Changing consumer lifestyles are driving growth in snacks market

By our News Team | 2021

Latest research finds that South African shoppers are spending more on snacks and that snacking habits are changing.

Much to the delight of retailers and food industry marketers, South African consumers appear to be having a ‘snack attack’ of epic proportions! 

Market research company Ipsos reports that currently, snack buying is at the highest level since it began tracking consumption in January 2020.

With changing lifestyles and an increase in consumer sophistication and product awareness, it is probably no surprise,” Ipsos notes. “Snacks are more than just treats for consumers, they are also big business for manufacturers and retailers, with snacking becoming a daily occurrence for the modern consumer.”

In the company’s latest Consumption and Shopper tracking study, the value of snack sales increased by almost half (+43%) compared to the previous year, with cheaper brands gaining traction in various categories.

Consumer Trends

Image courtesy of Pixabay

However, the study shows that there is a decline in purchase frequency. Consumers thus spend more than before on snacks on the occasions when they purchase snacks, although they are buying less often.

This value growth for snacks is largely attributed to the 4% growth of the total sweet category. Ice cream (+5.9%) and sweets (+6.3%) recorded the most significant increases. While ice cream and sweets remained stable across most age groups, it is the sweet-toothed 25-34 year olds driving the growth. 

The role of retailers

In keeping with the increased sales of snacks, most retailers experienced an increase in crispy chips shopping. Looking at individual retailers specifically, Shoprite benefited the most from an increased volume of sales (+6.5%) of chips, with sister company Checkers in second place with a 5.4% increase. Pick n Pay recorded a significant decrease (-12.2%) in chip shopping.

“Although at-home consumption of snacks sits at a comfortable 82%, compared to 18% of out-of-home snacking, the market is being driven by increased demand for convenient food products and on-the-go trends, most likely with people increasingly returning to post-lockdown lives,” the Ipsos researchers explained.

Snacking while walking has seen the sharpest increase (+12%), followed by snacking at the office (+8%), and snacking while watching sports on TV at home (+5%). On the other hand, consumption of snacks on public transport has declined sharply (-22%). 

“With the gradual growth in snacking out of home, consumers are downsizing to smaller pack sizes which is especially evident in the chip category,” Ipsos said.

“Small and medium pack size volumes have grown by 3.8% and 3.4%, respectively. Consequently, this has decreased volume share of large pack sizes by 5.7% and extra-large pack sizes by 1.5%.”

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.