Where Consumers Shop for Snacks

December 2023

The global snacks markets grew in 2023, despite negative external factors, such as high inflation, the impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains, climate change and currency devaluations. Supermarkets and small local grocers lead store-based retail in snacks. E-commerce snack sales have maintained momentum following the channel’s rapidly increased adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in savoury snacks and confectionery.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

World snacks markets shows growth in 2023, despite negative external factors

The world snacks market continued to grow in constant value terms in 2022 and 2023, showing resilience in the context of the ongoing negative forces threatening the industry, such as high inflation, the impact of war on supply chains, climate change, and currency devaluations. Savoury snacks – the biggest category globally – continued to drive industry growth in 2023.

Supermarkets and small local grocers lead store-based retail in snacks in 2023

Supermarkets remain the leading offline channel globally. This leadership comes from the large number of outlets in this format, the vast assortment of products the channel is capable of offering, and the numerous innovations provided year-round. Small local grocers hold the second largest share for offline snack sales. 85% of sales of snacks via small local grocers are in emerging and developing countries.

Small local grocers is the second leading offline channel by sales share

With the still relatively low penetration of modern grocery retail channels in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and rural markets, the main choice for consumers remains small local grocers. 85% of snack sales via small local grocers come from emerging and developing countries. India has the highest sales of snacks through small local grocers compared to other developing markets.

China is the leading e-commerce country for snacks in the world

Digitalisation and urbanisation, combined with the pandemic, have contributed to the strong growth of e-commerce globally. China is the leading market for e-commerce snack sales, with numerous platforms. For example, Xiaohongshu (which translates as Little Red Book) has more than 202 million users monthly, and provides recommendations including food, product reviews, travel trips, and direct-from-platform purchases.

Key findings
The snacks industry showed resilience in 2023, despite inflationary pressure
Savoury snacks and sugar confectionery grow across key regions post-COVID-19
Snack players ramp up brand and operation investment to drive new growth
Retailers are still supporting the activation of the online snack shopper
Snacks sales online are seeing growth across categories and regions, led by savoury snacks
Inflation decrease the progress of e-commerce in the UK in 2022
Supermarkets see brand support, but small grocers lean on loyalty
Discounters recorded the highest growth in snack sales over the historical period
Discounters strive to be seen as affordable, quality among their range of shopper
New models emerge in physical stores to compete with supermarkets and hypermarkets
In France, new supermarket concepts seek local snack players for premium offerings
Kroger set to merge with leader Albertsons in 2023 once anti-trust department allows
Private label market share remains stable despite improved capabilities
Private label sales in Latin America see the strongest growth rates
Private label is seemingly in a space to grow
E-commerce growth slows from pandemic highs, but continues across categories
Small, functional snacks online platform to boost protein bars e-com sales in 2023
Sales via social media develop at a different pace across markets
China’s innovative e-commerce platforms set to influence online global retail
Pinduoduo in China climbs e-commerce company rankings
Quick commerce struggles to expand in North America and Western Europe post-COVID-19
Savoury snacks lead forecast growth in value, but faster volume growth expected for biscuits
Key takeaways


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