The Latest Insights and Trends in the Confectionery and Snacks Market

The confectionery and snack world is constantly evolving to the needs of modern-day consumers. With the impact of global health concerns surrounding COVID-19, the consumption of snacks has increased dramatically. More and more consumers are moving away from the traditional wholesome three meals a day into small meal portions. While there is still a huge void, confectionery and snacks with health benefits have been trending for all the right reasons. While indulgence is a key factor, consuming snacks or chocolates that are guilt-free without high sugar content are being preferred. While taking a closer look at the future of this industry, we are going to review the latest trends, interesting statistics and provide a quick market overview.

The Confectionery & Snacks Market

A recent study by Mordor intelligence projects that the global snack market will grow at a CAGR of 5.34 per cent from 2020 to 2025 [1]. Due to the busy lifestyles we lead these days, snacks have become an essential replacement for meals. This is reflective of changing consumer eating patterns too. The shift indicates an opportunity for convenience food that is directly proportional to the growth indicated in the snacks industry. The global snack food industry is segmented by different types of snacks and confectionery, the most popular being, salted snacks, baked snacks, confectionery, and specialty & frozen snacks. This year, salted snacks are believed to be recording the highest market growth. According to Statista, this industry is currently valued at $100+ billion with an average spend of $300+ per household every year in the US alone.

The confectionery industry is set to grow at a CAGR of 3.45 per cent from 2019 to 2024, with chocolate being the most popular subcategory. The Asia Pacific and the Middle East are considered the largest prospective markets, due to a growing demand for exotic confectionary products sold Internationally. For health reasons, consumers are on the lookout for low calorie, high cocoa and functional ingredient-based confectionery. The other most popular segments of the confectionery industry include sugar confectionery and snack bars.

Latest Trends In The Industry

Preference for dark chocolate has increased

Euromonitor recently forecast that sales of dark chocolate will exceed those of regular chocolate by 3.51 per cent next year. The shift is driven by consumers moving towards a healthy lifestyle without compromising on indulgence – dark chocolate contains health and nutritional benefits. Manufacturers are noticeably experimenting with ingredients by replacing sugar with sweetened fruits and nuts. Consumers are closely analysing the labels and content to make an informed decision on their confectionery consumption.

The Plant-Based Revolution

Natural, healthy and eco-friendly products with recognisable ingredients are in favour among consumers. Snack bars with healthy plant-based ingredients have been popular since last year.

Sustainable Choices

The confectionery and snacking industry is supporting the movement towards sustainability together with their consumers whoare willing to pay extra if the company has invested in sustainability and an environmentally friendly focus. From 2018 to 2019, there was a noticeable increase from 65 per cent to 87 per cent, according to the Innova consumer survey 2019.

Snacks with High Nutritional Value

Consumers are looking to compensate for their wholesome meals with nutrient-dense snacks. They are looking at ingredients, flavours and calorie levels prior to making a purchase. Depending on the region, with snacks there could also be some cultural influence on flavour profiles.

Sugar-free Options in Confectionery

Sugar-free confectionery is now widespread in the market, its appeal growing among health-conscious consumers. For instance, sugar-free chewing gums and sugar-free boiled sweets are already in popular demand. They contain a number of health benefits including enhanced well-being, boosting energy and there is growing demand for lozenges to soothe a sore throat.

Snacking by Dietary Guidelines

Dietary guidelines are heavily impacting the food industry. With the popularity of keto diets and a low-carbohydrate lifestyle, dairy products have become a premium snacking option. Packaging differs for these snacks as consumers and retailers prefer single-serve options. Cottage cheese, protein pack assortments, cheese cubes and sour cream are all examples of convenient dairy solutions for healthy diet-oriented snacking.

Future forecasts

A recently published article on PR Newswire estimates the global snack food market will grow by $217.2 billion. With more consumers making an informed choice on their health, you’ll notice a major shift to healthy and nutritious snacks worldwide. With their fast-paced lifestyles, India and China are believed to be the next growth markets for on-the-go snacks. The confectionery and snacks industry is evolving to cater to the changing needs of modern consumers. From being considered junk food, to being the source of daily nutritional needs, the shift has been a major one. Over the next decade or so, all the given forecasts indicate a changing trend in the preferred segments of snacks, and overall continued growth globally.

Even with the COVID-19 health crisis and recession, the food industry is still growing, with snacking and confectionery a huge part of that trend. Irrespective of the economic situation, consumers are looking for comfort food. They are willing to pay more for healthy and sustainable snacks that don’t compromise on flavour. There has been month-on-month growth of consumers seeking comfort food. In May 2020, 60 per cent of consumers shopped for confectionery products versus 56 per cent in the previous month. Healthy snacks are all about convenience for consumers, who are always looking for on-the-go snacking options that help boost energy. As a business looking to survive in the food industry, it is imperative to understand consumer needs and cater to them. 


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