Snack bars were most dynamic over the historic period, appealing to consumers as convenient and healthy snacks. Fruit snacks are also increasingly benefiting from the health trend, albeit still seeing strong competition from unpackaged products. Sweet biscuits, the least dynamic main category, will still continue to heavily influence the overall market due to generating the most actual new sales, including a growth spike due to home seclusion during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dried fruit dominates fruit snacks in Eastern Europe, but often struggles due to being more expensive than unpackaged products. The presence of COVID-19 in 2020 was helping to move consumers towards packaged products, however, due to the perceived risk surrounding possible unhygienic handling of unpackaged variants. The pandemic also increased the focus on general health and wellness, including watching one’s weight.
Although snack bars have been seeing a slowdown in growth in 2020, hit by less need for convenient on-the-go options as well as the closure of gyms and fitness centres, they were the most dynamic products over the historic period as a whole. Fruit and nut bars and protein/energy bars were seeing the strongest growth, but the more well-developed cereal bars also recorded a near double-digit CAGR. The products benefit from tapping into both the on-the-go and health trends.
Sweet biscuits still dominate market sales, even if concerns about their high sugar content continue to be raised. Players will continue to combat this by trying to cut sugar content and using natural ingredients. With consumers – often stuck at home for extended periods during the pandemic – looking for little treats as small rewards, this helped drive a slight sales spike in sweet biscuits in 2020.
Further growth is expected to be seen over the forecast period, with sweet biscuits driving overall actual new sales, but snack bars and fruit snacks seeing more dynamic percentage growth. The possibility of a tax on products with a high sugar content in Russia, the region’s biggest market, could present players with certain new obstacles to overcome in sweet biscuits, but could help drive sales of fruit snacks as well as many types of snack bar.
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