Global consumers spent US$374 billion on snacks during the past year, a 2% increase on the previous period, according to a new global report released today by Nielsen.
While Europe and North America make up the majority of worldwide snack sales (US$167 billion and US$124 billion respectively), Southeast Asiaâ€™s developing nations are contributing significantly to the categoryâ€™s growth at a rate of 3.6% year-on-year
Spending is expected to rise as the region welcomes almost 300 million new consumers in the next decade; rising income levels and a burgeoning middle class population will fuel growth in the coming
â€śIncreased consumption and the expanding middle class are the two key reasons why developing countries in Southeast Asia are expected to fuel further growth of this category,â€ť Stuart Jamieson, managing director of Nielsen in the Philippines, said.
â€śFor snack food manufacturers to take a sizable bite of this opportunity, it is important for them to align strategies with the growing middle class and consumersâ€™ shifting taste and health considerations.â€ť
The Nielsen Global Survey of Snacking polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries to identify which snacks are most popular around the world and which health, taste and texture attributes are most important in the selection criteria.
Snack as a source of nutrition
There are varying and diverse reasons why consumers snack.
For Filipino respondents, snacking is viewed primarily as source of nutrition (74%).
Although Filipino respondents ate a wide variety of snacks in the past 30 days, they prefer bread and sandwich above other snack choices (31%) followed by fresh fruit (20%) and chocolate (12%).
â€śWhile the mindset of Filipino consumers towards snacking is focused on health with preference towards fresh snacks which offer health and nutrition benefits, theyâ€™re also looking for an occasional treat,â€ť Jamieson added.
â€śSnack manufacturers must innovate their offerings to incorporate the right balance of healthy and indulgence. A successful growth strategy means a product range that appeals to the taste and health preferences of the local consumers.â€ť
Filipino consumers also tend to have a planned approach to their snack consumption.
The Nielsen report shows while consumers buy snacks in the store aisle, they plan their purchases before they get to the store, and have a few snacks they keep in rotation.
Notably, however, Filipino consumers also exhibit characteristics of spontaneous snackers, including trying new snacks, buying a variety of snacks, and making unplanned snack purchases. Spontaneous snackers often eat snacks as soon as they buy them and tend to buy snacks at the check-out counter.