The snack food industry sector comprises of manufacturers of salted snacks, bakery snacks, confectionery, and specialty & frozen snacks. The salted snacks are further classified into potato chips, tortilla & corn chips, meat snacks, snack nuts, popped snacks, popcorn, cheese snacks, & others. Europe is most dominant market followed closely by North America, both combined contribute to the majority of worldwide snack market. Annual snack sales are growing quickly in the developing regions. Asia-Pacific and Latin America markets are increasing at above average CAGR, while sales in the Middle East/Africa has also shown significant growth. With the increase in western style eating habits to other parts of the world and busier lifestyles, the traditional family meal time is losing its share of time.
Popped snacks holds an essential place under snacks segment owing to its benefits such as low-calorie with high protein content, which is preferred by people with quick snacking habits. Popped snack market is segmented by ingredients, by type, and by geography. The growth of popped snacks is due to changing lifestyle and agile approach toward health have resulted in the increased consumption of snack foods in recent years. Popped snacks are subjected to heat and pressure until they pop. No frying and baking is required hence giving an impression of being healthier snack option.
Popped snacks can be segmented by ingredients like corn, rice, potato, chickpeas, or a mix of those. Popped snacks prepared from potato and corns contributes around 50% followed by popped rice snacks (20%) of the global consumption share, and available in different flavors and added ingredients like humus, multigrain and barbeque.
Popped snacks market can be classified by major types, i.e. sweet, mix of salty and sweet and salty. Taste preferences for snack options are significantly different around the world. Salty popped snacks has dominant share in the popped snacks market followed by mix of salty & sweet and sweet popped snack.
Popped snack market can further be segmented on the basis of distribution channel includes super/hyper market, retail stores, online. The popped snacks market is dominated by the super markets, creating a shift of buying power from manufacturer to retailers. Major players like PepsiCo, ConAgra etc. prefers to deliver the product directly to the retailer, and enjoys greater shelf space and last but one direct contact with the end users. Other distribution channel includes whole-sellers, which are prominent but not very beneficial when it comes to snack market. Whole-sellers buys the product from manufacturers and supply it to retailers, adding another level in distribution channel.
Innovation stands out as a major growth driver, sparking the market’s expansion both in terms of value and volume. Fast growing economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe spell strong, attractive, and lucrative business opportunities driven by strong economic growth and increased westernization of diet patterns. Popped snacks demand is primarily driven by taste and health considerations and consumers desire both benefits in the snacks. The fact that popped snacks is a healthier option, containing less fat compared to fried potato chips, no artificial colors, flavors and no preservatives also act as a driving factor.
The competitive landscape in the snacking industry is fierce. Major players are introducing new products and categories in popped snacks market very rapidly. Popchips and Walker (PepsiCo.) are the dominant players in the popped snack market. Frito-Lay and Kraft Foods Inc. have long enjoyed hearty market shares in snacks and are diversifying to cater popped snacks market. Other major players are Kettle Foods, Ferrero S.P.A., Kellogs Co., General Mills, Snyder’s-Lance and ConAgra Foods.