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Salty Snacks - China - February 2015

“After several years of double-digit annual growth, China’s salty snacks market had a slower volume growth of 8.6% in 2014. The market is estimated to reach 2,304,000 tonnes in volume terms and RMB 243 billion in value terms in 2014. Although the growth of the salty snacks category slowed downed from 2012, it still performed well over the last five years compared to other major snack categories such as biscuits, ice cream, sugar confectionery and chocolate.

The market is established and it has become very difficult for brands to come up with breakthrough ideas to amaze today’s consumers. Consumers are faced with a great variety of snack foods, indicating a more important role of marketing to help brands stand out in the competition.

Highlighting the health-related features is a way to differentiate. Moreover, women in their 30s turn out to be the most generous and lucrative salty snack buyers and brands could primarily target this group through various innovations on packaging and marketing campaigns.”

-Hao Qiu, Research Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • Are consumers willing to compromise healthiness for taste?
  • How to target high spending consumers?
  • How to motivate the budget-constrained young females?
Are consumers willing to compromise health for taste? - No. But do they still buy ‘unhealthy’ snacks to eat? – Yes. Brands could make more effort to market the health-related features to reassure consumers and stand out from the competition.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Methodology
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The Market
                • Market Size and Forecast
                  • Figure 1: Retail volume sales of salty snacks, China, 2009-19
                  • Figure 2: Retail value sales of salty snacks, China, 2009-19
                • Market segmentation
                  • Figure 3: Retail volume and value share breakdown of salty snacks, by segment, China, 2014
                • Companies and brands
                  • Figure 4: Share of value in China’s snacks retail market, by company, 2012-14
                • The Consumer
                  • Change of consumption frequency of different snacks
                    • Figure 5: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks, October 2014
                  • Spending on salty snacks
                    • Figure 6: Average monthly spending on salty snacks, October 2014
                  • Purchase channels of salty snacks
                    • Figure 7: Purchase channels of salty snacks, October 2014
                  • Influence factors when trying a new salty snack
                    • Figure 8: Influence factors to try a new salty snack, October 2014
                  • Consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks
                    • Figure 9: Consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks, October 2014
                  • Consumer buying and consumption behaviours of and attitudes towards salty snacks
                    • Figure 10: Consumer behaviour of and attitudes towards salty snacks, October 2014
                  • Key Issues
                    • Are consumers willing to compromise healthiness for taste?
                      • How to target high spending consumers?
                        • How to motivate budget-constrained young females?
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Are consumers willing to compromise healthiness for taste?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • How to target high spending consumers?
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Figure 11: Innovative packaging design examples to target high spending consumers, Russia and UK, 2013 & 2014
                                          • Figure 12: Purchase channel of salty snacks, by spending group, October 2014
                                        • How to motivate the budget-constrained young females?
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Sense of Intense
                                                  • Help Me Help Myself
                                                    • The Big Issue
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • China’s salty snacks market volume growth slowed down from 2013
                                                          • Figure 13: Retail volume sales of snacks, China, 2009-14
                                                        • A sharp increase in average price from 2012-14…
                                                          • Figure 14: Average retailing price of salty snacks, China, 2009-14
                                                        • …but the growth slowdown is felt by all snack categories
                                                          • Figure 15: Retail market volume growth, by snack category, China, 2010-14
                                                          • Figure 16: Retail market value growth, by snack category, China, 2010-14
                                                          • Figure 17: Value and volume CAGR of major snack categories, China, 2010-14
                                                        • Salty snacks market will grow at single-digit rates in next five years
                                                          • Figure 18: Retail volume sales of salty snacks, China, 2009-19
                                                          • Figure 19: Retail value sales of salty snacks, China, 2009-19
                                                        • Key market driver analysis
                                                          • The market will benefit from the rising disposable income of Chinese consumers
                                                            • Figure 20: Proportion of consumers who claim to be eating more salty snacks compared to six months ago, by monthly household income, October 2014
                                                          • Consumers trading up to eat more healthy salty snacks
                                                            • Figure 21: Retail market volume growth rate, by segment, China, 2009-14
                                                          • The rising of online retailing enables smaller brands to reach more consumers in lower tier cities
                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                            • Market Segmentation

