The Snack Attack
Fewer and fewer of today’s consumers are fueled by three square meals a day—instead they’re grazing on smaller “mini meals,” fueling a global rise in demand for quick munchables. Snack foods are one of the most robust sources of growth in the packaged food industry, according to Goldman Sachs Research’s Jason English, and a host of new competitors are taking notice. “We’re seeing a lot of companies who historically may have not participated in snacks, or participated on a relatively small basis, look for new avenues to enter the category,” English says, whether that’s by innovating in-house or acquiring existing brands. The trend should continue as millennials begin to form households and rise in spending importance, lifting industry sales to over $600bn by 2025—though English notes it won’t be an equally sweet story for all involved. Consumers aren’t just shifting away from larger meals, they’re also shifting out of sweet snacks and into salty ones, and increasingly favoring premium and healthy ingredients.