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Salty Snacks - China - February 2013

“The plethora of brands and products in the salty snacks category has meant that brands often find it difficult to get the attention of shoppers on the crowded supermarket shelves. The emergence and popularity of salty snack food speciality stores as a sales channel has given brands a one-stop platform to cultivate consumer loyalty, polish their quality image, and grow visibility. In the increasingly competitive market, chains that can assure consumers on quality are expected to thrive.”

– Tan Heng Hong – Senior Research Analyst

In this report we answer the key questions:

  • How has the shift in demographics impacted the market and how can brands make themselves relevant to the changing needs of consumers?
  • Why have salty snack speciality stores become popular and what are some of the challenges facing this sales channel?
  • In what ways can the market drive consumption outside the established key periods?
  • Given China’s chequered food safety records, what measures can brands adopt to improve consumer confidence in their products?


Report Introduction:

China’s salty snack retail market reached 1,885.4 million kilograms in 2012, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% from 2007-12, while value sales reached RMB180.8 billion, rising at a CAGR of 14.7% from 2007-12. Supporting the healthy sales of the market is the robust demand for salty snacks, particularly nuts and seeds, during Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival.

With a rapidly aging population, strong usage of nuts and seeds across the different age groups puts them in a better position for future growth. Potato-based snacks, popcorn and other salty snacks, on the other hand, may see a decline in their younger consumer base. In response to the changing demographic landscape, salty snack makers will have to increasingly tread a fine line between satisfying the taste buds of their key user group and meeting the growing concern about healthy eating.

The plethora of brands and products in the salty snacks category has meant that brands often find it difficult to get the attention of shoppers on the crowded supermarket shelves. The emergence and popularity of salty snack food speciality stores as a sales channel has given brands a one-stop platform to cultivate consumer loyalty, polish their quality image, and grow visibility. In the increasingly competitive market, chains that can assure consumers on quality are expected to thrive.

Food safety continues to be an Achilles’ heel not just for the salty snacks category but also for the overall food sector in China. As consumers are taking measures to protect themselves from substandard products, opportunities exist for brands to gain market share by convincing consumers about the safety and quality of their products or brands.

 

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
          • Report structure
            • Consumer research
            • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 1: China salty snack retail sales, by volume and value, 2007-12
              • The forecast
                • Figure 2: China salty snack retail sales, by volume, 2007-17
                • Figure 3: China salty snack retail sales, by value, 2007-17
              • Companies
                • Figure 4: Company retail market share of salty snacks, by volume and value, 2010-11
              • Market segmentation
                • Figure 5: China retail volume sales and value of salty snacks, by category, 2007-12
              • Issues
                • Changing demographic spurs need for broader appeal
                  • Figure 6: Frequency of consuming salty snacks, by age, December 2012
                • Brands navigating in fragmented market
                  • Figure 7: Top retail channels of buying salty snacks in the past 6 months, December 2012
                • Market struggles to offset seasonal dependence
                  • Figure 8: Top ten occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                • Food safety is sector’s Achilles’ heel
                  • Figure 9: Selected general attitudes towards salty snacks, December 2012
              • Changing Demographic Spurs Need for Broader Appeal

                • Key points
                  • Nuts, seeds dominate salty snacks due to health, tradition
                    • Figure 10: Retail volume and value sales of salty snacks, by category share, 2007-12
                    • Figure 11: Frequency of consuming salty snacks, by type, December 2012
                    • Figure 12: Frequency of consuming salty snacks, by age, December 2012
                  • Young consumers driving growth of potato-based and other salty snacks
                    • Figure 13: Retail volume and value sales of salty snacks, by category, 2007-12
                    • Figure 14: Frequency of consuming salty snacks, by age, December 2012
                  • Demographic shift presents challenges for snacks other than nuts and seeds
                    • Figure 15: Population of China, breakdown by age, 2000 and 2010
                  • Healthy choices rising in importance as population ages
                    • Figure 16: General attitudes towards salty snacks, by age, December 2012
                    • Figure 17: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by age, December 2012
                    • Figure 18: Eating salty snacks as a treat, by age, December 2012
                  • Opportunities to broaden acceptance through healthier snacks
                    • Figure 19: Top 11 claims on new salty snacks products, by category, China, 2010-12
                    • Figure 20: Orion Corp Snack sales in China, 2006-11
                    • Figure 21: Agreement with the statement “I prefer fried over non-fried snacks”, by age and gender, December 2011
                    • Figure 22: Top three ingredients consumers are most likely to choose as part of a typical grocery shop, by age, December 2012
                  • What it means
                  • Brands Navigating in Fragmented Market

