COVID-19 slowed down snacks players’ growth by drastically reducing out-of-home and impulse channels. However, the industry has managed to maintain growth. Companies are adapting to the new consumers: those who live, shop and entertain more at home; those who have health as a priority and embrace special diets, plant-based snacks and products reduced in sugar; and those who, concerned about their community and the environment, have sustainability as a priority.
The importance of food as medicine and preventative health has benefited functional food, with consumers seeking to boost their immune system, and eager to actively manage their physical as well as mental wellbeing. Lifestyle diets such as keto, paleo or low-carb thrive in this context.
Consumers are limiting the intake of sugar to feel healthier, to lose weight, and due to medical recommendation from their doctor. Companies are responding with new products and the addition of “no sugar” claims. Governments are also pushing this trend worried by high obesity rates.
Snacks consumption is shifting from out-of-home impulse to at-home indulgence. Consumers are spending more time entertaining in their homes. Opportunities arise for snacks companies that offer products for occasions of content consumption and gaming.
The growth of e-commerce has been one of the biggest consequences of the pandemic. Snacks companies are embracing the new digital ecosystem not only to increase sales, but also to understand and engage with consumers.
Reducing the impact on the environment is still a top priority for consumers and snacks companies. However, the concept of sustainability now includes also support to local communities, employees, and other business partners.
The wave of plant-based eating further penetrated snacks, with the appearance of many new products beyond ice cream, within chocolate confectionery and snack bars. Major industry players are embracing the trend, as more people are limiting consumption of animal products. High prices are still a challenge.
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