Exploring India’s snacking culture

April 18, 2019
3 min read

Majority of Indians snack at least twice a day–many of whom view snacks as an indulgent treat. But an increasing number of consumers are also looking for nutritious snacking options.

Mintel research indicates that more than half of snackers in India wish there were more healthy snack options available. This highlights a key opportunity for companies to provide increased nutritional benefits in snacks with better-for-you ingredients, without ignoring the fact that indulgence is also one of the key pillars of snacking.

Treating the taste buds

India is a diverse country, not just in terms of its people and culture, but also the various tastes and flavours on offer. The traditional snack market is primarily driven by small, unorganised players who sell fresh regional savoury snacks by weight at lower price points.

There is an opportunity for brands to mitigate this competition by innovating snacks with regional flavours and local ingredients, and offering them at affordable prices. Local street food flavours are now being seen in packaged formats for that Indian touch.

Moreover, to address the taste aspect of snacking beyond local flavours, global flavours are also being introduced. Global flavours combined with nutritional benefits appeal to consumers who are looking at balancing the taste-health equation.

The Green Snack Cheesy Jalapeno Flavoured 6 Grain Stix
This snack is formulated with six super grains including oats, ragi, sorghum, soya, maize, and rice. It claims to provide health benefits including weight loss, lowering the risk of diabetes and providing sustained energy levels.

Bakefils Saucy Pizza Thins
This multigrain wafer crisps are said to be inspired by Lebanese lavash and contain flavours of juicy tomato, oregano and jalapeño. The product is baked and claims to be poppable, munchable and dippable.

Eat Any Time Bambaiya Chaat Flavoured Snack Pack
This product is said to have the perfect combination of sweet, salty and tangy all crammed into one bar, along with the goodness of health and hygiene. The vegetarian product can be consumed on-the-go and claims to help satiate hunger.

Engaging consumers with purpose-oriented snacks

Modern lifestyle pressures are pushing today’s consumers towards food and activities that make them feel good. Mintel Trend ‘Mood To Order’ talks about how consumers are looking to manage their emotional wellbeing, and treating oneself with indulgent foods is one way consumers are managing their moods.

Mintel research indicates that consumers in India eat snacks to relieve stress. Meanwhile, other emotional reasons for snacking include the desire to treat oneself and taking a break. In all, consumers are turning to snacks when they need to be uplifted.

Furthermore, brands are now tapping into this opportunity by launching snacks meant for specific occasions, like fasting or to uplift the mood and provide some fun. With consumers snacking for various reasons, brands are highlighting occasions or benefits offered on the snack pack.

Moti Namkeen Spiced Tapioca Snack
This tapioca-based snack is said to be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and is described as a popular religious fasting recipe consumed on days like Navratri, Shivratri, or Ekadashi.

Blueberry Bolt On-The-Go Bar
This snack bar is described as a mood-lifter and claims to provide a dose of energy, boost focus and memory, and contains added omega 3 for a healthy heart.

Sakshi Deepchandani
Sakshi Deepchandani

Sakshi is Trend and Innovation Consultant – India at Mintel, and is responsible for providing clients with cutting-edge insights, thought-provoking opinion and strategies within new product development, with a focus on the Indian market.

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