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Salty Snacks - China - February 2016

“Flavour is the most important point of attraction when people choose salty snacks. Manufacturers should invest in wider array of flavour horizons. Meanwhile, bold innovation in product format and packaging are also worth investing in developing, especially for the purpose of pitching young people and competing with imported snacks. Brands could also learn from online snack food brands and adopt innovative brand strategies to stay active.”
– Karen Liu, Senior Research Analyst

This report examines the following areas:

  • Engaging with young consumers
  • Domestic manufacturers should improve healthy perceptions and packaging design
  • Driving online sales of salty snacks

Bold innovation on product format and packaging design helps to attract young consumers more effectively, since they are seeking more unique eating experiences.

Health benefits is the key driver that encourages consumers to eat more imported salty snacks. Domestic manufacturers need to work on improving the nutritional value of salty snacks to be able to compete with the imported ones. This can be done by adding healthier ingredients and removing unhealthy ones.

Online retailing is becoming an important venue to purchase salty snacks. Traditional brands of salty snacks could learn from the successful online snack food brands and adopt innovative strategies to reinvigorate various products.

This report covers the following types of salty snacks: nuts, seeds, crisps and other salty snacks. Other salty snacks include popcorn, potato/corn/vegetable root-based puffed snacks.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
          • Figure 1: Definition of low/mid/high MHI groups, by city tier
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 2: Total China snacks market retail volume, 2010-20
            • Figure 3: Total China snacks market retail value, 2010-20
          • Companies and brands
            • Figure 4: Value share of top 10 companies, 2013 and 2014
          • The consumer
            • Nuts and seeds are the most popular salty snacks
              • Figure 5: Usage frequency of snacks, October 2015
            • Functional benefits remain white space
              • Figure 6: Usage occasions of nuts, by usage frequency*, October 2015
              • Figure 7: Usage occasions of seeds, by usage frequency, October 2015
            • New flavour drives category innovation, while healthiness is equally important
              • Figure 8: Salty snacks usage behaviour, October 2015
            • Young people expect new types of salty snacks
              • Figure 9: Consumers choose “offers a unique taste” and “is a new product type I’ve never tried”, by age, October 2015
            • Product types, flavour and sales volume are key criteria when selecting salty snacks online
              • Figure 10: Most used product search method, October 2015
            • Health benefits and appealing packaging are key advantages of imported salty snacks
              • Figure 11: Comparison between imported and domestic salty snacks, October 2015
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

              • Engaging with young consumers
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • Domestic manufacturers should improve healthy perceptions and packaging design
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                            • Figure 12: Examples of new packaging of salty snacks, global
                          • Driving online sales of salty snacks
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • China salty snacks market sees a double-digit growth
                                  • Growth is forecast to continue
                                    • Increased disposable income and health consciousness reveals opportunities for trade-up
                                      • Online retailing drives category evolution
                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                        • China salty snacks market sees a double-digit growth
                                          • Figure 13: Retail market size of salty snacks in China, 2010-15
                                        • Growth is forecast to continue
                                          • Figure 14: Total China snacks market retail volume, 2010-20
                                          • Figure 15: Total China snacks market retail value, 2010-20
                                      • Market Drivers and Challenges

                                        • The increasing disposable income
                                          • Figure 16: Per capita disposable income, China, 2010-14
                                        • Consumers trade up to eat more healthy salty snacks
                                          • Figure 17: Average price of salty snacks, 2010-15
                                        • Online snack brands successfully target young people
                                          • Consumers moving away from junk food
                                            • Competition from traditional Chinese snacks
                                            • Market Segmentation

                                              • The retail salty snacks market is dominated by nuts and seeds
                                                • Figure 18: Volume and value of China salty snacks market, by segment, 2010-15
                                              • Nuts continue a double-digital growth, while seeds grow even quicker
                                                • Figure 19: Retail values sales salty snacks, by segment, 2015-20
                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                              • China’s salty snacks market is fragmented
                                                • Brands are dedicated to driving online sales
                                                  • Flavour innovation getting fierce among key players
                                                    • There is scope for bold flavour innovations, health function innovations and packaging innovations
                                                    • Market Share

                                                      • China’s salty snacks market is fragmented
                                                        • Figure 20: Value share of top 10 companies, 2013 and 2014
                                                      • Crisps and other puffed snacks companies are losing share
                                                        • The competition between nuts and seeds companies is moving to online
                                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                                          • Brands are dedicated to driving online sales
                                                            • Three Squirrels make efforts to build an intimate brand image
                                                              • Qiaqia aims to become the top online seeds brand
                                                                • Flavour innovation continues
                                                                  • Qiaqia lead the flavour innovation in nuts and seeds segments
                                                                    • Pepsi continue localising flavour innovations
                                                                      • Figure 21: Examples of new-flavoured salty snacks, China
                                                                    • Brands are trying all means to engage with young consumers
                                                                      • Pepsi recruit pop idols to endorse the brand
                                                                        • Three Squirrels leverage hot social topics to catch attention
                                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                          • Manufacturers focus on nuts segment
                                                                            • Figure 22: Newly launched salty snacks, by sub-category, China, 2013-15
                                                                          • Manufacturers are careful in nuts’ flavour innovation
                                                                            • Figure 23: Top 10 flavours of newly launched nuts, China, 2013-15
                                                                          • Pecan nut and pine nut are becoming increasingly popular
                                                                            • Figure 24: Top 10 ingredients of newly launched nuts, China, 2013-15
                                                                          • Flavour innovations become bold
                                                                            • Sweet flavours invade
                                                                              • Figure 25: Honey-butter-flavoured snacks by Orion, China
                                                                              • Figure 26: Popcorns with new flavours, Global
                                                                            • Exotic flavours are rising
                                                                              • Figure 27: Crisps with exotic dish flavour, China
                                                                            • “Bitter” is growing as a flavour note in snacks globally
                                                                              • Figure 28: Examples of snacks with bitter flavour, global
                                                                            • Japanese snacks are creative in product format innovations
                                                                              • Figure 29: Examples of snacks in new format, Japan
                                                                            • Snacks bring health benefits
                                                                              • Figure 30: Examples of snacks with claims of health benefits, global
                                                                            • Appealing packaging design can encourage impulsive purchase
                                                                              • Figure 31: Examples of snacks with interesting packaging, global
                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Nuts and seeds are the most popular salty snacks
                                                                              • Consumers are new-trumps-old when choosing salty snacks
                                                                                • Consumers using different searching methods when they buy salty snacks online
                                                                                  • Imported salty snacks win for their high nutritional value and appealing packaging
                                                                                  • Usage Frequency of Snacks

