Natasha Kumar
Natasha is Mintel's Food & Drink Analyst based in Mumbai. She is responsible for analysing and providing insights on India’s food and drink market.

Indian consumers are highly involved in snacks as a category, with a majority of consumers eating salty snacks. While consumers are trying to become more health-conscious, they are not willing to compromise on taste.

Here we look at three trends observed in India’s salty snacks space that brands should take note of.

Healthy eating mindset shapes snack innovations

As the demand for healthier choices among consumers is growing, salty snack innovation with positive nutrition claims is appealing. According to Mintel research, Indians define ‘healthy’ salty snacks as those which contain positive nutrition or ‘all-natural’ claims such as high/added protein, high/added fibre, made from fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, younger consumers aspire to look good and manage their weight for a healthier lifestyle, whereas elders are seeking prevention from lifestyle-related diseases. Brands have an opportunity to offer better-for-you snack options for wider demographics. To stay relevant for the long term, offer healthier snacks that tap on generational health needs.

Impending regulations will require innovation

With growing consumer awareness and government push for the reduction of sodium in snacks, it will become mandatory for brands in the near future. In fact, to combat the surging lifestyle-related health problems in India, salty snack producers are under pressure to reformulate their offerings.

Brands can look to gradually reduce sodium levels in their products, to meet global and national public health targets and stay ahead of government regulations with healthier options. It is important for brands to diversify their portfolio to provide healthy options targeted at different consumers cohorts, especially young consumers who balance their intake of healthy and indulgent snacks.

Taste is paramount

Even as Indians are trying to be healthy, they are not willing to compromise on taste. Hence their expectations from snacks have evolved to products that are tasty but healthier. Mintel research highlights that close to a third of Indian consumers are interested in snacks with unique flavour combinations.

For snack companies and brands, the opportunity lies in providing unique flavours or textures with additional health benefits through positive nutrition claims and salt reduction. Moreover, introducing global and hyperlocal flavours combined with health benefits will find favour among consumers.

For more exclusive insight on the Indian consumer landscape, and to discover the latest trends and innovations to shake up the marketplace, reach us at infoindia@mintel.com or log on to Mintel Reports India.