By: Ipacs Tamás Date: 2024. 04. 05. 08:52

As we are living our lives faster than we used to, sometimes we tend to organise our meals functionally: main meals are skipped or postponed, but our hunger remains.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/4

We want to live comfortably and our time is precious, so it is just logical that snacks should no longer necessarily be treated as an impulse product. The concept of planned snacking is all about consumer awareness, for example that snacks can be used to build a special diet.

Why we love it

We have got to like modern snacks that allow us to indulge in delicious flavours and feel like a conscious – even responsible – consumer. The food industry is adapting to our changing eating habits, our growing health consciousness and our convenience. According to Mondelēz International’s 2023 State of Snacking report, 64% of consumers surveyed globally prefer to have many small meals a day instead of eating more food but fewer times (a 5% increase on last year’s results from the same survey). 62% replace at least one meal a day with snacks – this proportion rises to 75% for members of Generation Z and to 69% for Generation Y. As consumers are increasingly motivated by health trends, whether physical or mental, the motivations for snacking are changing: snacks are also a source of happiness and vitality – nearly two thirds of consumers say snacking enhances their sense of well-being. In other words: these people are snacking consciously!

Besides the trinity of nuts-potatoes-fruit, the most common bases for development are mushrooms,
vegetable flours, seaweed and popcorn

Do we save money on snacks?

Although inflation forces many people to cut back on spending, consumers don’t start saving on healthy snacks, especially if they also serve as “treats”. Snacks are often highly positioned products, but in many cases they are offered in small packages, so they are affordable for lots of people and can be bought without feeling any guilt. Plant-based snack products are the fastest growing category, with the number of new launches growing at an average annual CAGR of 27% globally between July 2018 and June 2023. 20% of consumers say plant-based ingredients make snacks healthy. Between June 2022 and June 2023, Asia accounted for the largest number of new snack product launches (41%), Europe had a 28% share in new product debuts and North and South America was at 20%. The current trend in product development is spicy flavours and characteristic seasonings, e.g. salt, chilli, cheese and barbecue have dominated in new snacks. International cuisine is often the source of many new flavours – primarily Asian and South American, but also Mediterranean and unusual flavour combinations.

Creative products aimed at reducing food waste are based on the ” pulp ” that remains after the fruit is pressed like coffee cherries, banana skins and okara, a by-product of soy processing

From macro trend to product trend

Experts claim protein will be at the heart of snacking in the US in 2024. When Americans choose snacks at the grocery store, 55% of them cite protein as the most important product value. Consequently, more snacks will contain protein and in line with the health trends also more vitamins, fibre, minerals and other substances that are good for the body. Snacks are becoming a functional product, offering a variety of healthy “solutions” even for those with special dietary needs and/or food intolerances.

There are eternal stars such as the almond cheddar-dried blueberry mixes

The plant-based eating trend isn’t standing far from the snack world: many more brands and product types are created for those who don’t eat meat or eat less than for meat eaters. The proportion of products made with milk, eggs and meat substitutes has grown unbelievably fast in recent years. Sustainability and naturalness are important aspects in innovation. In 2024 the most spectacular results of this attitude shift will be the products aimed at reducing food waste, including those based on entirely new ideas, for instance sugar-coated orange peel used in expensive products, banana peel crisps, etc.

Meat eaters do not only think in terms of beef jerkyben


Snacks that fit in with the daily diet

Tőzsér Judit_Lidl

Judit Tőzsér
head of company communications
Lidl Magyarország

Health consciousness is becoming an increasingly important factor in the snack category. Lidl offers a wide range of snacks that support healthy eating, including the chain’s private label Alesto range, various hummus and rice crisps, and organic millet balls. The Alesto range now includes more than 30 healthy and tasty products, all made from high-quality ingredients: vegetable seeds, mixes of seeds and dried fruit, and various fruit slices. These can be easily integrated into the daily diet. //

Impulsive categories

Viktória Ozoróczy
Shell Hungary

In Shell shops chocolate bars are the biggest segment in the snack category, and the most impulsive as well. The muesli bar sub-category, which we can call the “healthy” variant, has been growing intensively in recent years. The perennial hit is crisps, always entering the market with new flavours. Snacks are also an impulsive category, so we try to design the shelf layout in a way that customers can quickly find the flavours they like. Shell has recently entered the snack world with its own brand. //


Driving snacking accessory sales too

Stefán-Takács Emőke, Chefmarket

Emőke Stefán-Takács
marketing manager
Chef Market

In recent years Mexican flavours have been gaining ground in the snack category. Tortilla chips are made from corn flour, they are crunchy, spicy and even better with dips, so their popularity has also brought a surge in sales of various accessories such as cheddar cheese sauce, salsa or jalapeno peppers. Chef Market has just added premium quality Granny’s tortilla chips and accessories to its portfolio. We expect more and more pubs, programme venues and restaurants to feature them to their selection. //


