). With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the snack food market during the first few months has witnessed a reduced demand mostly because of barriers to the movement of goods and closure of retail outlets.
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However, as consumers were forced to stay indoors, snacking became a common habit, mostly among the adult and younger population. This has further led to the "buying in bulk" of snack foods which enables consumers to trim down on sudden hunger. Manufacturers, witnessing the sudden upsurge, have eventually launched products that are enriched with protein, vitamin and nutrients giving consumers an on the go nutrition while snacking.
Over the medium term, snack food will emerge as an alternative to full-fledged meals with the paradigm shift in consumer behaviour patterns. The face of snacks is changing, as empowered consumers increasingly seek tasty, nutritional, and sustainable foods to fuel their on-the-go lifestyles. Snacking is on the rise, as the demand for convenience and portability fuels increased consumption, with premiumization spurring innovation and variety in fresh, better-for-you, and functional snacks. Localization is encouraging the use of bold and spicy flavors and exotic ingredients to appeal to international palates, which is driving the growth in the regional markets. Convenience is also driving online sales of ready-to-eat snacks, with snack foods being one of the top food categories purchased through the e-commerce channel.?
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the generation of opportunities for many snack food private players to emerge in the markets to cater to the inflated demand. The demand for innovated snack products is consistently high in the developed countries because snacks are a quick and convenient source of nutrition and energy.
Globally, the number of independent working women, double-income families and nuclear families are increasing. This demographic change increases the demand for convenience food by many folds. Snack food is being considered as the closest alternative to regular food, which can be consumed any time (such as, during breakfast, lunch of dinner purpose).
Key Market Trends
Growing Demand for Convenient and Healthy on-the-go Snacking
Globally, the demand for convenience foods is growing at a faster pace due to changes in social and economic patterns, as well as increased expenditure of food and beverage, awareness about healthy foods, changes in meal patterns and existing food habits, and the desire to taste new products.
The United States is the largest market for convenience foods in the world, and the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America are projected to see future growth for the same.
On-the-go snacking is becoming extremely popular, especially among the working-class people, teenage children, people living in hostels, and bachelors due to their hectic lifestyles. Moreover, the on-the-go snacking concept is closely associated with easy consumption and handling of products, which frozen snacks, savoury snacks, confectionery snacks, bakery snacks, and other snacks offer. Thus, the demand for snack products is increasing due to the linked convenience of consumption, aided by disposable packaging that prevents the bars from coming in contact with hands, keeping them clean to work simultaneously.
Asia Pacific Holds the Major Share in Snack Food Market
Snack food products are largely consumed in the developed regions due to high commercialization and urbanization. The market is expected to grow with a high CAGR in developing countries across the globe.
Asia-Pacific represents the largest and fastest-growing market for snack food products, followed by North America in size owing to the increasing demand from the developing countries of India and China. The spread of western eating habits to the developing world and growing urbanization have helped in better market penetration for the global players in the developing nations of Asia-Pacific. The Chinese snack food market registered a stable growth in the study period, and it is expected to further improve in the forecast period; majorly driven by the product innovation and healthy snacking trends.
Moreover, rising demand for on-the-go snacking with additional nutritional content is driving the demand for meat-based snacks in the market studied. Additionally, the higher protein content and lower fat and carbs of products augment their demand among sports and fitness enthusiasts.
The competition in the global snack food market is reported to be huge mostly in the developed countries where a large number of snack food manufacturing companies are operating to serve the limited population. Some of the major key players in the global snack food market Food are PepsiCo Inc, Kellogg Company, Nestle SA, and General Mills Inc, among others.
The prominent players are focusing on new product developments, expansions, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions as a strategy to cater to the increasing demands of the consumers, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in the market.
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