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Nuts consumption growth reveals the healthy snacking trend
                                                                  • Figure 22: Retail volume sales of salty snacks, by segment, 2014-19
                                                                • Opportunities exist for brands to premiumise their offerings
                                                                  • Figure 23: Average retailing price of salty snacks, China, 2014
                                                                  • Figure 24: Retail volume sales of salty snacks, by segment, 2009-14
                                                                  • Figure 25: Retail volume and value share breakdown of salty snacks, by segment, China, 2014
                                                              • Market Share

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • China’s salty snacks market is quite fragmented
                                                                    • Figure 26: Share of value in China’s salty snacks retail market, by company, 2012-14
                                                                    • Figure 27: Share of volume in China’s salty snacks retail market, by company, 2012-14
                                                                  • Domestic player, Qiaqia, took the leading position
                                                                    • Nuts brands took share from crisps brands, revealing a healthy trend
                                                                      • Opportunity for small players even in a slightly more consolidated market
                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Plain flavour dominates nuts category with various new flavours coming out
                                                                            • Figure 28: Share of top flavours in nuts category in new product launches, China, 2012-14
                                                                            • Figure 29: Examples of nuts flavour innovation, China, 2014
                                                                          • Cashew nuts and pecan nuts enjoy a rising momentum
                                                                            • Figure 30: Share of top ingredients in nuts category in new product launches, China, 2012-14
                                                                          • Plain and tomato flavours continue to lead in crisp flavours
                                                                            • Figure 31: Share of top flavours in potato crisps category in new product launches, China, 2012-14
                                                                          • Cuisine-inspired flavours were brought into crisps
                                                                            • Figure 32: Examples of crisps flavour innovation, China, 2014
                                                                          • Qiaqia launched Zhuang Guo Ren nuts series to target young consumers
                                                                            • Qiaqia launched “The Biggest Seeds Pack in History” campaign for the upcoming Spring Festival
                                                                              • Orion markets wave-shaped potato chips
                                                                                • Indonesian brand Maxi launched original cassava crisps in China
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Example of cassava crackers, China, 2014
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Proportion of snacks using cassava as ingredient vs total snacks, by country, 2012-14
                                                                                • Opportunities exist for assorted snack packs
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Examples of nuts and crisps in assorted packs, mainland China, Hong Kong and Mexico , 2014
                                                                              • Companies & Brands

                                                                                • Qiaqia Food
                                                                                  • Competitive advantage
                                                                                    • Latest development
                                                                                      • PepsiCo
                                                                                        • Latest development
                                                                                          • Orion
                                                                                            • Latest development
                                                                                              • Huang Fei Hong
                                                                                                • Competitive advantage
                                                                                                  • Shanghai Laiyifen Food
                                                                                                    • Latest development
                                                                                                      • Hangzhou Yaotaitai Foods
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Change of Consumption Frequency of Different Snacks

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Nuts consumption grows fastest thanks to its health image
                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Net change of consumption frequency of different snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                          • Women’s tendency to snack more suggests unisex branding could be changed
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Proportion of consumers who claim to be eating more salty snacks compared to six months ago, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Examples of salty snacks targeting women and with a sliming claim, Australia, Germany and China, 2014
                                                                                                          • Greater growth potential comes from the group below 40
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Proportion of consumers who claim to be eating more salty snacks compared to six months ago, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                          • Income still drives indulgent salty snack consumption
                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Proportion of consumers who claim to be eating more salty snacks compared to six months ago, by monthly household income, October 2014
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: proportion of consumers who claim to be eating more salty snacks compared to six months ago, by monthly household income, October 2014
                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Spending on Salty Snacks

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Classification of consumer groups based on average spending
                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Average monthly spending on salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                            • High spending group is skewed towards 30-39-year-old females
                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Average monthly spending on salty snacks, by gender and age, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Proportion of consumers who claim to be eating more nuts compared to six months ago, by gender and age, October 2014
                                                                                                            • High spending group eats more of all types of salty snacks
                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Proportion of consumers who claim to be eating more salty snacks compared to six months ago, by average monthly spending on salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                            • Men in their 30s and women in their 40s are more likely to fall into mid-spending group
                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Average monthly spending on salty snacks, by marital status and presence of children in the household, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Opportunity exists to entice low spending young female consumers
                                                                                                                • Consumers in Chengdu spend more on salty snacks than other cities
                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Purchase Channels of Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Hypermarkets and supermarkets still play a dominant role…
                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Purchase channels of salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                    • … but the online channel is quickly catching up
                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Purchase channels of salty snacks, by defined respondent groups, October 2014
                                                                                                                      • More young consumers buy on the go
                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Proportion of consumers who have bought salty snacks from convenience stores and independent grocery stores in the last six months, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                      • More young consumers buy in snack and grocery stores for variety
                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Proportion of consumers who have bought salty snacks from snack stores and independent grocery stores in the last six months, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                      • Convenience stores are more popular in the south and southwest regions
                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Proportion of consumers who have bought salty snacks from convenience stores in the last six months, by city, October 2014
                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Influence Factors to Try a New Salty Snack

