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Repositioning Indulgence to Remain Relevant in the Healthy Snacking Era

October 2017

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.

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The quest for healthy snacks is a hazard for indulgence

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.

Competing against healthy snacks through product attributes is not enough to differentiate

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.

Treating myself without harming myself – a new way of consumption

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.

Key lessons to be learned from successful growth strategies in coffee – the four waves of chocolate

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.

Value-based consumption the way forward for indulgence – offering more than just a treat

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.


Key findings

The New Snacking Environment in Food

Food companies are adopting healthy snacks through acquisition
Sugar the new focus for governments to aid weight management…
…and some go as far as to suggest sugar is the new tobacco
As a result confectionery will feature in fewer occasions
Checkout zones feature healthier snacks
Bel Group: Redefining its snacking portfolio away from cheese
New competitive snack environment favours dairy and savoury


Chocolate sales have dipped, but consumers spend more per treat
Dark chocolate is the success story for “health”-positioned treats
Premiumisation in chocolate demands more emotional benefits
Ever walked into Starbucks and ordered just “coffee”?
Coffee’s revolutionary growth strategy over the years
Foodservice growth is driving long-term e volution in coffee
Chocolate’s potential growth strategy based on coffee
Social commerce is the platform to emphasise emotional benefits
The power of social causes: Good for you and good for the world
Quality over quantity: Ruby chocolate
Can’t beat them? Join them: Reformulation in snacks
Changing the world for the better in snacks: Ethical consumption
Repositioning indulgence: Key market learnings

Food for Thought

Key takeaways

Appendix: Competitor Analytics

Competitor Analytics tool
Market Overlap
Overlap Matrices

Appendix: Industry Forecast Model

About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Growth decomposition explained
Significance and applications for growth decomposition
Key applications for Industry Forecast Models


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