Snack attack: Indian consumers demanding tasty, healthy choices

9 May 2022

Globally, snacking is benefitting from the frenetic pace of modern life and, in India, eight out of ten consumers say they have snacked in the last six months, according to a recent report from Mintel.  

Other sources confirm this national love of snacks. According to Mondelez’s most recent State of Snacking report, 81% of respondents said they replace at least one meal each day with a snack. But the idea of what constitutes a snack is also evolving alongside eating patterns. Eighty-three percent of Indian consumers have redefined their concept of a snack over the last three years to include an expanded repertoire of options, the State of Snacking report found. 

Snack attack: Indian consumers demanding tasty, healthy choices

A Nielsen survey found that Indian consumers are primarily seeking out “fresh” snacks, with 71% of respondents associated that term with their snacking preferences. "Crispy," "flavourful" and "crunchy" also made the list of attractive attributes with 46%, 45%, 41% of consumers citing those terms as important snack characteristics. 

Novel brands play for consumer attention

“As a matter of fact, ‘varianting’ is a key strategy we’ve observed particularly in the snacks space, with marketers launching newer flavours periodically. This not only gives consumers variety but helps create buzz for a brand,” the Nielsen survey said, pointing to limited-edition releases as an appealing strategy to harness more attention. 

As the Indian appetite for snacks grows, brands are pushing the boundaries of growth to capture the attention of the 1.4 billion people in the country. A new Indian ice popsicle brand called Skippi found its start on India’s Shark Tank.

While sweets are appealing to many — the State of Snacking report noted that 68% of people cannot imagine a world without a sweet treat during their day — salty snacks may be more popular in this South Asian nation. According to Mintel research, “snacking is synonymous to eating salty snacks,” and 98% of snackers ate some variety of salty snacks over a six-month period.

Healthy snacks must taste good

Health is also an important consideration for Indian consumers. Mintel research found that nearly two-thirds of consumers (71%) indicated taste trumped how healthy a snack is, while 85% of Indian consumers wish there were healthy snack options available.

Clean snacking brands are working to deliver on these demands. ​​Parle Products outpaced its international rivals such as Nestlé, growing at the fastest pace in a decade. The Indian biscuit company posted a 38% increase in net sales during the year ended March 31, The Economic Times reported. True Elements, a healthy breakfast & snacks start-up from India, became one of the country’s first startups to be certified clean label and is one of the country’s market-leading snacking companies.

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