August 2005 management briefing

The biggest barrier to growth in the snacks industry, particularly in Western Europe and Japan, is consumer concerns about health and rising obesity levels. Snack companies have responded to this with a growing number of better-for-you products, reducing salt, fat, additives and carbohydrates, while adding more ‘natural’ and functional ingredients. In the face of several key obstacles, the world’s appetite for savoury snacks continues to grow. Euromonitor report that savoury snacks were easily the largest and strongest growing product type of all the impulse foods last year, notching up value sales of US$65.6bn – up 8.4% on the year before. The world snack market can be divided into two camps: the more mature markets of North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australasia; and the developing regions of Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and North Africa/Middle East. This month’s briefing gives an overview of trends in both camps and will look at both existing and developing markets in more detail. The key issues of innovation and health are also addressed.

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