The snacking market has been driven by consumer backlash against sugar, salt and artificial ingredients, alongside changing lifestyle and personal wellbeing, according to data gathered by Euromonitor.
The market research showed that healthy snacks sales will rise by a CAGR of three percent over 2016-2021 compared to conventional snacks, which will only increase by two percent.
“We are now seeing a movement towards healthier snacks such as yoghurt, milk drinks, energy bars and nuts, as a growing segment of the non-snack food market is rebranding itself as snack replacements,” said Lianne van den Bos, global lead analyst at Euromonitor.
The study forecasts that yoghurt and sour milk products will represent 15.8 percent of the snack market in 2021, up from 11.1 percent in 2002, while the chocolate confectionery’s share of the market will decrease from 17.9 percent in 2002 to 16.2 percent in 2021.
To change the growth trajectory of chocolate and remain relevant in the healthy snacking era, the chocolate industry is redesigning its offering from texture to flavour, and ingredients to packaging. Even though chocolate sales are declining, values still offer a huge opportunity for chocolate manufacturers.
“Before it was reducing sugar, now it is about high quality ingredients, better taste, and moderation,” said Ms van de Bos. “In fact, big successes have been booked by the sudden popularity of dark chocolate, which is positioned as a healthier alternative to other types of chocolate.”
Competing in the premium ingredients market means understanding changing consumer needs; this should take into account emotion and self-expressive benefits. Small start-ups have tapped into social trends of personal wellbeing and changing lifestyle quicker than big food companies, gaining strides in the market share.
This disrupted consumers environment is not necessarily a threat but can become an opportunity for chocolate manufacturers who embrace it and respond to evolving consumer demands.