Sydney, Australia, September 2018 – Snacking has long been a part of the daily lives of Australians and it appears the snacking occasion is experiencing a renewed vitality, with the snacking foodservice sector experiencing traffic growth of 25.2 million in 2017. Snacking as a category started to return to growth in 2015, and has once again become a firm favourite food occasion amongst time-poor Australians, now worth $7 billion to the industry, finds a CREST Report released by leading global research company, the NPD Group.
The rise of the snacking occasion could be attributed to today’s lifestyle – it’s an occasion that is associated with time poor and working consumers, with on-the-go and workplace consumption leading the snacking charge. However, it’s no longer about grabbing a packet of chips and a chocolate bar. Consumers are looking for Australian grown and owned (29%), local ingredients (20%) and no additives such as hormones (18%). Consumers are purchasing premium products, with demands and expectations of the foodservice industry increasing.
“The Australian snacking category is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. However, what snacking means to the consumer and why they are snacking more has now evolved,” says Gimantha Jayasinghe, NPD Deputy Managing Director – Asia Pacific.
”The popularity of burger and meat products especially in the afternoon and evening snacking occasion has given rise to attributes based on provenance and ‘clean-eating’. Thus the quality of the meat and the overall standard of each burger element has grown from demand. Consumers are on the look-out for good price and convenience, with a lot of food variety and great quality. Price is no-longer the only motivation.”
In terms of product heroes as a result of deal-based promotions from QSR operators, the hero snacking giant in the morning is the classic egg and bacon roll, with afternoon and evenings choices leaning towards frozen beverages and flavoured milkshakes.
Snacking, defined as the morning, afternoon and evening dayparts in-between classic mealtimes, currently holds 26% of foodservice traffic share, with the average Australian indulging in the snacking industry 52 times per year. Consumers tend to spend less on snacking occasions in comparison to other dayparts, with the average snack spend being $5.64 including 2 snack items, compared with $9.34 and 3 snack items on a traditional mealtime occasion.
“Australians are relying more and more on snacks for nourishment and fuel, not just to curb those afternoon hunger pangs. As consumers seek more nutrient-rich offerings, snacks are an ideal vehicle to deliver healthy choices to those that are pressed for time. Snack manufacturers should really take notice of what the category customer is demanding, in order to grow along with the sector and meet demand,” said Mr Jayasinghe.
The QSR channel makes up the majority of snacking visits (70%), with a significant amount of this traffic associated with the coffee and burger categories. The supermarket channel holds 12% of snacking visits, followed by FSR (10%) and convenience store visits (8%). Retail categories have a higher reliance on the snacking sector compared with other channels, whilst FSR has the least dependence on the category, with only 14% of traffic coming from this segment.
The NPD CREST Report also finds that morning snacking has 38% of traffic share, contributing to 5% growth. Afternoon snacking holds 44% traffic share with 49% contribution to growth and the evening snacking occasion is growing quickly, currently holding 18% traffic share and contributing 46% to industry growth.
Mr Jayasinghe commented: “Age groups play a part in the rise of the snacking occasion. The 50 plus age group is the dominant consumer at the morning snack occasion, while Millennials are the core consumer at both afternoon and evening occasions.
“Consumers wake with the need for coffee and a muffin to kick-start the day, with snacking choices straying more towards value menu offerings such as fries, cola based beverages and regular beef burgers in the afternoon and evening occasions.”
The costs associated with the snacking occasion increases as the day progresses. $5.22 on average which includes 2 snack items for morning break, $5.57 which includes 2 items for afternoon snack, and $6.69 which includes 3 items for an evening snack. The evening snacks have a higher reliance of food servings (65%) in comparison to beverage servings (35%), thereby contributing to a higher cost.
For more information on NPD and the Foodservice Trends Crest report 2018, please visit www.thenpdgroup.com.au.