Snacking retains flavour despite high inflation, says report

  • In addition to rising prices, supply chain issues also appear to be a concern. Three-quarters of people in India have experienced a shortage or delay in receiving snacks in the last year and eight in 10 are concerned about availability of their favorite snack foods in stores

Livemint
First Published3 Apr 2023
For most consumers snacking remains essential, with 86% saying they provision for snacks in their household budgets. (File Photo: Mint)
For most consumers snacking remains essential, with 86% saying they provision for snacks in their household budgets. (File Photo: Mint)

New Delhi: Rising prices of daily goods in the last year notwithstanding, Indians have continued to buy snacks as part of their grocery basket driving up demand for packaged foods in the country, according to a report on snacking habits in India by chocolate maker Mondelez.

“As inflation continues to squeeze household budgets across India, it’s clear that the economic climate is impacting food choices, as nine in ten (89%) consumers in India are concerned about inflation. A strong majority (79%) are more budget conscious than they were a year ago, with two-thirds of Indian consumers reporting that they’re paying more for groceries compared to this time last year, especially millennials. Interestingly, consumers are most likely to report they are spending more on produce and fresh foods (70%), than snack foods (63%),” Mondelez said in its state-of-snacking report for the year 2022.

For most consumers though snacking remains essential, with 86% saying they provision for snacks in their household budgets.

“What we are also seeing is, an increasing trend of actually people replacing some of their meal occasions with a snack. In the broader snacking space within that—if you look at it overall 77% people are saying they want their indulgence snack to be part of their daily life. The role that snacking is playing in people’s life is getting stronger every year,” said Nitin Saini, vice president, marketing, Mondelez India.

In addition to rising prices, supply chain issues also appear to be a concern. Three-quarters of people in India have experienced a shortage or delay in receiving snacks in the last year and eight in 10 are concerned about availability of their favorite snack foods in stores. Eight in 10 say supply chain issues have caused them to be more open to trying new snacks, especially millennials.

The pandemic in general resulted in an uptick in demand for packaged foods—consumers also sought more convenience. As a result, more companies have also ramped up their packaged foods portfolio and also stepped-up investments.

Snacking is a daily staple as 76% of people in India snack at least twice a day. Three-quarters say their households make a meal out of snacks at least weekly. Early morning snacking is quite common, as 42% of Indian consumers say they eat a snack before breakfast, compared to just 24% of global consumers.

However, many are also tuning into portion sizes, saying they typically take time to portion out snacks before eating them. A strong majority of Indian consumers also say that they check nutrition labels on snacks before buying them and that doing so makes them feel like a more informed consumer.

“Mindful snacking that will continue to be an important trend going forward,” said Saini. Meanwhile, digital is playing an important role as consumers are increasingly using digital not just as a source of awareness for their favorite snacks, but also to buy them, he added.

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