According to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2022, nearly 40% of Australians are snacking between meals during the day showcasing a fundamental shift in consumer eating habits away from traditional format of meals.
The pandemic has turned eating patterns and habits upside down for many in Australia. With consumers staying at home more often and adopting hybrid lifestyles, many Australians are shifting towards a more flexible pattern of eating. Convenience has come to the fore, bringing about a wave of changes to the snacking industry.
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2022
Healthier versions of old favourites
With the stress and lockdown restrictions brought about by the pandemic, 56% of Australians indulged in snacks at home (Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2022). The rise in frequency of snacking has led to increased demand for healthier, guilt-free versions of popular snacks for consumers to indulge in. Industry players are offering smarter snacking choices that feature luxurious flavour inspirations like caramel and churros, but with fewer calories.
The Australian snacking industry is witnessing collective efforts to increase healthier, better-for-you ingredient formulations. Euromonitor’s Product Claims and Positioning tracker shows a significant increase in confectionery with no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives indicating that consumers are gravitating towards cleaner and simpler ingredient lists.
Source: Euromonitor International Product Claims and Positioning
However, consumer preference for indulgent flavours is also shining through as major industry players understand demand for balance where flavour is not compromised for nutrition.
Opportunity in indulgence
Taste, nutrition and price continue to be the most important factors in choosing a snack for Australians. But the pandemic has led Australians to seek small moments of indulgence in their food choices, giving way for innovation in new product developments like Calbee’s Melts potato chips with cheese or newer formats of sharing like ice cream in bite sized form (eg Ben & Jerry’s Peaces or Unilever’s Magnum Bites). The diversity in reasons for snacking in Australia seems to include both ends of the spectrum, health as well as indulgence, and it is crucial to be able to meet both those consumer needs to succeed.
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2021
Super Snacks to support lifestyle changes
Although at home snack consumption heightened during the pandemic as restrictions ease, consumer preference for conveniently packaged Super Snacks is growing. As self-care has grown more pronounced post-pandemic, brands like Locako introduced keto, collagen and nootropic bars to enhance wellness from within and providing consumers with added benefits to sustain energy.
This move towards fortified snacks has led to an overhaul of newer formats and textures to complement easy on-the-go consumption without sacrificing flavour, as consumers adopt more outdoor activity into their lifestyle. My Muscle Chef identified a key space for growth by introducing high protein cookies as a post-exercise recovery snack in a category widely dominated by energy bars. However, taste remains crucial for consumers as fortified snack bars like Brookfarm’s Prebiotic Wholefood Bar range with zinc gluconate still feature indulgent and comforting flavour varieties, such as chocolate and salted caramel.
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey 2022
Plant-based options continue to surge
As Australians snack more frequently and snacks become a more important source of their daily nutrition, the demand for plant-based options has significantly increased as they are perceived to be better-for-you. With the perceived health benefits of plant-based alternatives (they may contain more dietary fibre and lower saturated fat on average than conventional meat products, for example) nearly 57% of Australians responded to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey saying a mostly plant-based diet made them feel healthier. However, Australians also gravitate towards plant-based options to improve fitness and strength with 41% responding that they choose them for better speed and endurance.
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Surveys 2021, 2022
From vegan protein bars, and confectionery to ice cream, Australians are looking for plant-based varieties in their snacks. With a growing number of Australians adopting flexitarian choices, major players are responding to these shifting consumer priorities.
In light of these changing snacking habits among Australians due to shifts in lifestyle, businesses must focus on flavour and format innovations aligned with evolving consumer needs through newer eating occasions. Ability to adapt and cater to the change in preferences can help players garner more market share by helping consumers meet their nutritional goals without sacrificing on good flavour, the key features of a great snack.
For a full understanding of how these trends are shaping demand, see the latest report, Snacks in Australia. For comparative evaluation and latest analysis and data on all 100 Euromonitor research countries, click here.