to eat. Consumers tend to base their snacking choices on nutritional value and quality. In this way, consumers are trading up and spending more on premium varieties of snacks.
More people are travelling, with new tastes being discovered from other countries and brought back home. This has resulted in an explosion of choice within grocery and expanding offerings from familiar brands and products, with the rise of ethnic products on shelf. There is an increased interest in the rise of super foods sourced at home and aboard. In particular, natural ingredients such as guarana, goji, green tea etc., which offer new health benefits to the consumer.
While austerity has brought about greater emphasis on cost, discounters have opened up a world of choice for shoppers. From the research, Mums in particular felt this abundance of value foods was a key difference from previous generations. In the past, once the snacks were all eaten, that was it for the week, but now it is more affordable to have snacks in the house on an ongoing basis.
On the other hand, 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 flavours remains an important differentiating factor globally, as consumers across all ages opt for products offering new and unusual consumption experiences.
Some examples include nacho chips in papdi chaat flavour in India, maize snacks in a tangy fruit chutney flavour in South Africa, popcorn in strawberry and cream flavour in the UK, and potato chips in chocolate chilli flavour in France.
People are under pressure trying to maintain a work/life balance; looking for ways to make feeding themselves and their families easier. Whether this means more eating on the go for the consumer or having convenient solutions which are readily available to eat at home—people crave convenience