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Salty Snacks - China - January 2014

“The China snacks market has been growing rapidly over the past five years and this trend is expected to continue. There is still a considerable amount of room for development due to the current low per capita consumption of snacks in China, with future growth supported by China’s steady economic growth, the continuous increase in Chinese consumers’ disposable income, the increased importance of leisure, which typically lends itself to consumers eating more snacks, the development of online and offline shopping channels, and the growing emphasis that Chinese consumers place on eating healthy food.

As the snacks market covers a wide variety of snack types and is currently fragmented with a large number of domestic and international players competing against each other, manufacturers might consider adopting a multi-brand strategy to meet the demand for different types of snacking food from different consumer segments – depending on their respective attitudes towards salty snacks – so as to more effectively expand both business scope and consumer reach.

For companies dealing with nuts and seeds, the opportunity lies in premiumisation, as currently there are no leading brands playing in this area. Regarding crisps and other puffed snacks, the key challenge lies in product innovation with the aim of attracting more consumers with appealing flavours while at the same time providing safety and health assurances.”

– Laurel Gu – Senior Research Analyst

In this report, we answer the key questions:

  • What is the current state of the snacks market in China and what are the trends behind, drivers of and barriers to growth?
  • What are consumers’ behaviour and attitudes towards salty snacks?
  • Where are the opportunities for growth in the salty snacks category?
  • How can companies appeal to a broader audience by catering to the needs of different consumer segments based on their attitudes towards eating salty snacks and purchasing power?
  • How can value sales be increased through premiumisation?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Report structure
          • Methodology
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • The market
                  • Figure 1: Total China snacks market retail volume, 2008-18
                  • Figure 2: Total China snacks market retail value, 2008-18
                  • Figure 3: Total China snacks value sales (RMB BN) and share, by segment, 2013
                • Companies and brands
                  • Figure 4: Top snacks companies in China, value share, 2011 and 2012
                • The consumer
                  • Frequency of eating different types of snacks
                    • Figure 5: Frequency of eating different types of snacks, November 2013
                  • Occasions for eating salty snacks
                    • Figure 6: Occasions of eating salty snacks, November 2013
                  • Reasons for buying salty snacks
                    • Figure 7: Reasons for buying salty snacks, November 2013
                  • Important factors when purchasing salty snacks
                    • Figure 8: Important factors when purchasing salty snacks, November 2013
                  • Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks
                    • Figure 9: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks, November 2013
                  • Attitudes towards salty snacks
                    • Figure 10: Attitudes towards salty snacks, November 2013
                  • Key trends
                    • Multi-brand strategy to appeal to different consumer segments
                      • Premiumise the salty snacks category
                        • Expanding the usage of crisps and other puffed salty snacks
                          • What we think
                          • The Market

                            • Key points
                              • Market size and forecast (total snacks)
                                • China’s snacks market demonstrates great potential for further expansion
                                  • Figure 11: China snacks market, volume and value sales, 2008-18
                                • Growth is forecast to continue
                                  • Figure 12: Total China snacks market retail volume, 2008-18
                                  • Figure 13: Total China snacks market retail value, 2008-18
                                • Market segmentation
                                  • Figure 14: Volume and value of China snacks market, by segment, 2008-13
                                • Market drivers and barriers
                                  • Drivers
                                    • Figure 15: Per capita disposable income, China, 2008-12
                                  • Barriers
                                  • Companies and Brands

                                    • Key points
                                      • Company share – total snacks
                                        • Figure 16: Leading companies’ market shares in the China retail snacks market, by value, 2011-12
                                      • Company trends
                                        • Strengthening the health appeal of nuts via functional claims
                                          • Increase the appeal of nuts and seeds to young consumers
                                            • Manufacturers look for healthier ingredients to make salty snacks
                                              • Figure 17: New product launches, by subcategory, China, 2009-13
                                            • Companies
                                              • PepsiCo China
                                                • Qiaqia Food
                                                  • Orion Food China
                                                    • Huiji Food Co., Ltd.
                                                      • Liwayway
                                                        • Shanghai Aming
                                                          • Laiyifen
                                                            • Three Squirrels
                                                            • The Consumer – Frequency of Eating Different Types of Snacks

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Nuts and seeds are the most popular salty snacks
                                                                    • Figure 18: Frequency of eating different types of snacks, November 2013
                                                                  • Consumers move from puffed snacks to nuts and seeds as they age
                                                                      • Figure 19: Frequency of eating different types of snacks, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                  • The Consumer – Occasions of Eating Salty Snacks

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Exploiting the usage of salty snacks outdoors and highlighting their functional benefits
                                                                          • Figure 20: Occasions of eating salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                          • Figure 21: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                      • The Consumer – Reasons for Buying Salty Snacks

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Expanding pack sizes to capitalise on sharing
                                                                              • Figure 22: Reasons for buying salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                            • Older and wealthier consumers tend to use salty snacks as gifts while females leans towards impulse purchase
                                                                                • Figure 23: Reasons for buying salty snacks, by demographic groups, November 2013
                                                                              • Lower income consumers are looking for bargains
                                                                              • The Consumer – Important Factors When Purchasing Salty Snacks

