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China Consumer Snacking Trends Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Consumer Snacking Trends market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report looks at consumers’ snacking habits, defined as eating between meals, included but not limited to: salty snacks, biscuit/cookies, chocolate and sugar confectionery, meat snacks, as well as types of foods that are not conventional snack products but become adopted by consumers as a snack option, eg yogurt, and fruits or vegetables. The report will look at consumers’ snacking purchase channels, consumers’ trading up preferences, consumers’ definition of better-for-you snacks, and other habits and attitudes towards snack choices.

Key points included

  • Make full use of the potential and possibility of convenience stores
  • Tailor product features to satisfy post-00’s demands for personality
  • Motivate high earners with healthy meal-like snacks

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Crystal A, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

As consumers today are concerned more on the freshness of snacks, ‘short-shelf-life’ snacks have entered the spotlight. Consumers who opt for this attribute are actually seeking ‘all natural’ products, as freshness usually means ‘no preservatives’. Innovation in ‘short-shelf-life’ snacks now is concentrated on bakery products. Crystal A
Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Total spending on snacking enjoys a stable growth
                • Figure 1: Best- and worst- case forecast of retail sales of major snack categories, China 2013-23
              • Though nuts are winning, traditional snacking categories are starting to recover
                • Figure 2: Retail sales value of major snack categories, China, 2013-18
              • Companies and brands
                • Domestic brands are strengthening their own competitiveness
                  • International giants are expanding their better-for-you portfolios
                    • Provide natural and surprising snacks for Chinese consumers
                      • The consumer
                        • Snacking more, for different purposes
                          • Figure 3: Consumption trends of different types of snacks, China, October 2018
                        • Offline and online channels are equally important, and brands need to make full use of each channel based on its characteristics
                          • Figure 4: Purchase channel of snacks, China, October 2018
                        • Hungering for more premium and better-for-you snack products
                          • Figure 5: Trading up potential, China, October 2018
                        • Innovative concepts and creation of sub-culture to engage the post-00s
                          • Figure 6: Interest in super sale snacks-Selected attributes, by generation, China, October 2018
                        • To some extent, happy or guilty depends on what is eaten
                          • Figure 7: Snacking attitudes and habits, by types of snacks eating more of compared with six months ago, China, October 2018
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Make full use of the potential and possibility of convenience stores
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Figure 8: Private label snacks of 7-11 and Family mart, Japan
                              • Tailor product features to satisfy post-00’s demands for personality
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Figure 9: Product examples of snacks which provide unique consumption experience, Japan and USA, 2018
                                    • Figure 10: Kraft’s funny characters of different biscuit flavours, China, 2018
                                  • Motivate high earners with healthy meal-like snacks
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implication
                                        • Figure 11: Ready Egg Go! (egg snack kits) of Crystal Farms, USA, 2018
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • Total spending on snacking in 2018 has exceeded RMB 819 billion
                                        • Traditional snacking categories show signs of recovering
                                          • Premiumisation and socialisation have changed consumers’ attitudes towards snacking
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Snack spending grows stably
                                              • Figure 12: Snack spending, China, 2013-18
                                            • The total market value of snacks is estimated to reach RMB 1,050 billion in 2023
                                              • Figure 13: Best- and worst- case forecast of retail sales of major snack categories, China 2013-23
                                          • Market Factors

                                            • Premiumisation and socialisation are driving the recovery of less healthy snacks
                                              • Figure 14: Product and marketing innovation of Oreo highlighting pleasure and indulgence, China, 2018
                                              • Figure 15: Product example of chips highlighting singleton culture, China, 2018
                                            • Further customer segmentation: design for specific groups
                                              • Figure 16: Product example of daily nuts highlighting on different nutrition for pregnant women, China, 2018
                                            • New retail accelerates the integration of online and offline channels
                                              • Figure 17: Products of “internet brands” sold in Jing Dong convenience store, China, 2018
                                            • National salt reduction guide on food industry
                                            • Market Segmentation

                                              • Snack nut is still the largest segment
                                                • Figure 18: Snack segment, China, 2018
                                              • Traditional snacking categories experience a recovery
                                                • Figure 19: Retail sales value of major snack categories, China, 2013-18
                                                • Figure 20: Top 10 chocolate brands by sales value on e-commerce, China, 2017-18
                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                              • Domestic e-commerce brands are embracing new retail
                                                • International brands are focusing on better-for-you snacks
                                                  • Innovation trend: more naturalness and more surprises
                                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                                    • Going for better-for-you snacks
                                                      • PepsiCo extends its better-for-you product lines
                                                        • Figure 21: Lucky almonds sold in gift pack at PepsiCo’s Tmall flagship store, China, 2018
                                                        • Figure 22: Product examples of Bare Foods, US, 2018
                                                      • Mars, along with other major chocolate and sugar confectionery giants are focusing on calorie reduction
                                                        • Figure 23: M&M’s low-calorie product with a calorie label in the front of the pack, US, 2018
                                                      • Use technology to provide better product experience
                                                        • Be & Cheery obtains the patent of dry and wet separation technology (干湿分离包装技术)
                                                          • Figure 24: Be & Cheery’s “lock freshness”, China, 2018
                                                        • Empower with consumer data
                                                          • Bestore launches intelligent shopping guide system
                                                            • Figure 25: Consumer using coupon pushed by the “Intelligent Shopping Guide” in offline store of Bestore, China, 2018
                                                          • Three Squirrels reinforces the management on supply chain
                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                            • Innovation trend overview
                                                              • Sweet snacks are more active while salty snacks still dominate
                                                                • Figure 26: New products launched in China, by category, 2016-18
                                                                • Figure 27: New snack products launched in China, by sub-category, 2016-18
                                                              • Both “minus” and “plus” claims are growing
                                                                • Figure 28: Growing claims on the new products launched in China, by category, 2016-18
                                                              • The evolving plant “bases”
                                                                • Figure 29: Product examples of vegetable-based crisps, China, 2018
                                                                • Figure 30: Product examples of better-for-you chocolates, 2017-18
                                                              • Short-shelf-life snacks
                                                                • Figure 31: Product examples of Three Squirrels’ short-shelf-life snacks, China, 2018
                                                                • Figure 32: Product examples of fresh snacks, 2017-18
                                                              • Combining sweet with salty and with spicy to surprise consumers
                                                                • Figure 33: Product examples of combination of sweet and salty flavours, 2018
                                                                • Figure 34: Product examples of combination of sweet and spicy flavours, 2017-18
                                                            • The Consumer– What You Need to Know

