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Ireland Consumer Snacking Habits 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 Habits 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 and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key Consumer Questions

  • Types of Snack Foods Eaten
  • Where Consumers Snack
  • Attitudes Towards Snacking

What you need to know

Snacking is an ingrained habit in Ireland, with nine in 10 consumers noting that they snack at least once per day – despite increased concerns with obesity. Consumers are however showing stronger interest in healthier ways of snacking, including vegan/vegetarian snack options, free-from foods and looking for snacks with reduced sugar content.

Issues covered in this Report

This Report examines consumers’ snacking habits, defined as eating between meals in the home, out of home (eg at work) and on-the-go (eg when travelling).

For the purpose of this Report, snack foods are defined as fruit and vegetables, crisps, nuts and corn snacks, chocolate confectionery, cheese, yogurt and cereal bars, and breakfast biscuits, and include total sales across all types of food retailers, including supermarkets, convenience stores, and discounters.

Please note due to the diverse nature of food and drink that can be used as a snack, and difficulty defining what purchases are made for the purpose of snacking, this Report does not include market size data.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Brian O'Connor, a leading analyst in the Irish consumer sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While consumers are increasingly looking for snacks to be healthier, three quarters of consumers noted that they worry that snacks that claim to be healthy may be high in sugar, fat or salt. This points to a stronger need for snack companies to be transparent regarding the nutritional contents of their snacks, and cleaner labelling. Brian O'Connor
Senior Consumer Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • Market factors
            • Majority of Irish consumers snack twice per day or more
              • Figure 1: How often consumers snack between meals in a typical day, NI and RoI, June 2018
            • Four in 10 want more free-from snacks
              • Flexitarianism continues to be a hot topic
                • Obesity a growing issue, but consumers in denial
                  • Companies, brands and innovation
                    • The consumer
                      • Fresh fruit, chocolate and crisps most popular snacks
                        • Figure 2: Types of sweet snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                        • Figure 3: Types of savoury snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                        • Figure 4: Types of other snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                      • Over nine in 10 snack at home
                        • Figure 5: Where consumers have eaten snacks in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                      • Many concerned at sugar/salt/fat content in ‘healthy’ snacks
                        • Figure 6: Agreement with statements relating to snacking, NI and RoI, June 2018
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Consumers snacking twice a day
                        • Obesity levels remain high across NI and RoI
                          • NI consumers following healthy habits most of the time
                            • ‘Free-from’ snacks appeal to Irish consumers
                            • Market Drivers

                              • Six in 10 snack twice or more per day
                                • Figure 7: How often consumers snack between meals in a typical day, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                • Figure 8: Consumer price index for selected food items, RoI, 2015-18*
                                • Figure 9: Consumer price index for selected food items, UK (inc NI), 2015-18*
                                • Figure 10: Types of food products consumers have purchased from discounters in the last three months, NI and RoI, February 2016
                              • Women more frequent snackers – and key purchase decision makers
                                • Figure 11: How often consumers snack between meals in a typical day, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                • Figure 12: Consumers who said they were mainly/wholly responsible for grocery shopping in their household, by gender and age, NI and RoI, September 2017
                              • Food intolerances and allergens continue to be a key concern for snacking
                                • Figure 13: New snack product launches claiming to be free-from*, UK and Ireland, 2013-17
                              • Sales of free-from foods grow, despite low incidence of allergies/intolerances
                                • Figure 14: Types of food/ingredients avoided because they/a member of household has a confirmed or suspected allergy/intolerance – or as part of a general healthy lifestyle/other reason, NI and RoI, April 2017
                                • Figure 15: Types of free-from food and drink consumers have bought in the last six months, NI and RoI, April 2017
                              • One in 10 identifies as flexitarian
                                • Figure 16: Consumers who adhere to a specific diet type, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                • Figure 17: New snack product launches claiming to be free-from*, UK and Ireland, 2013-17
                              • Obesity continues to be a key concern
                                • Figure 18: Obesity levels in adults aged 16+, NI, 2013-17
                                • Figure 19: Body mass index, by age group, RoI, 2017
                              • A third think their health has improved
                                • Figure 20: Changes in perceptions of consumer health over the last 12 months, NI and RoI, June 2017
                                • Figure 21: How consumers would describe their current body type/weight, NI and RoI, August 2016
                              • NI consumers more likely to ‘fall off the diet wagon’
                                • Figure 22: Amount of effort consumers put into staying healthy, NI and RoI, June 2017
                            • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                              • Consumers are drawn towards snack products which are positioned as better-for-you
                                • Kellogg’s moving to rapidly reduce sugar in its cereal products
                                  • Tayto NI is now the largest vending machine company in the UK following the Uvenco acquisition
                                    • Chocolate remains popular despite consumers’ alleged concern with sugar
                                      • Premiumisation is a key factor in growth of snacking
                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                        • Total number of new snack product increasing in the last five years
                                          • Figure 23: Total new products launched in the Snacks and Chocolate Confectionary categories, UK and Ireland, Jan 14-May 2018
                                        • Snack/cereal/energy bars dominate new product development
                                          • Innovative new brand from PepsiCo developed using sophisticated data analytics
                                            • Starburst makes a leap into chewing gum
                                              • Despite consumers’ sugar concerns, chocolate remains a popular snack item
                                                • Growth in hors d’oeuvres driven by premiumisation
                                                • Competitive Strategies – Key Players

