Industry Diversification In Snacking
The modern consumer's palate is more diverse than ever before. People are increasingly seeking healthy, exotic, and adventurous snack options that not only satisfy their taste buds but also align with their nutritional needs and lifestyles.
From gluten-free, organic, and vegan snacks to those with world flavours inspired by international cuisines, there has been a big shift in industry diversification in snacking. The snacking industry is constantly innovating to cater to the varied preferences of consumers.
This industry diversification ensures that there is something for everyone, whether your customers are health-conscious snackers looking for protein-packed snacks, adventurous foodies craving bold and unusual flavours, or individuals with nutritional prerequisites.
Understanding Industry Diversification
Industry diversification refers to the expansion of a company's product offerings into new and different markets. In the snacking industry, this can mean introducing new types of snacks, such as healthier options or snacks targeted towards specific dietary needs, or expanding into new markets, such as international markets. This allows companies to tap into new customer segments and increase their market share.
The Demand for Diverse Snack Options
As health and wellness trends gain momentum, industry diversification has paved the way for healthier snacking options. Consumers are no longer looking for impulse purchases alone, they are increasingly looking for snacks that offer additional nutritional or ethical value without sacrificing taste. This has led to the emergence of better-for-you snacks such as vegetable chips, protein bars, and air-popped popcorn.
Diversification has allowed consumers to make nutritious choices in the snacking aisle, with offers that promise a range of benefits such as clean ingredients, and the reduction of unhealthy ingredients like trans fats and excessive sugars in many snacks. This transition toward healthier options aligns with the broader societal shift toward mindful eating and wellness.
It is increasingly clear that dietary choices are not simply a matter of preference but are, in fact, essential for meeting individual nutritional needs. For instance, individuals with conditions like coeliac disease, lactose intolerance, and IBS, often have to adhere to restrictive diets such as the Low Fodmap diet, which eliminates certain ingredients that the small intestine absorbs poorly. Understanding and meeting these dietary requirements without compromising on flavour is crucial for meeting the modern diversified shopper’s needs.
Impact on Snacking Industry Growth
The diversification of the snacking industry has had a significant impact on its growth. By offering a wider range of products, companies are able to reach a larger customer base and increase their sales. This has led to a steady growth in the industry. Currently in 2023 the global snack market is worth 539.30bn and is expected to grow annually by 6.34% from 2023 to 2028. The introduction of healthier options has also helped to combat the negative perception of snacking as being unhealthy, further contributing to the industry's growth.
Examples of Industry Diversification in Snacking
Another prominent diversification within the snacking industry is the growing emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices. It’s often the case that outside industries affect one another, with the big rise in sustainability that is taking the snacking industry by storm, interestingly having first developed within the fashion industry.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their choices and are seeking snacks that align with their values.
Snack companies are responding by diversifying their product lines to include eco-friendly and ethically sourced options. This includes snacks made from sustainably grown ingredients, biodegradable packaging, and fair-trade practices. By incorporating these values into their offerings, businesses not only meet consumer demands but also contribute to a more sustainable future.
An increasing number of snack brands in the industry are recognizing the importance of sustainability and are seeking B-Corp accreditation as a way to demonstrate their commitment to responsible practices.
B-Labs is a non-profit organisation that aims to transform the way businesses operate by conducting rigorous assessments to ensure that sustainability and social consciousness are integrated into every aspect of a company's operations.
By pursuing B-Corp accreditation, snack brands can not only improve their sustainability practices but also diversify themselves in the competitive market by showcasing their commitment to creating a positive impact on society and the environment.
Challenges and Opportunities
Our customers look to us to provide insight and advice that helps them distinguish themselves in a competitive landscape while keeping their audience engaged with a diverse range of snack options.
Consumers are actively seeking snack options with unique and international flavours, such as Asian spices, vibrant Latin American tastes, and the aromatic profiles of the Middle East. Consider how commonplace Gochujang (Korean), Harissa (Moroccan), and Chimichurri (Mexican) have become, not only on menus, but also across social media platforms.
In this context, the current snack industry is experiencing an unprecedented level of diversity. For instance, leading savoury snack brands in the UK are increasingly incorporating bold and spicy flavours, as well as exotic ingredients, into their offerings.
As consumers place a greater emphasis on individual dietary requirements and health goals, businesses must align their snack ranges accordingly, with shoppers seeking reassurance that a brand can perfectly match their unique tastes and nutritional needs. What better way to achieve this than by diversifying into new flavours, formats, and emerging trends.
In an increasingly interconnected global market and a society characterised by diversity, food catering businesses must adapt to the trends of today and tomorrow. This adaptation includes catering to the growing demands of consumers who crave unique, healthier, and more personalised snack options.
However, with the right strategies and execution, industry diversification can lead to increased sales and market share for businesses within the snacking industry.
One thing is clear: the snacking experience is no longer limited to a bag of plain potato crisp. As the demand for healthier and more diverse snack options continues to rise, we can expect to see further industry diversification, contributing to a more sustainable and health-conscious future.
So, the next time you review your snack range, take a moment to appreciate the incredible diversity and innovation that has shaped the industry.
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