Exclusive: Producers Learn to “Taste” the Savory Snacks Opportunities
Flavor, texture, color, packaging, provenance – all these represent key aspects which convince a consumer to buy a particular brand of savory snack and leave out the others. Producers are adapting and learning how to appeal to their customers, by expanding their assortment of snacks in accordance with the clients’ preferences, although the pace of NPD is still rather slow and remains a challenge.
By Dan Orehov
These were some of the main conclusion drawn by David Jago, director of innovation insights at Mintel, during his presentation at the professional trade show Snackex, recently organized in Barcelona. According to Jago, consumers are trying to find a balance between the so-called “healthy snacks” and those from the indulgence category, which are mainly purchased for their taste. Further, over 80% of Europeans state that they want to maintain a correct eating plan and to avoid snack consumption between meals.
Nevertheless, on certain markets, one third of European consumers admit that they replace some of the main meals with snacks, with this percentage growing to up to 60% among the 16-24 age group. Some of the leading countries in this regard, according to Jago, are Poland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Not everyone wants the same thing
Between 50% and 70% of Europeans admit that they enjoy snacking at least once a day and consumption tends to be the highest for the age group of 22-44-year-olds, who state that the most frequent snack eating occasions are at home, of up to 86%, at work (up to 52%) but also while out and about. Also, half of those evaluated by Mintel say they choose healthy snacks, almost every single time they purchase them. Among these, the Italians are leaders of the pack, with 60%, followed by the Spanish with 58%, the French and lastly the Germans, with only 39% declaring they purchase snacks from the “healthy” category.
With regards to the product features that belong to this segment of savory snacks and which are most appreciated by Europeans, they include convenience, flavor, indulgence, the healthy and natural factor, but also high-quality. An in-depth analysis pertaining to consumer expectations shows that taste and flavor remain the main attributes which convince a shopper to purchase a certain snack, followed by price. Not in the least, the ingredients are also important to consumers, who state that they are more important to them when deciding which brand to purchase, compared to other snack traits.
However, there is a common denominator for most of the snack shoppers, which has slowly become a trend and which, according to Jago, will continue to gain traction: salt and fat. More specifically, regardless of the type of savory snack in questions, chips, nuts, pretzels etc., almost 50% of Europeans and especially those living in the United Kingdom say that they are much more interested in products which clearly state on their packaging that the savory snack contains a low volume of salt and fat, as well as low calories, products that are not fried (for instance baked chips) and that also contain natural ingredients, fibers and proteins.
To read the complete article, please refer to our latest July-August 2019 print issue of Potato Processing International.