Be it addressing that small hunger between meals, the midnight urges to munch something, a small eat to accompany a nice film, or a quick replacement for a meal on a busy day, snacks serve many needs. There is a snack for every mood, sweet for those celebratory moments and savoury to add flavour to life. Snacks are not just about taste but also about texture, the crunch, the smoothness, the shape and so on. Many consumers scan the market for new varieties to try, snacks address the experimental urge of people. Snack foods are designed to be quick, portable and instantly satisfying.
Busy lifestyles and convenient formats have been driving the need for snacks. The Indian snack market can be categorized based on formats such as chips, namkeens, baked food, lightly processed or fried food and ready to eat mixes. Each of these formats is present in many tastes and flavours. Indian snack market is valued at Rs 2,09,556 crore in 2019-20 and is expected to grow at 10.2% until 2025.
Symega closely watches and understands this dynamic snack market. The three big trends which are shaping the Indian snack market are:
Branded products, local varieties
Indians have a lot of emotional connect with snacking. Each region has a rich variety of formats and flavours. Snacking evokes images of festivities, celebrations and most of all home. These positive associations keep the market growing at a very healthy rate. Due to the richness of local variety, the snack market was dominated by regional players, but over the last two decades corporate giants have entered this segment in a big way and are locking horns with them. At the same time regional players are pushing back with their own branding efforts. Brands bring the promise of quality and consistency of taste.
All the food categories are transforming to serve the new health conscious consumer. The healthy snacking trend initially began with eliminating additional calories and sugars and has now emerged to offering nutritionally balanced and nourishing products. Consumers check labels, and choose products which offer them the best of both health and taste. The healthy snacking trend has led to –
Finding natural alternatives – Food producers are finding natural, clean label alternatives for artificial colours, sweeteners and flavours. A natural tag gets high votes from the consumer.
Nutritionally rich snacks – Consumers are now seeking out snacks which have improved nutritional values. Snacks which can be nourishing are most sought after. Mintel research indicates that more than half of the Indian snack consumers wish there were more healthy snack options. The current pandemic situation has further increased this need. Nutritious snacks give more positive reasons for consumers to indulge in snacking.
Savoury over sweet – The growing health consciousness among consumers has tilted the scales in favour of savoury snacks. According to Euromonitor, Indian savoury snack market is estimated at Rs 33,500 crore and will grow at 22% over the next five years.
According to GlobalData, 24% Indian consumers are buying savoury snacks more than before, during Covid. Staying at home, consumers initially resorted to comfort snacking but have steadily moved on to conscious health snacking.
Baked over fried – The evolved consumer understands the difference between baked and fried snacks and opts for baked variants. Several fried formats are now being developed in baked variants to address the health conscious consumer.
Make it interesting
Snacks is a dynamic market and consumers constantly seek something novel and interesting. With reduced going out during the pandemic, consumers are missing eating out and are attempting to recreate street food at home. Food producers can tap into this gap and offer products in these flavours. Variety in format and taste is appreciated very much by the consumers. Food producers who innovate and come up with fresh concepts and differentiate will win a higher share of the market.
Symega offers a wide range of snack seasonings to address the variety seeking consumer. Their seasonings are grouped under seven versatile categories – desi selections, picklicious, global picks, choice of cheese, hot ‘n fiery, sweet spin and fusion flavours.