RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, Australia

Snacking sector on the rise and has evolved, NPD says

The said sector is now worth AUD$7 billion in the industry.

The Australian snacking sector has evolved from merely grabbing a packet of chips and a chocolate bar and is driven by on-the-go and workplace consumption, according to the latest report from The NPD Group.

The market research company says 29% of consumers now prefer something Australian grown and owned; 20% responded that they want local ingredients; while 18% said that they do not want their snacks to have additives such as hormones.

“The Australian snacking category is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. However, what snacking means to the consumer and why they are snacking more has now evolved,” Gimantha Jayasinghe, NPD deputy managing director for Asia Pacific, said.

The snacking sector holds 26% of the foodservice traffic share, having an Australian indulge in the snacking industry 52 times a year.

“Australians are relying more and more on snacks for nourishment and fuel, not just to curb those afternoon hunger pangs. As consumers seek more nutrient-rich offerings, snacks are an ideal vehicle to deliver healthy choices to those that are pressed for time. Snack manufacturers should really take notice of what the category customer is demanding, in order to grow along with the sector and meet demand,” Jayasinghe stated.

Jayasinghe also said that food quality now comes over its price.

Morning snacking now contributes to 5% growth while afternoon and evening snacking contributes 49% and 46% respectively to industry growth, respectively.

70% of snacking visits are said to be through QSR channels, mostly associated with the coffee and burger categories. The supermarket channel holds 12% of snacking visits, followed by FSR (10%) and convenience store visits (8%).

Morning snacking, meanwhile, has 38% of traffic share, contributing to 5% growth. Afternoon snacking holds a 44% traffic share with 49% contribution to growth and the evening snacking occasion is “growing quickly”, holding 18% traffic share and contributing 46% to industry growth.

“Age groups play a part in the rise of the snacking occasion. The 50 plus age group is the dominant consumer at the morning snack occasion, while Millennials are the core consumer at both afternoon and evening occasions,” Jayasinghe added.

“Consumers wake with the need for coffee and a muffin to kick-start the day, with snacking choices straying more towards value menu offerings such as fries, cola based beverages and regular beef burgers in the afternoon and evening occasions.”

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