                                                                                    • Nuts and seeds are the most popular salty snacks
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Usage frequency of snacks, October 2015
                                                                                    • High incomer consumers eat snacks to release pressure
                                                                                      • Figure 33: % of heavy users of snacks (eat once a week and more), by monthly household income, October 2015
                                                                                    • Young people favour puffed snacks
                                                                                      • Figure 34: % of heavy users of snacks (eat once a week and more), by age, October 2015
                                                                                  • Snacking Occasions

                                                                                    • Salty snacks match well with leisure time
                                                                                      • Figure 35: Usage occasions of snacks, by snack type, October 2015
                                                                                    • Functional benefits remain a white space
                                                                                      • Prospects of nuts targeting hunger filling and energy boost occasions
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Usage occasions of nuts, by usage frequency, October 2015
                                                                                      • Prospects of seeds targeting outdoor activities and before/after meal occasions
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Usage occasions of seeds, by usage frequency, October 2015
                                                                                      • Puffed snacks are eaten on fewer occasions
                                                                                      • Consideration Factors of First Trial

                                                                                        • Flavour is the most important point of attraction
                                                                                          • Figure 38: Consideration factors when buying new salty snacks, October 2015
                                                                                          • Figure 39: Top 10 flavours of new salty snacks, 2013-15
                                                                                        • Young people expect new types of salty snacks
                                                                                          • Figure 40: Consumers choose “offers a unique taste” and “is a new product type I’ve never tried”, by age, October 2015
                                                                                        • Health benefits and nutritional value encourage first trial
                                                                                          • Packaging innovation should not just focus on convenience
                                                                                            • Marketing campaigns can better engage high-income groups and those with children in the household
                                                                                            • Online Buying Behaviour

                                                                                              • Consumers buy salty snacks from both online and offline
                                                                                                • Figure 41: Purchase channel of salty snacks, October 2015
                                                                                              • Impulsive purchase is more likely to happen offline
                                                                                                • Figure 42: Purchase channel of salty snacks, by salty snacks purchase habits, October 2015
                                                                                              • Product types, flavour and sales volume are key criteria to select salty snacks online
                                                                                                • Figure 43: Most used product search method when buying salty snacks online, October 2015
                                                                                              • Young people search brand name directly
                                                                                                • Figure 44: Consumers search by “typing brand name” and “filtering by brand”, by age, October 2015
                                                                                              • Less well-known brands are likely to attract young people online
                                                                                                • Promotion works better than low price
                                                                                                • Consumption Habits of Salty Snacks and General Attitudes

                                                                                                  • New flavour drives consumption
                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitude towards salty snacks, October 2015
                                                                                                  • Nutritional value is of similar importance
                                                                                                    • Females in their 30s and high incomers eat more snack bars
                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Snack bar usage, October 2015
                                                                                                    • Young people purchase salty snacks impulsively
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Salty snacks purchase behaviour, October 2015
                                                                                                  • Comparison between Imported and Domestic Salty Snacks

                                                                                                    • 25-39-year-olds are the core group to consume imported salty snacks
                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Imported salty snacks eating behaviour, by age and income, October 2015
                                                                                                    • Healthy ingredients and appealing packaging are key advantages of imported salty snacks
                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Comparison between imported and domestic salty snacks, October 2015
                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Consumers who choose “imported salty snacks do better”, by imported salty snacks eating behaviour, October 2015
                                                                                                  • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                                    • Mintropolitans eat more nuts and seeds for functional benefits
                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Usage occasions of snacks, by consumer classification, October 2015
                                                                                                    • Fortified nutrition and unique flavour attract Mintropolitans
                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Consideration factors when buying new salty snacks, by consumer classification, October 2015
                                                                                                    • Mintropolitans search salty snacks by brand when shopping online
                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Most used product search method, by consumer classification, October 2015
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Retail value sales of salty snacks, by segment, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Retail volume of salty snacks, by segment, 2010-20
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Retail value sales of nuts, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Retail volume of nuts, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Retail value sales of seeds, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Retail volume of seeds, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Retail value sales of crisps, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Retail volume of crisps, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Retail value sales of other puffed snacks, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Retail volume of other puffed snacks, China, 2010-20
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                        • Mintropolitans
                                                                                                          • Why Mintropolitans?
                                                                                                            • Who are they?
                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans vs Non-Mintropolitans, by gender, age and personal income
                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Demographic profile of Mintropolitans vs Non-Mintropolitans, by marital status, city tier and education level
                                                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                                                            Salty Snacks - China - February 2016

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