                    • Key points
                      • Fragmented market making it difficult for brands to stand out
                        • Figure 23: Company retail market share of salty snacks, by volume and value, 2010-11
                        • Figure 24: Snack food SKUs* on Yihaodian.com, February 2013
                        • Figure 25: Top retail channels for buying salty snacks in the past 6 months, December 2012
                      • Speciality chains attract key salty snack user groups
                        • Figure 26: Buying salty snacks from salty snack food speciality outlet in the past 6 months, by age and gender, December 2012
                        • Figure 27: Frequency of consuming salty snacks, by gender, December 2012
                        • Figure 28: Breakdown of Shanghai Laiyifen Co Ltd revenue, by product segments, 2009-11
                      • Wide choice and one-stop shopping strengthen speciality stores’ appeal
                        • Figure 29: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by gender, December 2012
                      • Speciality chains have potential to improve customer loyalty
                        • Figure 30: Attitudes towards salty snacks, December 2012
                        • Figure 31: Laiyifen total payables and pre-sale value of vouchers and gift cards, 2010-11
                      • Rampant expansion suggests threat of a future quality problem
                        • Opportunities for chains to thrive on better quality
                          • Figure 32: General attitudes towards salty snacks, December 2012
                        • What it means
                        • Market Struggles to Offset Seasonal Dependence

                          • Key points
                            • Salty snack sales show seasonal fluctuations
                              • Figure 33: Shanghai Laiyifen revenue breakdown*, by month, 2009-11
                              • Figure 34: Top ten occasions for eating salty snacks, December 2012
                            • Potential to expand usage of salty snacks as accompaniments
                              • Figure 35: Locations of buying salty snacks in the past 6 months, by retail and food service channels, December 2012
                              • Figure 36: Eating salty snacks as an accompaniment (eg with dessert), by age and gender, December 2012
                              • Figure 37: Purchase of Orion potato chips in the last three months, by gender, December 2011
                              • Figure 38: China’s US walnut imports, by volume and value share, 2010-12
                            • Pairing with beverages can help spur consumption during lull
                              • Figure 39: Average monthly temperature (°C) of 31 cities* in China, 2007-11
                              • Figure 40: Production and sales volume of carbonated soft drinks, beer and Laiyifen sales, by month, Jan-Dec 2011-12
                              • Figure 41: Time of day salty snacks and carbonated soft drinks are consumed, December 2011* and December 2012**
                              • Figure 42: Occasions salty snacks and beer are consumed on, February 2012* and December 2012**
                            • Workplace snacking offers opportunities to increase usage
                              • Figure 43: Occasions for eating salty snacks, by time of day and occasion, December 2012
                              • Figure 44: Agreement with the statement “I eat them as a meal replacement”, by gender, December 2012
                            • Convenient packaging to spur usage among office workers
                              • Figure 45: New product launches in the salty snacks* market in China, by closure type, 2010-12
                              • Figure 46: New product launches in the China salty snacks* market, by packaging type, 2010-12
                            • What it means
                            • Food Safety is Sector’s Achilles’ Heel

                              • Key points
                                • Food safety remains a key challenge for salty snacks
                                  • Figure 47: Agreement with the statement “The quality of local brand salty snack is concerning”, by gender, age and income, December 2012
                                • Credibility of Qiaqia Food under threat following quality woes
                                  • Premium products can benefit from food safety concerns
                                    • Figure 48: Agreement with the statement “Premium salty snacks are worth paying extra for”, by income, December 2012
                                    • Figure 49: Prices of selected brands of pistachios, February 2013
                                    • Figure 50: China’s pistachio imports volume share and unit price, by country, 2010-12
                                  • How misrepresentation can undermine trust
                                    • Figure 51: Ajisen (China) Holdings interim revenue, 2009-first half 2012
                                    • Figure 52: California almond exports to China/Hong Kong, 2007/08 -2011/12*
                                  • Potential for organic to deliver confidence but better regulation is needed
                                    • Figure 53: Agreement with the statement “thinking about products with specific claims regarding origin or production process. How likely are you to pay a premium price for food or beverages labelled”, March 2012
                                    • Figure 54: Categories of “organic” food bought in the last 12 months, March 2012
                                    • Figure 55: Top 10 claims in new salty snacks* products, China, 2010-12
                                  • What it means
                                  • The Future of the Market

                                      • Figure 56: China salty snack retail sales, by volume, 2007-17
                                      • Figure 57: China salty snack retail sales, by value, 2007-17
                                      • Figure 58: China salty snack retail sales, by volume and value, 2007-17
                                    • Methodology
                                    • Appendix – Market Size, Segmentation and Share

