Gear Up for the new age of Snacking

We Indians love our food. We love how our snacks come in a variety of appealingly unique flavours and we can never get enough of their deliciousness. And that is why we are always ready to experiment more and embrace new varieties in snacks. 

COVID19 has greatly impacted our snacking habits. Work from home has become a regular phenomenon during the pandemic. Lack of any concrete structure in daily life, complete social isolation, and extended working hours have led people to feel anxious at all times. However, amidst all this gloom, snacking has been the silver lining! 

A snack a day keeps the pandemic blues away!

Having something handy to grab & munch works as an instant stress-buster. Eating small portions of “your favourite food” at regular intervals is the finest as well as the fastest way to manage stressful situations. 

This can be clearly understood by looking at a research Mondelez conducted on the “State of Snacking”. The study was made on 555 individuals, of which 77% said they look forward to snacking more than their meals. 9/10 Indian adults started snacking more during the pandemic and the trend is expected to continue. 

Furthermore, this pandemic has put a red flag on the individual and his/her family’s health. Therefore, the onus is now on having a healthy snacking habit instead of the usual unhealthy ones. 

Snacking trends in India and the world-over are seeing a major shift
People the world over are shifting towards quick-fix meals that take very little time to prepare and are nutritious at the same time.

Millennials and Gen Zs have, owing to their extremely busy lifestyles, adapted a completely new attitude towards snacking. The basic “meals 3 times a day” model is no longer relevant. They are making snack choices based on taste, health, safety, and comfort. 

According to a Mintel research which was conducted before the pandemic struck, “60% of Indian consumers snack more than twice a day. 15% of them snack more than 4 times a day”. This consumption frequency has grown quite rapidly during the pandemic. Consumers now rely on small portions of snacks to keep them going throughout the day. 

Consequently, the snack food segment has experienced a crucial rise, which will continue to grow at a faster pace in the coming years. It has generated a revenue of over $5000 million in the year 2019, and is expected to grow at 7.5% annually. (CAGR 2019-2023) 

Now, brands across India are learning about this curve to develop snacks that fits into the lifestyle choices of modern-day consumers.

Here are a few important trends to look out for: 
1. Need for Healthier snacking options: 

As the frequency of snacking increased, consumers began to look for natural food products. Products that promise to deliver health in convenient packages. Modern-day consumers are very curious as well cautious about what goes into their food. They want a solid punch of both taste as well as nutrition. Therefore, brands across India are putting all their focus on creating on-the-go snacks with healthy ingredients. 

2. Need for Redefining snacks with innovation 

Healthy, Convenient, & Experimental is the new way of snacking! It has compelled brands to put more dimensions into their packets. However, food companies are nicely stepping up to this challenge by incorporating more innovative ingredients in their snacks. Numerous brands have succeeded in satisfying customers’ palate as well as health-concerns by introducing Superfoods for quick crunching. Also, they are trying to bring snacks with flavours of the entire nation.

3. Need for integrating Snacking with Sustainability 

Modern-consumers aren’t just bothered about how their snacks taste but are also careful about how they are made; whether or not their favourite snacks are grown, processed, manufactured, and packaged in an eco-friendly manner! Environment also plays a very important role in helping people decide what a good snack looks like. Take the example of Europe where palm oil is considered as a divisive & controversial ingredient. According to a report by Mintel, “48% of UK consumers avoid crisps, savoury snacks and nuts made using palm oil”. When it comes to snacks, sustainability remains a significant issue for consumers worldwide. They are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of palm oil and its links with deforestation.

Innovation is the need of the hour

From taste to the environment, innovating & experimenting is the only way forward for brands who want to stay at the top of their “Snack-Game”. Whether you are designing a snack to replace a meal or one to curb the mid-meal cravings, it is important to incorporate elements of both taste and health. 

The need of the hour is to design food-bites that deliver a wholesome multi-sensory experience without sending people into a calorie-guilt trip. 

And to make it happen, brands will first have to understand the profiles of their customers: who are they, what drives them in life, what kind of flavours they’ve had as a child, what is their lifestyle, what’s their preferred time of snacking, what are their hopes & fears when picking a new snack off the rack, etc. The more you know your customer, the closer you can come to creating effective, personalized, and addictive flavours. 

Some great examples of innovation by brands the world over are: 

  1. Steamed asparagus as a bagged snack: These Poshi Rosemary & Oregano Steamed & Marinated Asparagus is a dream snack for health-conscious consumers. It contains just 10 calories and is without any kinds of trans fat or GMO ingredients. It is an all-natural snack that is absolutely healthy and satisfying. 
  • Lime-flavored taro chips: Lays has released Lime-flavoured Taro chips that refresh your palate like nothing else ever would. These chips are sliced in a way that they could retain most of their original aroma. They are also believed to be rich in fibre. 
  • Wasa Paprika Delicate Crackers: These crackers are oven-baked and comprise 40% less fat compared with other crackers in the market. Additionally, it is also carbon-neutral, with its packet bearing the WASA CO2 Neutral logo. These can also be called dream crackers for the environmentalists as they come completely free of palm oil. 
  • Nestle Air Popcorn range: In an attempt to create super healthy-tasty snacks, Nestle introduced popcorns that are made with an oil-free technology. These were first introduced in Vietnam in the year 2020. These come in 3 locally-loved flavours: Milk Coffee, Milk Tea, and Fruit Yogurt Popcorn. 
  • Pringles Passport Flavours range: Pringles introduced a genius concept of “transportive snacks”. Flavours & aromas that take you to different places and make you nostalgic. It has recreated Pringles based on popular dishes from famous destinations like London Fish and Chips flavoured Pringles. 
Tastier, Spicier, and Healthier snacks that none can resist

