NEED FOOD NOW!
THREE MEALS A day around the dinner table are out – we’re too busy. Instead consumers all over the world are snacking more, eating out, and bringing prepared food home. That’s a big opportunity for Kiwi exporters.
It’s official. Snacking is big business. Globally we consumed $374 billion-worth of snacks in the year to March 2014, according to Nielsen’s most recent Snack Attack report. Overall, that figure is up 2% on the year before, but in Asia Pacific, snack sales are growing at twice that rate, and in Latin America more than three times.
It would be a mistake for snack food producers to concentrate on the US and European markets, because they look the biggest, says the Nielsen report. These markets are well-served and growing slowly.
“The biggest future growth will come from the Asia-Pacific region for two key reasons: increased consumption per capita and an increasing population. With a growing middle class, there are more mouths to feed and more money to spend on snacking. The same is true in Africa, although the growth trajectory for snacks is still lower than Asia-Pacific at this time.”
Drill down further and the numbers get even more interesting if you are a Kiwi food company. Savoury snack sales, including crackers, rice crackers and pita chips jumped 21% in the last year in Latin America, refrigerated snacks (yogurt, cheese snacks etc) jumped 6.4% in Asia-Pacific, and meat snacks ( jerky and dried meat was up 25% in the Middle East and Africa.
Beef and milk-based snack products – now that’s something we could surely jump onto.
When it comes to marketing Kiwi food and targeting the consumer, a couple of other snack trends look promising.
First, the report found women and men snack in different ways – and it might be worth targetting women, who are the biggest consumers of snacks globally. Women consume more chocolate (68% of women, compared to 61% of men), fresh fruit (68% versus 57%), vegetables ( 56% versus 49%), yoghurt ( 57% versus 44%) and biscuits ( 55% versus 48%).
Second, people’s busy lifestyles mean they are increasingly eating snacks as quick meals, rather than between-meal food. A whopping 45% of those surveyed consume snacks as a meal alternative – 52% for breakfast, 43% for lunch and 40% for dinner.
And although “fast food” has traditionally “meant high in calories and low in health benefits”, that’s changing. “There is a massive opportunity to gain market share in the nutritous, portable and easy-to- eat sector,” says the report.