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Global Snacks & Sweets Industry


The world snack food market is predicted to reach almost $335 billion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. The main factors fuelling the market are income levels and consumer perceptions and demographics. The market is highly fragmented and intensely competitive, with an abundance of industry players in all categories from small to large.


With consumers having less and less time for activities such as shopping and cooking, snack foods are claiming an expanding portion of the food market, offering foods that act as both complement and substitute for time-consuming meals. Snack food producers are following trends toward healthier eating, offering ranges such as fat-free snack foods.


Packaging is a key element in the industry, with options such as single-serving packages, bite-sized packs and resalable bags proving popular. As consumers become more health conscious, companies are offering healthy options such as low calorie, low fat, vitamin fortified, organic and fiber-rich foods.


Key Market Segments


  • The global sugar market is expected to pass the 177 million metric ton mark by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Factors fuelling the market include higher incomes in developing nations, and higher prices of alternative sweeteners such as agave syrup and corn syrup. Asia Pacific and the EU lead the sugar market in terms of consumption.


  • The world cocoa market will reach close to 5 million metric tons by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Demand is particularly strong in developing nations. The market is fuelled by increased coverage of health benefits from eating certain types of chocolate for advantages such as nutrition content and the cancer-fighting potential of chocolates with a high cocoa content. The EU is the world’s largest cocoa market, with France, Germany and the Netherlands showing high consumption. Asia-Pacific is expected to show the most rapid growth, led by Malaysia moving foreword.


  • The market for fruit snacks and nuts is expected to continue expanding as consumers become more aware of their health benefits. Nuts contain unsaturated fats, are a source of protein, and are known for the benefits afforded by their omega-3 fatty acid and antioxidants content. 


  • The world honey market is expected to reach almost 2 million tons by 2015, reports Global Industry Analysts. Food producers are offering wider product ranges to cater to increased demand for honey-based products, with offerings such as organic spreads, yogurts, baby food and drinks.


  • The world confectioneries market is expected to exceed $186 billion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Market drivers include exotic flavors and sugar-free products. Confectioneries are encroaching on other niche markets such as fortified chocolate bars making a foray into the energy bars market and fortified gums in the chewing gum market.



Regional Market Share


Global Industry Analysts placed the EU at the head of the snack foods market based on demand from large markets including France, Germany and the UK. Asia-Pacific will lead in terms of annual growth at a rate of 6% yearly through 2015.


The US leads the sweetener market, according to Packaged Facts. Market growth is driven partly by new stevia-based products, which are seeing greater demand as consumers turn away from saccharin.



Industry Leaders


The main players on the global snacks and sweets market include Cadbury Schweppes, Herr Foods, PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farm, Walkers Snack Foods, Weaver Popcorn, Yamazaki Baking, Mission Foods, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Kellogg, General Mills, Bachman, ConAgra Foods, Danone, Nabisco, Quaker Oats and Hain Celestial.


Kraft Foods makes half its global revenue from snack foods. The company, which employs 127,000 people worldwide, sells its products in around 170 countries. PepsiCo, which sells snack foods and beverages, employs more than 285,000 people and generates revenue of $60 billion. Among its brands are Gatorade, Doritos, Tropicana and Mountain Dew.



Market Outlook


The snacks and sweets market is expanding due to changing eating habits. Notably, consumers are reaching for smaller snack-based meals rather than traditional time-consuming dinners. The industry itself is diversifying to offer healthier snack options in the face of global concerns over the rise in obesity.


Though consumers have been cutting spending due to the global financial crisis, they are also working more, and as a result living more hectic lifestyles that lend themselves to on-the-go eating. The market will continue expanding, driven by innovative packaging, healthier product choices, higher disposable incomes and the promotion of health benefits from certain product categories, such as dark chocolate.



Leading Industry Associations




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