The job of “A great snack” isn’t much different from that of a Dance Jockey at a party. He/she has to understand the soul of the party, ramp up the tempo slowly, and get people to vibe & connect eventually. That is exactly what great food does. It boosts people’s moods, helps them to relax, and builds the base for great bonding. 

While experimenting with snacking for today’s consumer brands need to release products that encourage more munching without having to compromise on health. Numerous brands today have shifted focus on playing healthier base ingredients such as pulses. They emphasize on the inherent nutritional benefits of high fibre and protein-rich ingredients like beans, lentils, and peas to attract diet-conscious consumers who are reluctant to cut back on their snacking habits. 

The desire to ‘try something new’ each time further creates opportunities for the manufacturer. Extruded and baked snacks tossed in a combination of spices, masalas and exotic ingredients that stand out from the classics continue to garner attention.  

Familiar snacks reimagined in an unconventional avatar can also prove to be game-changers. A humble Cheela repackaged as chickpea flour crisps dusted with classic spices or multigrain flatbreads seasoned with Italian flavours are an ideal combination of nutritional goodness and lip-smacking delicacy.  

What does the future of Snacking in India look like?

“The India Snacks Market will be more than INR 1 Billion by the end of 2024.” Business-wire reports. The Indian snack market is witnessing a sharp rise due to multiple factors such as changes in the lifestyle, growing urbanisation, availability of snacks in small quantities in budget, infusion of regional flavours etc. Food brands are quickly catching up with the requirements of their consumers and are tweaking their snacks accordingly.

India is big on snacks that seem home-made. Not only are these ready to make snacks such as instant upma, rava idlis and packed dosas filling but are also tasty & nutritious. With time crunch & need for convenience, such snacks are everyone’s first choice.

Brands have also focused on creating snacks rich in regional flavours. These snacks are personalized to suit the taste preferences of each state.  Also, with the pandemic on the rise, consumers, in small and big cities alike, are quickly shifting from unpackaged to packaged foods. 

Who are we?

From sensory solutions to Product ideas and Proof of Concepts, Symega offers ingenious possibilities in food. We serve nearly 40 food and beverage categories, across 45 countries, and are experts in developing path-breaking ideas that our clients simply love.

If you are a food brand looking to take your snacks to the next level, Symega is the answer! 

We tie-up with organizations to help them find, research, and innovate amazing snack ideas that are always a hit amidst consumers. 

How does Symega helps brands curate delicious Snacks 

Creating a new snack that is lip-smacking good isn’t as easy as it appears. One has to take care of the tastes & preferences, cultural diversity, eating habits, and a variety of other things. But, it is not impossible! Therefore, to help you create the perfect recipe, which satisfies every palate, Symega has curated a perfect Demand-Identify-Delivery flow. 

D: Define what influences the market demand & consumer behaviour 

I: Identify the current & upcoming trends in the market to assess consumer demand. 

D: Deliver concept ideas as solutions to those demands & trends 

Where does the next snack come from? If you are a food company, looking for ideas & inspiration for your next snack, look no more. 

Symega has curated 4 basic yet winning concepts that you can take a cue from for your next snack idea:
  1. Occasion Specific Snacks: A consumer’s mood changes throughout the day. So, while they might want to eat rava in the morning, they absolutely devour khakhras at night. It is important to identify which/what kinds of snacks consumers prefer eating in the morning, afternoon, evening, and at nights. Creating snacks more specific to occasions is a genius concept that the food industry should quickly embrace.
  1. Snacks to power you through the day: With WFH culture becoming the new normal, more and more people have started snacking late at night. But late doesn’t have to mean unhealthy! People are looking for healthier snacking options that they can eat even at/after midnight without a twinge of guilt. Companies can grab this opportunity to create snacks that are healthy and satiating at the same time. 
  1. Flavours of Indian Street Food: TheIndian street food is incomparable. It is equally loved by all. What is great about it is that whether you like your food spicy, or sweet, or sweet & salty, it has something special to offer to everyone. It’s rich-unique flavours are hard to miss. Simply by incorporating the varied flavours of the roadside stalls into your bite-sized snacks you can blow anyone’s mind. Remember, designing snacks isn’t just about creating taste but it is also about giving consumers a memorable experience. 
  1. Fusing India and the world on a plate: Banking on current consumer’s familiarity with global tastes, try out cross category concepts in extruded snacks. These days people simply love to experiment more, and try out new & exotic tasting snacks. So, it only makes sense to serve them Spain or Mexico or Italy fused with Indian delights in a packet. 

If you are looking for new ideas, or to construct snacks covered in mouth-watering seasoning, connect with us today!

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