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Consumer Snacking - UK - May 2018

“Snacking remains an ingrained habit for Britons. The view of snacks as an important energy source throughout the day, and as a necessity in busy lifestyles, underpins this habit. It also points to further longevity for snacking and the relevance for snacks to align with catering to or countering busy lifestyles.”
– Kiti Soininen, Category Director – UK Food & Drink

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Snacks’ energising role chimes widely
  • Snack brands can stand out by catering to or countering busy lifestyles 
  • Demand for healthy and indulgent snacks, and more clarity

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • PHE aims to combat child obesity, shaking up the snacking market
              • New calorie targets for kids’ snacks and adult meals
                • Ageing population poses a challenge for snacks
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Dynamic growth in L/N/R allergen claims
                      • L/N/R sugar claim nearly doubles share
                        • Fibre and protein claims gain traction
                          • Sweet and savoury flavour combinations go beyond salted caramel
                            • Category blurring and brand stretch continue
                              • Advertising spend falls in 2017
                                • Sweet snacks put the focus on sharing and social connections
                                  • Mars and Lindt focus on connecting with oneself
                                    • The consumer
                                      • Fresh fruit, crisps and chocolate are the nation’s top three snacks
                                        • Figure 1: Snacks eaten in the last two weeks, February 2018
                                      • Snacks are on the daily menu for most
                                        • Figure 2: Frequency of eating snacks, February 2018
                                      • Home is still where people snack the most
                                        • Only two in five snackers look mostly for healthy snacks
                                          • Figure 3: How often people eat healthily and look for a healthy snack, November 2017 and February 2018
                                        • No magic bullet – Health priorities vary
                                          • Figure 4: What people look for in a healthy snack, February 2018
                                        • Snacks’ mood boost and energising roles chime widely
                                          • Figure 5: Snacking behaviours, February 2018
                                        • Evenings in still a key occasion for snacks
                                          • Figure 6: Snacking attitudes, February 2018
                                        • Ease of opening is under-utilised in snacks
                                          • Figure 7: Important convenience factors in snack choice, February 2018
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • Snacks’ energising role chimes widely
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Snack brands can stand out by catering to or countering busy lifestyles
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Demand for healthy and indulgent snacks, and more clarity
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • PHE aims to combat child obesity, shaking up the snacking market
                                                              • New calorie targets for kids’ snacks and adult meals
                                                                • People try to eat mostly healthily, but are more relaxed when snacking
                                                                  • Busy lifestyles fuel snacking
                                                                    • Ageing population poses a challenge for snacks
                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                      • PHE aims to combat child obesity, shaking up the snacking market
                                                                        • Sugar reduction
                                                                          • Calorie reduction
                                                                            • 100-calorie recommendation for kids’ snacks
                                                                              • New 400-600-600-calorie target for adults leaves room for snacks
                                                                                • People try to eat mostly healthily, but are more relaxed when snacking
                                                                                  • Busy lifestyles fuel snacking
                                                                                    • Ageing population poses a challenge for snacks
                                                                                      • Figure 8: UK population trends, by age, 2012-17 and 2017-22
                                                                                    • Discretionary incomes have little bearing on snacking
                                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                      • Dynamic growth in L/N/R allergen claims
                                                                                        • L/N/R sugar nearly doubles share
                                                                                          • Fibre and protein claims gain traction
                                                                                            • Sweet and savoury flavour combinations go beyond salted caramel
                                                                                              • Category blurring and brand stretch continue
                                                                                                • Advertising spend falls in 2017
                                                                                                  • Sweet snacks put the focus on sharing and social connections
                                                                                                    • Mars and Lindt focus on connecting with oneself
                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                      • Dynamic growth in L/N/R allergen claims
                                                                                                        • Figure 9: New products in the UK snack market, by claim (top 15), 2013-18
                                                                                                      • Pairing free-from claims with a rounded proposition
                                                                                                        • Ethical packaging claims in long-term growth
                                                                                                          • Widespread concern about plastic packaging
                                                                                                            • Compostable, plant-based foil adopted by various smaller brands
                                                                                                              • Vegan claims leap ahead
                                                                                                                • L/N/R sugar nearly doubles share
                                                                                                                  • Leading players cut sugar in sweets…
                                                                                                                    • …cakes…
                                                                                                                      • …and chocolate
                                                                                                                        • Fibre claims gain traction
                                                                                                                          • Protein claims are niche, but rising rapidly
                                                                                                                            • Figure 10: Share of new products in the UK snack market with a high/added-protein claim, 2013-18
                                                                                                                          • Sweet and savoury flavour combinations go beyond salted caramel
                                                                                                                            • Spice flavours and vegetables
                                                                                                                              • Savoury snacks go sweet
                                                                                                                                • Category blurring and brand stretch continue
                                                                                                                                  • Taking flavour inspiration from other treats
                                                                                                                                    • Updating traditional treats
                                                                                                                                      • Brand extensions look to unlock new snack occasions
                                                                                                                                        • Alcohol flavours appear from crisps to cupcakes
                                                                                                                                        • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                          • Advertising spend falls in 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Chocolate continues to lead on advertising
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 11: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising on sweet and savoury snacks, 2014-18 (sorted by 2017)
                                                                                                                                            • Sweet snack brands put the focus on sharing and social connections
                                                                                                                                              • Cadbury Dairy Milk spotlights generosity
                                                                                                                                                • Mr Kipling shows a kindly ‘thief’
                                                                                                                                                  • Butterkist focuses on family time
                                                                                                                                                    • McVitie’s shifts focus onto ‘Sweeter Together’
                                                                                                                                                      • Mentos looks to connect people
                                                                                                                                                        • Mars and Lindt prompt fans to relax, Snickers pushes hunger-busting
                                                                                                                                                          • Mars and Lindt focus on connecting with oneself
                                                                                                                                                            • KitKat continues to focus on having a break
                                                                                                                                                              • Snickers continues with hunger-busting message
                                                                                                                                                                • Diversity remains at the centre of Maltesers’ advertising
                                                                                                                                                                  • Sweet and savoury snacks look to tap into the ‘big night in’ occasion
                                                                                                                                                                    • Crisps/savoury snacks offer free films
                                                                                                                                                                      • Nestlé links up with Sky Store
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                        • Fresh fruit, crisps and chocolate are the nation’s top three snacks
                                                                                                                                                                          • Under-35s and parents are top users of sweet snacks
                                                                                                                                                                            • Snacks are on the daily menu for most
                                                                                                                                                                              • Home is still where people snack the most
                                                                                                                                                                                • Only two in five snackers look mostly for healthy snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                  • No magic bullet – Health priorities vary
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Snacks’ mood boost and energising roles chime widely
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Evenings in still a key occasion for snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ease of opening is under-utilised in snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Types of Snacks Eaten

