Innovation, Trends

What you need to know about the global snack food market

Smaller geographic markets will lead future growth in this $280 billion market.

According to new research by PMMI Business Intelligence, Europe holds the largest share of the global snack food market at 45%, followed by North America at 33%. Though these largest markets have shown flat to slow growth in recent years, developing countries such as those in Latin America and Asia Pacific will continue to grow at the fastest rate.

Savory snacks are growing at a greater rate than sweet snacks. In 2015 the global savory snack market was valued at $94.3 billion. By 2025 it is expected to grow to $220 billion. (8.8% CAGR)

The largest savory snack segments making up for more than ¾ of the market are:

  • Salted Snacks (potato/corn chips)
  • Processed snacks
  • Nuts & Seeds

Globally, Nuts & Seeds is one of the fastest growing savory snack sub-segments, with rising demand from countries such as Japan and Brazil and a CAGR of 9.4% from 2016 to 2025.

North America represented the largest geographic market for savory snacks worldwide in 2016 with a $73.6 billion share of the market. However, North American growth is projected to be around 4%, much slower than the 8.8% global average.

Faster than the overall savory snack market growth rate, the Meat snacks sub-market grew 15% in North America. In Latin American countries the savory Crackers & Rice Cakes sub-market grew 21%.

Healthy snacks (including Bars) and Combination snacks are driving the current growth of the North American market and are forecasted to continue on a fast growth trajectory.

  • Healthy: organic, clean label (simple recipes), macronutrients
  • Combination: different type of foods in one package, used as meal replacement

One result of the snack food market growth for the packaging industry is the potential growing demand for flow wrappers (Bars), pouch-filling machinery (esp. FFS) and SRP-based case packers (Nuts & Seeds), as well as rigid tray filling equipment (Meat/Cheese/Fresh combination snacks).


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