Global savory snack market ripe for growth

by Nico Roesler
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Savory snacks
More than 12% of Americans’ spending on packaged foods goes to savory snacks.

SAVANNAH, GA. — Euromonitor International projects that the savory snacks market in the United States may reach $50 billion by the year 2021 as the category continues to see steady growth. While that is good news for the industry, Jared Koerten, senior food analyst, Euromonitor International, said there is even better news in other parts of the world where savory snacks are just taking off.

The United States is a $46 billion market currently, controlling one-third of the total global market. More than 12% of Americans’ spending on packaged foods goes to savory snacks, according to Euromonitor, driving modest but steady growth at 2.2% per year over the past 10 years.

Jared Koerten, Euromonitor
Jared Koerten, senior food analyst for Euromonitor

“So if you’re in the U.S., great, you’re in the epicenter of the global savory snacks market,” Mr. Koerten said while presenting at SNAXPO 2017, held April 1-4 in Savannah. “It’s a great place to be. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about expansion opportunities, you’re missing about two thirds of the global market.”

Confectionery still leads the snack market in Europe and Australasia. Yogurt snacks remain popular in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Sweet biscuits, meanwhile, lead the pack in Latin America. Mr. Koerten noted that despite each region’s unique snacking preference, if savory snacks could move closer to the U.S. level of popularity, the industry would see tremendous growth and expansion opportunities around the world.

Developed markets like the United States, Europe and Australasia have the highest per capita spending on snacks. Depending on the region, consumers spend $300 to 500 annually on snacks, up 2.4% over the past five years, Mr. Koerten said. In emerging markets, per capita spending is under $100 but the growth rates in snack spending are increasing 8% to 12% over that same period.

Candy snacks
Confectionery still leads the snack market in Europe and Australasia.

“When you think about the growth opportunities for long-term expansion potential, a lot of that is going to come from these emerging markets,” Mr. Koerten said. “Yes, a promising future for savory snacks in the U.S. But if we throw that into a global context, step back and ask, ‘how does this looks globally?’ You can see that it’s not going to be a leading market in terms of the fastest growing savory snack markets around the globe.”

Euromonitor data shows that North America controlled about 37% of the global savory snack market in 2011, with Western Europe controlling about 20% and the rest of the world controlling 43%. Euromonitor projects that by 2021, the rest of the world’s share will increase to 52%, while North America’s and Western Europe’s will shrink to 31 % and 17%, respectively.

Mr. Koerten emphasized that savory snack producers need to look beyond U.S. borders for rapid growth potential while maintaining their presence in the already strong U.S. market. 
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