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CONSUMER TRENDS

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%.”

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