Snackification: The Future of Occasions in a Post-Pandemic Normal

April 2022

Urbanisation has historically driven snackification, with snacks typically characterised by convenience and portability traits that enable on-the-go and impulse snacking moments. With “anytime, anywhere” now less dependent on storefronts and physical touchpoints, there is greater focus on ubiquity, value and more targeted health attributes. These factors all point towards an evolved future of key traits that may lead to successful innovation.

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Key Findings

Snackification continued to adapt, two years after the onset of the pandemic

Historically, urbanisation has driven snackification. Convenience and portability were key due to time pressures and a growing on-demand culture. Two years following the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, digitalisation and technology became key elements, while premiumisation is negatively affected by the economic costs of the pandemic. Lastly, health priorities remain important offering innovation opportunities.

Two pillars of innovation for snacks in a post-pandemic era

In order to adapt to consumers’ new normal, two pillars of innovation will enable snacks players to keep the product offering more relevant than ever. Snacks manufacturers need to launch new formats for their best-selling brands and innovate in permissible indulgence. Health attributes must be accompanied by clear messages and with no compromise on taste.

Enhance impulse snacking moments and create pre-planned snacking occasions

The demand for impulse will not be eradicated. Rather, there is a need for new fulfilment methods, hence digital advancements and the emergence of new business models must be leveraged. New snacking occasions must be actively created that are remotely accessible to consumers throughout the day by aligning with occasions such as celebrations at home.

Align innovation with three key snacking motivations

Opportunities lie in fulfilling consumers’ snacking motivations of meal replacement, self-reward and distracted snacking. Businesses must create innovations aligned with freshly evolved consumer needs that serve these snacking occasions to better position themselves to gain greater share of stomach and wallet in the post-pandemic era.

Scope
Key findings

A New Era of Snacking

Snackification continues to evolve
Impulse occasions pivot from reliance on foot traffic to targeted digital strategies
General increase in prices to challenge snacks players’ value propositions
Health claims to answer ever-changing consumers’ health goals
Innovation opportunities abound from three main motivations of snacking

Reviewing the Essence of Snacking

New consumer needs: Novelty (in mouthfeel) and afternoon occasion gain gravitas
Two pillars of innovation for snacks products in a post-pandemic era
For signature brands, creating new formats allows players to tap into new snacking occasions
Innovative packaging formats emerging across industries to create new snacking occasions
Tapping at-home and dine-out impulse occasions through new formats for foodservice
Indulgent ice cream to revamp impulse purchase in multi-pack
Agility in product size helps to maintain sales as purchasing power shrinks
Leading snacks players offloading indulgence products to focus on health and wellness
Focus on nutrition and healthful positioning must balance with the core trait of snacks
Three criteria to boost visibility of healthful snacks
Need for updated health guidelines and urgency in clearing consumer confusion

Recreating Impulse Through Digital

Recreating impulse occasions: How and where consumers snack
In e-commerce, dark stores could bridge impulse buy and refrigeration gaps
Manufacturers launch direct-to-consumer (DTC) platforms to get closer to consumers
Social media and quick delivery platforms: growing initiatives to drive pre-planned impulse
Curating products to fulfil new impulse times of the day
Snacks must complement new leisure activities and lifestyles
Strategic co-branding partnerships should focus on creating consumption occasions
Sogurt , Singapore: Digital transformation is key to survival and future expansion
Sogurt , Singapore: Providing for the two extremes of snacking occasions
Levain Bakery, USA: From a well-known NYC cookie shop to hyperlocal delivery star
Levain Bakery, USA: Pivoting from instant gratification to impulse gifting
Governments to speed up the development of healthy offers in snacks
On-the-go remains major for snacks; driven by emerging markets
Globally, pockets of opportunity lie in leveraging different stages of digital development
New, planned snacking occasions to be seized, but impulse remains major avenue
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