Snacks are primarily a convenience product

Maczelka Márk, SPAR

Márk Maczelka
head of communications
SPAR Magyarország

In the snack category we offer crisps (potato, corn and reform), popcorn, extruded products, salty sticks, pretzels, crackers, seeds and dried fruit. The category is mainly made up of convenience products, but there is also a growing selection of foods that cater for modern eating habits and special dietary needs. //

We adapt to all needs

Anna Pókecz
marketing manager

We put those products into the snack category that are consumed for snacking or on-the-go – in our case typically muesli bars and oat bars. Cerbona is responsive to market demand and develops products that meet a wide range of consumer needs. For instance many of our bars are vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, have no added sugar or rich in fibre, and our sports range also offers protein fortified products. A snacking product can only be a real success if it is well priced, well formulated, tasty, and has promising benefits. //


Progress and preference

Ádám Kasza
category manager

Auchan continues to offer customers a large selection of snacks, in excellent quality and at affordable prices. Recently snack products have made great progress in adapting to modern eating habits and trends, in the domains of healthy living, convenience and sustainability. This means that there is stronger focus on products with reduced fat and salt content and high protein and fibre content. Sustainability is also an important aspect, in the form of biodegradable and recyclable packaging. //




Babies’ health

Noémi Makai
marketing manager

According to a Nielsen survey, the baby snack category grew by 40% in value and by 32% in volume in 2023. Hipp is the strongest baby snack brand in drugstores and the absolute market leader in hypermarkets, with a 35% market share last year. Our top product is Hipp Baby Biscuits. Our popular gluten-free products in the Hipp range are in line with modern eating habits and trends. //



Following the consumption trends

István Sebők
head of sales
Liza Snack

Liza Snack Kft.’s product portfolio currently includes extruded cornflakes, snacks, and various pork scratchings made using a special method – we are the leading producer of the latter in Hungary. The corn-based products are gluten-free, while our pork scratching have practically 0 gram of carbohydrate and are rich in protein! What the consumers want from snacks is to enjoy them guilt-free: unlimited consumption without negative health effects. //




We are competitive in terms of price, too

Anett Monori
brand manager
Maresi Foodbroker

In the savoury snack category we are present with Maretti bruschette products – Maresi is focusing on these this year. In today’s fast-paced world it is important for every store to make products available that not only offer value for money, but also meet the different consumer preferences, e.g. GMO-free, colour- and preservative-free, can be incorporated into a vegetarian diet, etc. As Maretti products now have several new production lines, we can be competitive in terms of both product availability and price. //




Diverse consumer motivations

Erhard Szabados
head of marketing

The Mogyi brand is the absolute leader in the domestic market in the category of nuts and seeds, thanks to its 30+ years of market presence and a large and constantly expanding assortment. Popcorn and flour-based snack products are also available. Consumer needs are divided along the lines of whether self-rewarding, indulgence, hunger or energy replenishment are the reasons of consumption. There is a growing demand for products with lower fat and calorie content, e.g. our Fit Mix and Protein Mix products. //

Dietary considerations and sustainability

Dr. László Vereczkei
product development manager

The market is raising the bar for snack products, with particular attention being paid to the various free-from products, special dietary needs and sustainability. It is needless to say that shoppers also want value for their money. High protein content, being sugar-, lactose- and gluten-free are among the top requirements, but vegetarian or vegan alternatives are also frequently requested. Among BioTechUSA’s snack products it is protein bars that stand out, e.g. Zero Bar, Protein Bar, Protein Dessert Bar. //


We are preparing for a busy period because of UEFA Euro 2024

Tímea Tulkán

Our snack selection is divided into three product groups: sweet, salty and healthy snacks. Although our METRO Chef seed mixes and nut products can also be enjoyed as snacks, we have the biggest private label selection in the classic savoury snack category. This product group very much depends on major sporting events: as the UEFA Euro 2024 football championship will take place this summer, we are preparing for a busy period. //

It is all about indulgence

Zoltán Matskási
director of marketing and business development

Pek-Snack assists in snacking occasions in consumers’ lives with more than 60 products, in over 2,000 stores in Hungary and the region, with locally baked snack bakery products. Snacking forms part of indulgence time or “me” time, and we may be less price-sensitive when it comes to such occasions. As it is all about indulgence, the most important thing for snacks is to be delicious, and we aren’t willing to give that up even for the sake of lower prices. //

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