Driven by increasing urbanization levels and growing demand from developing countries, the global market for savory snacks is expected to grow from US$94.5 billion in 2015 to $138.2 billion by 2020.
Rising urbanization levels and busier lifestyles are impacting the eating habits of consumers, who are increasingly replacing main meals with more flexible, light, and convenient snacking options. In fact, changing consumer preferences and the growing trend of “snackification" is driving the demand for portable and on-the-go formats. (Check out the INSIDER Infographic: Snacking—Everyone’s Doing It)
A new trend report from FONA International put the spotlight on salty snacks and found new product introductions for savory snacks showed an 18-percent increase from 2014-2015. New product introductions in North America showed a 3-percent growth in 2014-2015 that followed a 19-percent growth between 2013 and 2014.
According to a recent Mintel survey, about 38 percent of consumers stated that the single most important factor that would influence them to purchase salty snacks would be a new flavor launch and 30 percent said spicy flavors also influence their purchases. Continued innovation focusing on new and exciting savory flavors will keep loyal consumers trying these new flavors, while attracting a whole new audience.
The top global savory snack flavors include smoke, vinegar, honey, spice, beef, pizza, barbeque and char-grilled.
In addition to savory inspired flavors, different preparation techniques are also being used to create these savory snacks and add a whole new nuance of flavor to the category. The most popular flavor in this category is the roasted/toasted flavor. With 18 percent growth during 2014-2015, there are plenty of new roasted products taking the market by storm. FONA is seeing products like roasted coconut kale chips, oven roasted sweet potato chips and a huge variety of roasted nuts.
The top salty snack trends identified by FONA include:
- Better-for-you snacks are becoming more available and segments like popcorn, which has experienced a 21-percent growth in sales from 2009-2014, are meeting consumer demands. Popcorn is flavor-friendly, RTE and has a high health perception among consumers making it the perfect snack. Plus, it is has a high satiety factor.
- About 76 percent of consumers believe that there are healthier salty snack options than ever but 80 percent feel they should be eaten in moderation.
- Taste is the priority with consumers as 63 percent value a salty snack’s ability to indulge over its nutrition.
- Cheese snacks, despite nutritional drawbacks, are also very popular with consumers and have a category share of 38 percent.
- Ancient grains, root vegetables, and especially seaweed continue to bring the health to the salty snack category. Seaweed, popular with some consumers since the 80’s, is a real presence on national grocery chain shelves in a variety of palate-pleasing flavors like onion, Sriracha, and BBQ.
- Clean label is growing in salty snacks, with 56 percent of consumers concerned about the ingredients in salty snacks. FDA’s recent ruling on partially hydrogenated oils resulted in a 20-percent low/no/reduced fat claim increase from 2009-2014.
- Packaging is important in salty snacks, especially resealable pouches as consumers like the portability, share-ability and resulting convenience they provide. Single-serve packages continue to be important especially to younger consumers.
Savory snacks were recognized during the 5th Annual SupplySide CPG Editor's Choice Awards that recognize some of the coolest new launches of consumer packaged goods (CPG) products across more than 20 categories. Check out the Image Gallery: Salty Snacks Finalists for 2016 SupplySide CPG Editor’s Choice Awards.