World Market for Snacks

December 2021

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.

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Key Findings

The rise of special diets

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.

Sugar reduction

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.

Plant-based eating

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.


Examining six trends shaping the global retail snacks market

State of the Industry

Healthy eating and life at home slow down snacks growth
Snacks hold their position despite changes brought by the pandemic
Savoury snacks is the most dynamic, as an affordable “meal substitute”
Savoury snacks expects the highest growth, led by Asia Pacific
Savoury snacks surpassed confectionery in value sales for the first time
Gum innovates in positioning and functionality to recover growth
US and China show the highest absolute growth expected
Grocery outlets still dominate amid fast-growing e-commerce sales

Leading Companies and Brands

Global snacks giants resilient amid the pandemic
PepsiCo strengthens its leadership with a focus on savoury snacks
Players from Asia Pacific and Latin America among the biggest winners

Top SIX Trends Shaping the Industry

Examining six trends shaping the global retail snacks market
Rise of special diets is major driver of snacks innovation
The rise of special diets: case studies
T he search for sugar reduction encourages new product development
The search for sugar reduction: case studies
Hometainment offers opportunities to snacks for at-home indulgence
Hometainment : case studies
Digitalisation enables new ways of selling and engaging with consumers
Digitalisation : case studies
Sustainability continues to be a high priority for snacks companies
Sustainability: case studies
Plant-based snacks sprout across categories
Plant-based: case studies

Market Snapshots

Global snapshot of Savoury Snacks
Global snapshot of Confectionery
Global snapshot of Sweet Biscuits, Snack Bars and Fruit Snacks
Global snapshot of Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Australasia


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