                                                              • Opportunity for freshly-made snacks
                                                                • Offline and online channels are equally important, but should be more consumer specific
                                                                  • Use creative concepts beyond product to engage the post-00s
                                                                    • Consumers are self-conscious when eating snacks
                                                                    • Consumption Trends of Different Snacks

                                                                      • Fruits and vegetables are welcomed by all age groups
                                                                        • Figure 35: Consumption trends of different types of snacks, China, October 2018
                                                                        • Figure 36: Consumption trends of different types of snacks-Eating more, by age, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Opportunity for meat/seafood-based snacks
                                                                        • Figure 37: Consumption trends of different types of snacks – Eating more, China, 2018 vs 2016
                                                                      • Males are eating more snacks than two years ago
                                                                        • Figure 38: Gaps of gender in consumption trends of different types of snacks – Eating more, China, 2018 vs 2016
                                                                    • Purchase Channels

                                                                      • Consumers are using multiple channels to purchase snacks
                                                                        • Figure 39: Purchase channel of snacks, China, October 2018
                                                                      • City tier influences channel preferences
                                                                        • Figure 40: Purchase channel of snacks-Repertoire analysis, by city tier, China, October 2018
                                                                        • Figure 41: Selected purchase channel of snacks, by city tier, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Utilise convenience or grocery stores to reach young and busy consumers
                                                                        • Figure 42: Purchase channel of snacks-Convenience stores or grocery stores, by age, China, October 2018
                                                                        • Figure 43: Selected purchase channels of snacks, by personal monthly income, China, October 2018
                                                                    • Trading Up Potential

                                                                      • Multiple categories have potential for trading up
                                                                        • Figure 44: Trading up potential, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Personal income and city tier matter in trading up preferences
                                                                        • Figure 45: Gaps in trading up potential of different snacks between high- and low income consumers, China, October 2018
                                                                        • Figure 46: Trading up potential of selected snacks, by city tier, China, October 2018
                                                                    • Better-for-you Snacking Concepts

                                                                      • “Healthy” is more about eliminating undesired elements
                                                                        • Figure 47: Better-for-you snacking concepts, October 2018
                                                                      • Freshly-made becomes crucial, especially among females
                                                                        • Figure 48: Better-for-you snacking concepts-Freshly made, by gender, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Forge a healthy snack cost-effectively
                                                                        • Figure 49: TURF analysis of factors related to better-for-you snacks, China, October 2018
                                                                    • Interest in Super Sale Snacks

                                                                      • Texture is the hook to attract interest
                                                                        • Figure 50: Interest in super sale snacks, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Use creative concepts beyond product to engage the post-00s
                                                                        • Figure 51: Interest in super sale snacks-Selected attributes, by generation, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Exotic flavour most critical in Guangzhou
                                                                        • Figure 52: Interest in super sale snacks-Selected attributes, by city, China, October 2018
                                                                    • Snacking Attitudes and Habits

                                                                      • Consumers are self-conscious when snacking
                                                                        • Figure 53: Snacking attitudes and habits, by types of snacks eating more compared with six months ago, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Create super-sale-snacks in tier 2 or lower cities
                                                                        • Figure 54: Snacking attitudes and habits, by selected attributes of super sale snacks, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Opportunity for snack delivery services
                                                                        • Figure 55: Snacking attitudes and habits –“When I fancy snacking, I prefer ordering from food delivery”, by habit towards whether eat snacks as main meals, China, October 2018
                                                                    • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                      • Eating more snacks than others
                                                                        • Figure 56: Consumption trend of different types of snacks-Eating more, by consumer classification, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Willing to pay more for indulgence
                                                                        • Figure 57: Trading up potential, by consumer classification, China, October 2018
                                                                      • Follow the trend and love snack-specialized channels
                                                                        • Figure 58: Purchase channel of snacks, by consumer classification, China, October 2018
                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Figure 59: Total market value of snacking, China, 2013-23
                                                                    • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                        • Figure 60: Retail sales value of major snack categories, China, 2013-18
                                                                    • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                        • Fan chart forecast
                                                                          • Abbreviations