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Snack foods are claiming more market share

The snack foods category is growing and still has growth potential as consumers lead busier lives and look for on-the-go meal solutions


San Jose, Calif. – A market research firm says the world snack foods market is predicted to reach almost US$335 billion by 2015.

Global Industry Analysts says the factors fuelling the market are income levels, consumer perceptions and demographics. The research firm says the market is also highly fragmented and intensely competitive, with many industry players in all categories from small to large, reports ReportLinker.com.

Snack foods by their very nature help to fill a void. As consumers have less and less time for their daily activities, they turn to snack foods as a solution. As a result, the category is claiming more of the food market. For consumers, the snack category offers foods that both complement and substitute for time-consuming meals. And it helps too that food manufacturers are offering healthier snack food options, such as low-calorie, low-fat, vitamin-fortified, organic and fibre-rich.

Market info

ReportLinker.com offers a breakdown from Global Industry Analysts.

• The global sugar market is expected to pass the 177 million metric ton mark by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Factors fuelling the market include higher incomes in developing nations, and higher prices of alternative sweeteners such as agave syrup and corn syrup. Asia Pacific and the E.U. lead the sugar market in terms of consumption.

• The world cocoa market will reach close to five million metric tons by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Demand is particularly strong in developing nations. The market is fuelled by increased coverage of health benefits from eating certain types of chocolate for advantages such as nutrition content and the cancer-fighting potential of chocolates with a high cocoa content. The E.U. is the world’s largest cocoa market, with France, Germany and The Netherlands showing high consumption. Asia-Pacific is expected to show the most rapid growth, led by Malaysia moving forward.

• The market for fruit snacks and nuts is expected to continue expanding as consumers become more aware of their health benefits. Nuts contain unsaturated fats, are a source of protein, and are known for the benefits afforded by their omega-3 fatty acid and antioxidants content.

• The world honey market is expected to reach almost two million tons by 2015, reports Global Industry Analysts. Food producers are offering wider product ranges to cater to increased demand for honey-based products, with offerings such as organic spreads, yogurts, baby food and drinks.

• The world confectioneries market is expected to exceed $186 billion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Market drivers include exotic flavors and sugar-free products. Confectioneries are encroaching on other niche markets such as fortified chocolate bars making a foray into the energy bars market and fortified gums in the chewing gum market.

Regional market info

Global Industry Analysts placed the EU at the head of the snack foods market based on demand from large markets including France, Germany and the UK. Asia-Pacific will lead in terms of annual growth at a rate of six per cent yearly through 2015.

The U.S. leads the sweetener market, according to Packaged Facts. Market growth is driven partly by new stevia-based products, which are seeing greater demand as consumers turn away from saccharin.

Industry info

The main players on the global snacks and sweets market include Cadbury Schweppes, Herr Foods, PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farm, Walkers Snack Foods, Weaver Popcorn, Yamazaki Baking, Mission Foods, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Kellogg, General Mills, Bachman, ConAgra Foods, Danone, Nabisco, Quaker Oats and Hain Celestial.

Kraft Foods makes half its global revenue from snack foods. The company, which employs 127,000 people worldwide, sells its products in around 170 countries. PepsiCo, which sells snack foods and beverages, employs more than 285,000 people and generates revenue of $60 billion. Among its brands are Gatorade, Doritos, Tropicana and Mountain Dew.

Market outlook

The snacks and sweets market is expanding due to changing eating habits. Notably, consumers are reaching for smaller snack-based meals rather than traditional time-consuming dinners. The industry itself is diversifying to offer healthier snack options in the face of global concerns over the rise in obesity.

Though consumers have been cutting spending due to the global financial crisis, they are also working more, and as a result living more hectic lifestyles that lend themselves to on-the-go eating. The market will continue expanding, driven by innovative packaging, healthier product choices, higher disposable incomes and the promotion of health benefits from certain product categories, such as dark chocolate.