In order to remain relevant in a fast-changing (healthy) snacking market, confectionery players can redefine their indulgence strategy around the backlash against sugar, as well as changing lifestyles and a new approach to personal wellbeing. To change the downwards growth trajectory, confectionery players can place greater emphasis on mental wellbeing, premium indulgence and a “less but better” approach – a value-driven strategy which has proven successful in coffee.
Conventional snacks such as confectionery are in decline in favour of savoury and dairy snacks. That was the reality of packaged food in 2017, as a result of consumers trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, following the consumer backlash against sugar. As a result, indulgent foods need to be reformulated or repositioned in order to compete in this new healthy snacking era.
Dark chocolate with high cocoa content has benefited from being perceived as a healthy alternative to milk chocolate. However, discounters have started to offer similar high cocoa chocolate for a much lower price. Considering the fact that sales of chocolate through discounters are rising, greater differentiation than mere ingredients is needed, including an emphasis on emotional and self-expressive benefits.
The need to know which ingredients are used in snacks has become ever more important with connected consumers. Snacks brands claiming the use of simpler/fewer ingredients have been very successful, as they are strongly associated with trust and being better for one’s health.
Coffee shops such as Starbucks are a good example of how an ordinary product such as coffee can be turned into an indulgent luxury product and experience. Many lessons can be learned in how to turn chocolate consumption into experience-led consumption.
Consumers are redefining/reassessing their values and priorities, placing more emphasis on value-based consumption (ethical, emotional, aesthetic). Interesting business models have also emerged as a result, which offer unique and ethical product offerings.
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