Bite-size Trends in Sweets & Snacks
Discovery and adventure messaging along with convenience drives new product development in the sweets and snacks categories
With one in four global consumers increasing their consumption of confectionery over the past year (Innova Market Insights Consumer Survey, 2018) because “there is more variety & novelty available,” the food industry is responding. New data from Innova Market Insights finds a 15% average annual growth in global confectionery launches with a “discovery” claim (CAGR 2013-2017).
Consumer curiosity to discover something new and different is leading to more unusual and often bolder flavors and blends, surprise textures and a greater focus on visual appeal in the sweets and snacks arena.
Heightened sensory delivery is also being increasingly combined with an element of the unexpected. As such, we are seeing activity in areas such as unusual colors, popping candy, hot & spicy options, cooling effects and more interactive, personalized packaging.
Amid this dynamic environment, a 17% average annual growth in confectionery and snacks launches over the past five years (Global, CAGR 2014-2018) has been reported.
Snacking is no longer the optional extra, but the definitive occasion. Companies are focusing their new product development on trends such as bite-site formats and on-the-go options. There is a 20% growth in new snack launches with “bite-site” claim (Global, 2018 vs. 2017).
The three leading drivers of choice in snacks and confectionery remain flavor, cost and indulgence, with health considerations lower down the pecking order in this segment. “In the light of rising health awareness, consumers are not necessarily reducing confectionery consumption levels,” Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights notes.
Confectionery remains an affordable everyday treat that is successfully building on opportunities around premiumization, sharing and gifting.
Even the move to plant-based eating has been seen in confectionery as well as snacks as brands “green up” their portfolios to attract the mainstream consumers who want to add more plant based options to their diets. Both categories are seeing more plant-based ingredients and flavors, with vegan-friendly positioning also increasingly in evidence.
The use of vegan-friendly claims for global confectionery and snacks NPD rose an average of 27% annually over the 2014 to 2018 period, according to Innova Market Insights data. These launches now account for 6.6% of new launches in 2018, which is slightly higher than the 6.2% penetration level for food and drinks launches as a whole.
The Top Ten Trends in Sweets and Snacks will also be the subject of Innova Market Insights’ pre-ISM webinar on Wednesday January 23, 2019 at 4pm CET/10am EST.