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fresh fruit, crisps and chocolate are the nation’s top three snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Snacks eaten in the last two weeks, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Under-35s and parents are top users of sweet snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Biscuits buck the trend
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Savoury snacks’ usage holds up better across ages
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fresh fruit appeals to all ages, under-35s drive trendy snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Under-35s have widest repertoires
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Repertoire of snacks eaten in the last two weeks, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Frequency of Snacking

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Snacks are on the daily menu for most
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Frequency of eating snacks, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Where People Snack

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Home is still where people snack the most
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Where people snack, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Emotions come to the fore in at-home snacking
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marketing campaigns shift focus to connecting people
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Two thirds of workers snack out of home
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Out-of-home occasions necessitate convenient formats
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Younger groups snack out of home the most
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Parents’ busy lifestyles fuel snacking out and about
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Role of Healthiness in Snack Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Only two in five snackers look mostly for healthy snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: How often people try to eat healthily and look for a healthy snack, November 2017 and February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Frequent snackers are much more likely to focus on healthy choices
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • What People Look for in a Healthy Snack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • No magic bullet – Health priorities are fragmented
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 17: What people look for in a healthy snack, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Low sugar holds the lead, followed by low fat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Saying goodbye to sweet snacks beats low sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Low-sugar and low-fat claims work together
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 100-calorie claim must work harder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Snacking Behaviours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Snacks’ mood boost and energising roles chime widely
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Snacking behaviours, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • No authorised satiety claims under EFSA, but energy-yielding claims appearing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Snacking seen as an aspect of busy lifestyles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • More scope for messages focused on catering or countering to busy lifestyles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Snacking chips away at meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Breakfast and lunch are at risk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Further blurring of boundaries ahead?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Snacking Attitudes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Evenings in still a key occasion for snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Snacking attitudes, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Big night in benefits from people going to cinema less
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brands look to align with evenings in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Important Convenience Factors in Snack Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ease of opening is under-utilised in snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Important convenience factors in snack choice, February 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Resealability speaks to waste concerns and stop-and-start snacking
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mess-free appeals widely
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Share of new products in the UK snack market, by sub-category, 2013-18

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Consumer Snacking - UK - May 2018

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