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Flavour (taste) is the most important purchase driver, followed by safety
                                                                                      • Figure 24: Important factors when purchasing salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                    • Wealthier consumers care more about branding and healthiness
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Important factors when purchasing salty snacks, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                    • The Consumer – Purchase and Usage Experiences of Salty Snacks

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Room to improve convenience offering via packaging
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                          • Scope to grow premium online sales
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks – Buying habit, by income, November 2013
                                                                                          • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Salty Snacks

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Consumers still have some safety concerns
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Attitude towards salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                • New flavours, nutritional value, international brand name and attractive packaging to appeal to high income consumers
                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                              • Key Issue – Appealing to Different Consumer Segments

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Segmenting consumers-based on psychographics
                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Consumer segmentation, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Attitudes towards salty snacks, by consumer segments, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Tailoring brand propositions to different consumer segments
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Important factors when purchasing salty snacks, by consumer segments, November 2013
                                                                                                      • What does it mean?
                                                                                                      • Key Issue – Premiumise the Salty Snacks Category

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Increasing demand for premium salty snacks
                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                          • High-end salty snacks (nuts) market is yet to be developed
                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Example of new products with a premium proposition, China, 2013
                                                                                                          • Business opportunities lying in the high-end salty snacks segment
                                                                                                            • Unique and indulgent taste experience
                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Example of taste innovations with a premium proposition, Global, 2013
                                                                                                            • Safety assurance
                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Example of premium innovations with a safety focus, Global, 2013
                                                                                                            • Advanced functional benefits
                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Example of premium product innovations offering advanced health benefits, Global, 2013
                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Example of premium innovations offering beauty benefits, Global, 2013
                                                                                                            • What does it mean?
                                                                                                            • Key Issue – Expanding the Usage of Crisps and Other Puffed Salty Snacks

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Crisps and other puffed snacks have room to expand
                                                                                                                  • Product innovations to offer more enjoyable eating experiences
                                                                                                                    • Developing complex flavours
                                                                                                                      • Introduction of sweet-flavoured crisp snacks
                                                                                                                        • Build a healthy food image for crisps and puffed salty snacks
                                                                                                                          • Adopting healthier ingredients
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Example of puffed snacks innovation(s) using purple potatoes, 2013
                                                                                                                          • Communicating health benefits
                                                                                                                            • What does it mean?
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Value and volume sales for total snacks, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Value sales for total snacks, by segment, RMB Bn, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Volume sales for total snacks, by segment, 000 tonnes, 2008-18
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Frequency of Eating Different Types of Snacks

                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Frequency of eating different types of snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Frequency of eating different types of snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Nuts, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Seeds, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Crisps, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Other puffed foods, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Popcorn, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Vegetable crisps, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Meat/seafood snacks, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Preserved fruit, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Biscuits and bakery products, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Frequency of eating different types of snacks – Chocolates and confectionery, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Occasions of Eating Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Occasions of eating salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Occasions of eating salty snacks – Meal occasions, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Occasions of eating salty snacks – Snacking occasions, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Occasions of eating salty snacks – Socialising occasions, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Reasons for Buying Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Reasons for buying salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Reasons for buying salty snacks – gifting and regular usage purposes, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Reasons for buying salty snacks – Occasional and other usage purposes, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Important Factors When Purchasing Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Important factors when purchasing salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Most popular important factors when purchasing salty snacks – Any, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Next most popular important factors when purchasing salty snacks – Any, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Other important factors when purchasing salty snacks – Any, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Purchase and Usage Experiences of Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks – Package usage experiences, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks – Storage habit, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks – Buying habit, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Attitudes towards Salty Snacks

                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Attitudes towards salty snacks, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Agreement with the statement ‘Eating the right salty snacks can provide me with more nutrition’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Agreement with the statement ‘Trying to eat as few salty snacks as I can is beneficial for weight control’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Agreement with the statement ‘Non-fried salty snacks don’t taste as good as fried ones’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to be the first in trying a new type of salty snack’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Agreement with the statement ‘It’s good to have a variety of new flavours of salty snack available’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Agreement with the statement ‘It is sociable to share salty snacks with others’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Agreement with the statement ‘Salty snacks of international brands are of higher quality than China’s own brands’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Agreement with the statement ‘I have more safety concerns towards salty snacks sold online than those sold in stores’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Agreement with the statement ‘Most salty snacks available contain too many additives that are bad for the health’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Agreement with the statement ‘Salty snacks in an appealing package are worth paying more for’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Agreement with the statement ‘The nutrition is totally lost when salty snacks are processed’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Agreement with the statement ‘Salty snacks in snack specialty chain stores are of better quality than those sold in supermarkets/hypermarkets’, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Target Consumer Analysis

                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Target groups, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Frequency of eating different types of snacks, by target groups, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Occasions of eating salty snacks, by target groups, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Reasons for buying salty snacks, by target groups, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Important factors when purchasing salty snacks, by target groups, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Purchase and usage experiences of salty snacks, by target groups, November 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Attitude towards salty snacks, by target groups, November 2013

                                                                                                                            Salty Snacks - China - January 2014

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