Snack food consumer demand and trends

  From the February 19, 2019 Issue of Agri-News
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 People love their snacks, and the latest Consumer Corner looks at the snack food industry, valued at $12.6 billion in Canada. Ava Duering, competitiveness analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, examines the numbers and how Alberta producers can capitalize on the growing snack food trend.

“According to a recent study by Technomic,” explains Duering, “Time constraints and a desire for convenience result in more than one-third of consumers replacing at least one meal per day with snacks. Mood also plays a role and snacking occurs whether people are experiencing positive or negative emotions.”

Duering says that according to the study, the average Canadian enjoys 12 different types of snacks in a 30-day period. “it also found that nine out of 10 Canadians snack multiple times a day on a wide variety of foods. As well, 55 per cent of those surveyed snack between meals at least twice a day, and 37 per cent say they skip or replace one to two meals per day with snacks.”

Consumers snack on a wide variety of items and only 22 per cent say they typically have the same type of food or beverage each time they snack, she adds. “However, beverages are the most preferred snack category followed by baked goods, side items, desserts, appetizers, and entrées.”

The global snack food market has also grown, with Europe, Asia-Pacific and the U.S. as the top three markets. “Many emerging markets such as Argentina, Slovakia, and Vietnam also offer great market opportunity,” she notes.

Duering says that a few specific snack trends are experiencing growth such as:

    • Functional snacks - includes items such as smoothies, juices and novelties aimed at energizing and hydrating while staving off hunger.
    • Next-level fries - includes seasoned or “loaded” fries positioned as sides, starters or snacks.
    • Veggie snacksincludes cauliflower, brussels sprouts and artichokes. Vegetables are taking the place of proteins in traditional applications such as buffalo cauliflower.
Duering adds that there are opportunities for Alberta producers and processors to capitalize on the growing snack food market both domestically and internationally, in established as well as emerging markets.

“Because beverages are the most commonly consumed snack items, there are market opportunities in the beverage market. Specifically fruit and vegetable smoothies and juices continue to offer opportunity. In addition to traditional snacks, consumers are demanding snacks that are healthier and can function as meal replacements.”

Read the complete Consumer Corner: Snack Food. For more information, contact Ava Duering at 780-422-4170.

Ava Duering

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ava Duering.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on February 15, 2019.