                                                    • Graze
                                                      • Key Facts
                                                        • Product Portfolio
                                                          • Brand NPD
                                                            • Recent Developments
                                                              • Kellogg’s
                                                                • Key Facts
                                                                  • Product Portfolio
                                                                    • Brand NPD
                                                                      • Recent Developments
                                                                        • Largo Foods
                                                                          • Key Facts
                                                                            • Product Portfolio
                                                                              • Brand NPD
                                                                                • Tayto NI
                                                                                  • Key Facts
                                                                                    • Product Portfolio
                                                                                      • Brand NPD
                                                                                        • Recent Developments
                                                                                          • Mars Ireland
                                                                                            • Key Facts
                                                                                              • Product Portfolio
                                                                                                • Brand NPD
                                                                                                  • Recent Developments
                                                                                                    • Mondelez International
                                                                                                      • Key Facts
                                                                                                        • Product Portfolio
                                                                                                          • Brand NPD
                                                                                                            • Recent Developments
                                                                                                              • Nestlé Ireland
                                                                                                                • Key Facts
                                                                                                                  • Product Portfolio
                                                                                                                    • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                      • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                        • PepsiCo
                                                                                                                          • Key Facts
                                                                                                                            • Product Portfolio
                                                                                                                              • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                                • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                                  • Valeo Foods
                                                                                                                                    • Key Facts
                                                                                                                                      • Product Portfolio
                                                                                                                                        • Brand NPD
                                                                                                                                          • Recent Developments
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                            • Fresh fruit, chocolate and crisps most popular snacks
                                                                                                                                              • Most snacking is done in-home
                                                                                                                                                • Many concerned at sugar/salt/fat content in ‘healthy’ snacks
                                                                                                                                                • Types of Snack Foods Eaten

                                                                                                                                                    • Chocolate eaten by three quarters of Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Types of sweet snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Women stronger users of chocolate compared to men
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Consumers that have eaten chocolate in the last two weeks, gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Selected statements relating to how consumers manage their sugar intake, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • NI consumers prefer indulgent snacks when compared to RoI
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Consumers that have eaten cakes/sweet bakery goods and sweet biscuits in the last two weeks, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Crisps the favourite savoury snack
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Types of savoury snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Crisp usage higher among parents
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Consumers that have eaten cakes/sweet bakery goods and sweet biscuits in the last two weeks, by presence and age of children, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Four in five snack on fresh fruit
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Types of other snack food that consumers have eaten in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Fruit consumption driven by health trend
                                                                                                                                                    • Where Consumers Snack

                                                                                                                                                        • Vast majority snack at home
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Where consumers have eaten snacks in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • In-home entertainment helping to drive in-home snacking
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Agreement with selected statements relating to the night in, NI and RoI, October 2016
                                                                                                                                                          • 25-34-year-olds most likely to snack at work
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Consumers who have eaten snacks at work/school/college etc in the last two weeks, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • NI consumers more likely to snack while out and about
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Consumers who have eaten snacks while commuting/travelling vs while out-and-about (eg shopping) in the last two weeks, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes Towards Snacking

                                                                                                                                                            • Concern that healthy snacks aren’t actually healthy
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Agreement with statements relating to snacking, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Irish women most sceptical about health claims of snacks
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Agreement with the statement ‘I am concerned a lot of so-called healthy snacks are actually high in sugar/salt/fat’, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Preference for healthier snacks at checkouts among parents
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to see healthy snacks at checkouts in shops as opposed to confectionery’, by presence and age of children, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Concern with plastic packaging used for snacks
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Agreement with the statement ‘I worry about the plastic packaging that many snacks have’, by age, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                            • Definition
                                                                                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                • Generational cohorts
                                                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations