Country-specific snack boxes deliver regional flavours direct to consumers26 Apr 2022
Country-specific snack boxes with regional flavours are captivating food and drink consumers by taking adventurous eaters around the globe with monthly subscription boxes.
Personalised taste will become much more sophisticated in the next decade. Demand for customised flavours and ingredients is driving the surge of snack box brands delivering treats from around the world direct to consumers' doors.
"Currently, few brands personalise flavour to individual palates," says Jonny Forsyth, associate director at Mintel Food & Drink. "Those that do, require customers to do the work of choosing and over-rely on people's self-knowledge of a complex area," adds Forsyth.
As a result of the pandemic, snacking has increased, Mintel states, with consumers reporting they are engaging in snacking to manage a wide range of emotions including boredom, frustration and comfort.
"Today's snack brands now have an opportunity to make the snacking experience more relevant to consumers' emotions," says Forsyth. The market research company states that food and drink brands can emphasise a variety of satisfactions that people are seeking when they buy comfort foods, such as escapism through unusual flavours and sensory relief with textures, aromas and visual appeal.
Snacks that offer convenience, excitement and indulgence
Independent snack-specific brands are popping up alongside new initiatives and spin-offs from multinational heritage names. Increasingly, vibrant and adventure-embracing brands are appearing in the snack segment, seeking to give consumers a taste of the globe via subscription boxes delivered directly to consumers' doors.
Brands are curating authentic, eclectic and exclusive snack boxes that feature food and drink products from a different country and cuisine each month. Universal Yums highlights flavours and fun with its snack boxes, offering an array of sweet and savoury snacks with unique flavours and spices. In mini, original and premium formats, SnackSurprise gives foodies a different country's cuisine each month and keeps the country a secret until consumers receive it through the door, adding to the mystique and excitement that surrounds snack box popularity.
SnackCrate combines the personal selection and surprise elements associated with snack boxes, by enabling consumers to choose their first monthly snack box before delivering the next month's crate as a surprise. Snack Magic allows foodie consumers and businesses to curate their snack boxes and offer them as gifts. The snack-based brand highlights its global personalised gifting offering by undertaking box customisations, branded digital experiences and custom printed notes.
Other snack brands focus on taking consumers on a culinary journey of a specific country. Gusto di Roma, for example, takes shoppers on a European tour of Italian favourites, while MexiCrate sends consumers on a taste exploration around Mexico. Tasting treats from Asia are also popular among consumers, with SeoulBox giving a snapshot of South Korean cuisine through authentic and Korean-exclusive snacks, Bokksu and Tanoshi Me Box suggest travelling to Japan through curated premium snacks, and IndiFix continues the at-home food travels through Asia with an eclectic snack box to reflect India's much-loved treats.
From customisation to true personalisation
Globally-renowned companies Coca-Cola Freestyle and Graze have created innovations that draw upon consumer demand to personalise their taste and sit comfortably in this area of the market.
Drinks heavyweight, Coca-Cola, launched its Freestyle concept back in 2009, giving consumers the ability to choose from 165 different drink products and custom flavours and selecting from a mixture of flavours through a touch screen soda fountain. UK-based snack company Graze lets users tailor flavours of each box via online feedback. At present, it has over 200 snack combinations that it offers to consumers via snack subscription boxes, its online shop and through physical retailers.
Looking ahead to the next decade, as consumers' expectations of customised flavour and taste offerings evolve, snack brands will need to tap into consumer demands for fully-fledged personalisation.
Artificial intelligence targets consumer emotions
"As the decade evolves so will the sophistication of taste targeting," anticipates Forsyth. Snacking startup brands like Tastemap are using artificial intelligence (AI) to match customers to products with their taste profiles. Within the next ten years, Mintel's Forsyth says: Expect startups to create bespoke food or drinks based on at-home taste tests."
"Snacks have the biggest role to play to personalise, escape or excite," Forsyth says about today's food and drink industry.
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