This year again, Indians have emerged trendsetters as snacking took over traditional meals at a statistically significant pace. With 74 percent of adults preferring small meals throughout the day than large ones, and 81 percent replacing at least one meal each day with a snack, consumers are always on the search for the right snack.
76 percent of adults mentioned that they could not imagine a world without a sweet treat during their day. The majority of Indians say they feel the same way about chocolate (78 percent) and birthday cake (78 percent), according to a report by Mondelez India.
“Snacking remains intrinsic to India’s consumption culture, enabling everyday social moments, being a source of comfort, and providing needful indulgence. However, with the evolving role that snacking now plays in our lives, Indian consumers are getting a lot more experimental. Going beyond variety, taste, and accessibility, our study indicates a clear connection between snacking and wellbeing, with consumers acknowledging indulgence the right way. With it is also the growing demand for judicious purchase choices- right from the ingredients, manufacturing to packaging. These insights only strengthen our purpose to empower people to snack right as we lead the future of snacking,” said Anil Viswanathan, Vice President - Marketing, Mondelez India.
Here are some of the snacking trends that are taking over the market.
1. Snack Continues to Replace Meals
81 percent Indians claim to replace at least one meal each day with a snack, as opposed to 62 percent globally.
78 percent look forward to snacks (eaten b/w or instead of meals) during the day, more than the meals.
In fact, 74 percent prefer to eat many small meals throughout the day, as opposed to a few large ones.
2. Snack – Food for Mind, Body, and Soul
Consumers are seeking a variety of snacks that can ultimately deliver a balance between functional and indulgent foods. The parameters for physical, mental and emotional health vary and there is no one snack fits all approach
Snacking is a key exponent to nourishing each of these areas as consumers say they are looking for snacks to improve emotional (88 percent), mental (86 percent), and physical (83 percent) health.
8 in 10 also say they are looking for snacks that help them improve their social health, craving bite-sized ways to connect with others.
3. Honoring Indulgence the Right Way
While the pandemic has given way to more indulgence, as per the 2021 State of Snacking report, 9 in 10 Indian adults (88 percent) shared they are snacking more, a 20 percent jump from the global average.
Consumers are striving for a healthy balance between taste and health. 77 percent of consumers agree that certain snacks can be reserved for the enjoyment of snacking rather than worrying about nutrition.
Portion control and labeling are also gaining notice for consumers with 86 percent stating say it is important for them to have control over the portion size and ingredients in their snacks.
4. Snack on Demand
The report tracks purchase patterns of consumers revealing that 82 percent of Indian consumers expect to buy their choice of snacks whenever they want and 83 percent agree that it should be a channel of their choice.
Convenience (80 percent) and Variety (86 percent) take the front seat for the purchase of snacks. Consumers are now also open to newer avenues of shopping and have widened their palates.
5. Social Media as a Snacking Inspiration
It’s an era of rapid change and consumers are now open to taking new risks with snacking experimentation. 90 percent of Indian consumers say they “look forward to trying new snacks”.
The majority of this risk-taking attitude is inspired by social media, as 9 in 10 adults mentioned that they prefer their social feeds to be as appetizing as their plates. Topping their list of priorities with food content rich with sensory experience, interesting food trends, grocery hauls.