                                        • Figure 59: China retail sales of salty snacks, by volume and value, 2007-17
                                        • Figure 60: China retail sales of salty snacks, by volume, best case/worst case, 2012-17
                                        • Figure 61: China retail sales of salty snacks, by value, best case/worst case, 2012-17
                                        • Figure 62: China retail volume sales and value of salty snacks, by category, 2007-12
                                        • Figure 63: China retail volume sales of salty snacks, by category share, 2007-12
                                        • Figure 64: Company retail market share of salty snacks, by volume and value, 2010-11
                                    • Appendix – Frequency of Eating Salty Snacks

                                        • Figure 65: Frequency of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 66: Frequency of eating salty snacks, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 67: Frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 68: Frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), by demographics, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 69: Frequency of eating seeds, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 70: Frequency of eating seeds, by demographics, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 71: Frequency of eating potato chips, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 72: Frequency of eating potato chips, by demographics, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 73: Frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 74: Frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, by demographics, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 75: Frequency of eating popcorn, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 76: Frequency of eating popcorn, by demographics, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 77: Frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 78: Frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), by demographics, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 79: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012
                                        • Figure 80: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 81: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012
                                        • Figure 82: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 83: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating potato chips salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 84: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating potato chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 85: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012
                                        • Figure 86: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 87: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012
                                        • Figure 88: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 89: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012
                                        • Figure 90: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012 (continued)
                                    • Appendix – Occasions of Eating Salty Snacks

                                        • Figure 91: Occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 92: Most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 93: Next most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 94: Other occasions of eating salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 95: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 96: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by next most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 97: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by other occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                    • Appendix – Locations of Buying Salty Snacks in Past 6 Months

                                        • Figure 98: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, December 2012
                                        • Figure 99: Most popular locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 100: Next most popular locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 101: Other locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 102: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012
                                        • Figure 103: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 104: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012
                                        • Figure 105: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 106: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating potato chips, December 2012
                                        • Figure 107: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating potato chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 108: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012
                                        • Figure 109: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 110: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012
                                        • Figure 111: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 112: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012
                                        • Figure 113: Locations of buying salty snacks in past 6 months, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012 (continued)
                                    • Appendix – Attitudes towards Salty Snacks

                                        • Figure 114: Attitudes towards salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 115: Most popular attitudes towards salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 116: Next most popular attitudes towards salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 117: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012
                                        • Figure 118: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 119: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012
                                        • Figure 120: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 121: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating potato chips, December 2012
                                        • Figure 122: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating potato chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 123: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012
                                        • Figure 124: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 125: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012
                                        • Figure 126: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 127: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012
                                        • Figure 128: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 129: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 130: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by next most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 131: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by other occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                    • Appendix – Most Important Factors Considered When Buying Salty Snacks

                                        • Figure 132: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 133: Most important top ranked factors considered when buying salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 134: Next most important top ranked factors considered when buying salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 135: Most important second ranked factors considered when buying salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 136: Next most important second ranked factors considered when buying salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 137: Most important third ranked factors considered when buying salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 138: Next most important third ranked factors considered when buying salty snacks, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 139: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012
                                        • Figure 140: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating nuts (peanuts, almonds, macadamia, etc), December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 141: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012
                                        • Figure 142: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating seeds, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 143: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating potato chips, December 2012
                                        • Figure 144: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating potato chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 145: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012
                                        • Figure 146: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating other root vegetable chips, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 147: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012
                                        • Figure 148: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating popcorn, December 2012 (continued)
                                        • Figure 149: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012
                                        • Figure 150: Most important factors considered when buying salty snacks, by frequency of eating other puffed foods (puffed wheat/potato snacks), December 2012 (continued)
                                    • Appendix – General Attitudes Towards Salty Snacks

                                        • Figure 151: General attitudes towards salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 152: Agreement with the statements ‘I only choose the healthy options of salty snacks’ and ‘I tend to pay attention to calorie content when buying salty snacks’, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 153: Agreement with the statements ‘I am concerned about how healthy salty snacks are’ and ‘Sometimes it is not easy to find a place to buy quality salty snacks’, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 154: Agreement with the statements ‘Local brand salty snacks tastes as good as imported brands’ and ‘The quality of local brand salty snack is concerning’, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 155: Agreement with the statements ‘Reduced fat/calorie salty snacks don’t taste as good as regular salty snack’ and ‘Premium salty snacks are worth paying extra for’, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 156: Agreement with the statements ‘I like to try new and exciting flavours’ and ‘I eat them as a meal replacement’, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 157: Agreement with the statement ‘The quality of salty snack sold in supermarket is not as good as those sold in salty snack speciality outlets’, by demographics, December 2012
                                        • Figure 158: General attitudes towards salty snacks, by most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 159: General attitudes towards salty snacks, by next most popular occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012
                                        • Figure 160: General attitudes towards salty snacks, by other occasions of eating salty snacks, December 2012

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                                    Salty Snacks - China - February 2013

                                    US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)