Savory snacks
The global savory snacks market is set to reach $138.2 billion by 2020, according to Canadean.

LONDON — Increasing demand from developing countries is expected to help drive a sharp gain in the global savory snacks market over the next five years, according to new research from Canadean, a London-based consumer research firm. The global savory snacks market is forecast to rise to $138.2 billion in 2020 from $94.5 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9%, Canadean said.

The research firm’s latest report said growth is expected to come mainly from developing countries in the Asia-Pacific and Eastern European regions, with CAGRs of 13.7% and 7.3%, respectively, while the Latin American region is expected to register a more moderate CAGR of 3.2%.

“Rising urbanization levels and busier lifestyles are impacting the eating habits of consumers, who are increasingly replacing main meals with more flexible, light and convenient snacking options,” said Rashmi Mahajan, an analyst with Canadean. “Changing consumer preferences and the growing trend of ‘snackification,’ which represents a significant portion of everyday eating routines, is driving the demand for portable and on-the-go formats.”

Papdi Chaat nacho chips, fruit chutney flavored maize snack
Innovative flavors in snacks, such as papdi chaat nacho chips in India and fruit chutney flavored maize snacks in South Africa, are differentiating factors.

Another area ripe with opportunity is large, populous developing countries with low per capita consumption levels. Examples include China, which had per capita consumption of 0.8 kilograms (1.8 lbs) of savory snacks per person in 2015, and India, which had per capita consumption of 1 kilogram, according to Canadean. By comparison, developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom had per capita consumption levels of 9.5 kilograms and 7 kilograms, respectively, in 2015.

Canadean’s research revealed that the health and wellness trend has affected the eating habits of consumers in developed markets, who tend to base their snacking choices on nutritional value and quality. The habits have led consumers to trade up and spend more on premium varieties of snacks. Meanwhile, consumers in emerging countries such as Brazil, China and India mostly base their snack choices on value and experimentation, Canadean’s research said.

Strawberries and cream popcorn, chili and chocolate potato chips
The U.K. offers a strawberry and cream popcorn, and France has chili and chocolate flavored potato chips.

“Despite the regional differences in snacks consumption, innovation in flavors remains an important differentiating factor globally, as consumers across all ages opt for products offering new and unusual consumption experiences,” Ms. Mahajan said. “Examples include nacho chips in papdi chaat flavor in India, maize snacks in a tangy fruit chutney flavor in South Africa, popcorn in strawberry and cream flavor in the U.K., and potato chips in chocolate chili flavor in France.”

According to Canadean, the global savory snacks market is highly fragmented, with the top five brands holding less than 16% market share. Lay’s, Doritos, Pringles, Cheetos and Ruffles were the leading brands with the highest market share in 2015.