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Healthier snacking a growing trend, company study finds

Sep 10. 2019
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By The Nation

Snacking products are currently valued at more than US$139.4 billion (Bt4.271 trillion) in the Asia Pacific region alone, with the segment expected to grow by 12 per cent over the next four years as consumers increasingly seek healthier snacking options more often throughout the day, according to research by NZMP, Fonterra’s global ingredients and solutions business.

The company will this week showcase its dairy ingredients as a match for the growing trend at the Food Ingredients Asia (Fi Asia) trade show at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre.

Globally, 61 per cent of consumers enjoy snacking between meals , while 26 per cent of Thai consumers eat snacks as a dinner replacement, and 45 per cent are paying more attention to the nutritional value in the snacks they eat, the research found. As a result, the snacking segment in Thailand is expected to grow by almost 15 per cent over the next four years, reaching a value above $3.5 billion, according to a Tuesday release from the company.

NZMP’s general manager for South & East Asia, Hamish Gowans, said, “The ‘snackification’ trend has evolved to become a stand-alone consumption occasion as people replace traditional meal times with regular snacking, and demand for more nutritious options drives growth.

“Previously snacking was driven by convenience. However, today’s consumers are also seeking food and beverage options with natural ingredients, minimal additives, and a clearly stated origin, [and which] sustain them for longer and support their dietary and exercise goals,” said Gowans.

As the population across Asia ages, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of healthy and active lifestyles with consumers increasingly conscious of their food choices and exercising more.

“NZMP’s dairy ingredients have a key role to play in delivering nutritious snacking options for people at all life stages with our well-established health credentials and broad range of ingredients that provide flexibility to meet the varied needs of consumers. Whether it’s proteins, yoghurts or beverages, dairy is one of the highest quality ingredients for consumers and manufacturers alike,” Gowans added.

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