Confectionery snacks grew 1% in 2015

Confectionery snacks grew 1% in 2015

Global snacks growth slowed to its lowest level since 2008 last year, with confectionery rising by the smallest amount at 1%, new research shows.

According to Euromonitor, the global snacks industry increased by just 1.7% in retail value terms in 2015. Confectionery, the largest sector within snacks, grew by the smallest amount at only 1%, with sugar confectionery sales barely registering anything positive and gum continued its decline as chewing habits fades.

However, chocolate confectionery increased 2%.

In terms of regions, the Latin American continent was the biggest disappointment, climbing just 0.3%, largely due to sizeable economic and political woes in three of the largest snacks markets: Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

China, the cornerstone of growth for so many years, also faced a dramatic slowdown having contracted in 2015 and only marginally recovering in 2016.

Meanwhile, processed fruit snacks and fruit and nut bars have seen growth in developed markets. KIND bar has been labelled as a ‘game changer’ in the US snack bar market – as have other brands such as Nakd bar in the UK.

“With sweet snacks such as confectionery continually linked by the media to childhood obesity and other diseases, consumers are increasingly aware of their own recommended sugar intake levels and what sweet snacks contribute to that,” says Lamine Lahouasnia, head of packaged food at Euromonitor.

“This has proven to be one of the biggest barriers to growth for sweet snacks categories in developed markets.”

However, she notes that the future for the snacks industry looks much brighter than the present, with annual growth expected to return to 2% from 2017.

The recovery, she explains, will be driven by a return to stability in Latin America and an expected rebound in growth within the Chinese market, which has been creating a considerable lag on world growth.

“In emerging markets, we should expect improved snacks distribution to aid growth. In developed markets, the shift towards higher end, ‘naturally healthier’ alternative snacks should deliver greater value for brands,” Lahouasnia adds.

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