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Word of mouth, product trial and promotions are most influential factors
                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Influence factors to try a new salty snack, October 2014
                                                                                                                        • High spending group tends to be more engaged with brand
                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Influence factors to try a new salty snack, by average monthly spending, October 2014
                                                                                                                          • Low spending group tries new salty snacks mostly out of curiosity
                                                                                                                            • Consumers in Chengdu, Kunming and Foshan are more likely to respond to advertising
                                                                                                                              • Innovative packaging appeals more to consumers in Chengdu, Changzhou, Foshan and Kunming
                                                                                                                                • Product trial is more influential to consumers working in non-state-owned business
                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Consumers’ Understanding of Healthy Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Most attention on food processing
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Assurance of high quality ingredients is also crucial
                                                                                                                                      • Gaps for brands to fulfil on product dimension
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Gaps between product claims and consumer perceptions, salty snacks in China, 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Proportion of new salty snacks launched with health claims, by country, 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Examples of premium salty snacks marketing healthiness features via packaging, USA and Spain, 2015.
                                                                                                                                      • High spending consumers look for extras
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Selected consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks, by average monthly spending on salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Examples of crisps with organic and natural claims, US and UK, 2013-14
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Consumer Buying and Consumption Behaviours of and Attitudes towards Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Mix and match incentives and variety packs to capture consumers in their 20s and 30s
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Consumer buying and consumption behaviours of salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Imported snacks take a rising momentum
                                                                                                                                          • Use scent to engage with consumers
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Consumer attitudes towards salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Examples of food products using scent engagement, France, US and Japan, 2009 and 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Add fun elements into salty snacks to better engage with young consumers
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Agreement on “I eat snacks to pass time rather than to satisfy hunger in most cases”, by age and gender, October 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Exploit the health perception of salty snacks
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Selected consumer attitudes towards salty snacks and nuts, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Develop high quality nuts to tap into light breakfasts or side dishes for alcohol drinking occasions
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Consumer attitudes towards salty snacks, by average monthly spending on salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Retail value sales of salty snacks market, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Retail volume sales of salty snacks market, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Retail value size of nuts segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Retail volume size of nuts segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Retail value size of seeds segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Retail volume size of seeds segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Retail value size of crisps segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Retail volume size of crisps segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Retail value size of other salty snacks segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Retail volume size of other salty snacks segment, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer – Change of Consumption Frequency of Different Snacks

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Nuts, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Seeds, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Potato chips, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Vegetable crisps, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Popcorn, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Meat/seafood snacks, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Snacks made of poultry, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Biscuits, cookies and crackers, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Change of consumption frequency of different snacks – Chocolate confectionery, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer - Spending on Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Average monthly spending on salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Most popular average monthly spending on salty snacks, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Next most popular average monthly spending on salty snacks, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Other average monthly spending on salty snacks, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer - Purchase Channels of Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Purchase channels of salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Purchase channels of salty snacks – Off trade, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Purchase channels of salty snacks – Off trade, by demographics, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Purchase channels of salty snacks – On-trade, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer – Influence Factors to Try a New Salty Snack

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Influence factors to try a new salty snack, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Most popular influence factors to try a new salty snack, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 96: Next most popular influence factors to try a new salty snack, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer – Consumers' Understanding of Healthy Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 97: Consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 98: Consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks – Ingredients, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 99: Consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks – Processing, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 100: Consumers' understanding of healthy salty snacks – Products, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer – Consumer Behaviour of and Attitudes towards Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 101: Consumer behaviour of and attitudes towards salty snacks, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 102: Consumer behaviour of and attitudes towards salty snacks – Consumer behaviour, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 103: Consumer behaviour of and attitudes towards salty snacks – Attitudes towards salty snacks, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 104: Consumer behaviour of and attitudes towards salty snacks – Attitudes towards nuts^, by demographics, October 2014

                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                        Salty Snacks - China - February 2015

                                                                                                                                        £3,195.84 (Excl.Tax)