Global Snack Market Trends

See how Innova's Top Ten Trends influence the global snack marketplace

June 14, 2024 – The snacking world is constantly evolving, driven by changing consumer preferences and a growing demand for healthier, more sustainable, and exciting options. Based on extensive consumer analysis and market data, Innova’s snack trend research highlights how five of the Top Ten Trends in the food and beverage industry are shaping the future of snacking. These include, “Ingredients: Taking the Spotlight,” “Indulging in Health,” “Local Goes Global,” “Nurturing Nature,” and “Oceans of Possibilities.”

Ingredients in the Snack Market Spotlight

The “Ingredients Taking the Spotlight” Top Trend highlights how brands are promoting key ingredients on their products, driving snack innovation and consumer interest.

Protein is a leading ingredient in the global snack market, with consumers seeking it for muscle growth, energy and stamina, and weight management. 42% of global consumers say that protein is the most important ingredient they look out for.

Rice and vegetables are increasingly used as bases for snack products, reflecting a growing consumer preference for clean labels and healthier options. There has been a 23% increase in rice-based snacks launched, and a 24% increase in vegetable-based snacks.

Innova’s snack market research also indicates that clean labels are also a major driver for consumer purchases. Consumers are actively seeking products with natural ingredients, reduced additives, and less artificial ingredients.

Indulging in Health

The “Indulging in Health” Top Trend highlights a growing movement in the global snack market – consumers are seeking healthier options without sacrificing indulgence. This is driven by a desire for both taste and well-being, leading to a rise in snacks that combine indulgent flavors with healthy ingredients and claims.

More than half of consumers say that they are willing to compromise on indulgence for healthier food. They consider limiting non-healthy ingredients, and using more natural ingredients as key methods to improve the health of indulgent products

Brands are responding to this demand by creating indulgent snacks with added health benefits, such as those containing natural ingredients, reduced sugar, or added vitamins and minerals. In the past year, 11% more snacks contain an active health claim. The fastest growing active health claims on snacks include probiotic, prebiotic, DHA, and skin health.

Global Snack Market Trends

Local Snacks with Global Flavors

The “Local Goes Global” Top Trend refers to consumers seeking out snacks with authentic flavors and ingredients from around the world, that are also produced with local ingredients. This trend is driven by a combination of factors, including increased exposure to diverse cuisines through travel and media, a desire for unique and adventurous experiences, and a growing appreciation for local traditions and ingredients.

Two in three consumers say that they are open to trying new global cuisines. Alongside, cuisines such as Southeast Asian and Mediterranean have seen increases of 46% and 43% in global snack product launches. However, more than half of consumers also say that they actively look out for claims of locally sourced ingredients. Many products in the snack market now advertise both global flavors, as well as local sourcing, satiating both consumer desires. Young consumers are helping drive this trend, with one in two saying that they look for cuisines from other countries.

Nurturing Nature in the Snack Market

In the “Nurturing Nature” Top Trend, there is a growing consumer demand for brands that go beyond sustainability and take actions that make a positive difference to nature protection. This includes initiatives like reducing waste, promoting sustainable farming practices, and protecting forests.

The top actions consumers would like to see companies take for environmental and social causes are nature protection, sustainable packaging, and improving waste management. However, the concept of nature protection means different things depending on the consumer. Water usage, forest protection, and green energy are all top nature-related claims consumers look out for in this space.

In the global snack market, products can be seen sporting claims such as “made with wind power, “part of sales will be donated for forest protection activities,” and “we act daily to improve our carbon footprint.” Additionally, companies and brands are investing in crop-resilience technologies to reduce water usage.

Oceans of Possibilities

The “Oceans of Possibilities” Top Trend highlights the growing trend of incorporating seafood and ocean-based ingredients into snacks. This trend is driven by several factors, including the increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly food options, the desire for unique and adventurous flavors, and the recognition of the nutritional benefits of seafood.

There has been a 22% increase in snack launches containing seaweed. Brands often promote the nutritional qualities of seaweed, including its high fiber content, gluten-free nature, and low calorie count. Additionally, ingredients such as prawns and squid are increasingly common in snack products.

Brands are also focusing on the sustainability aspects of ocean-based products. Many snacks in this space include sustainability certifications, ensuring consumers that the ingredients were sourced in an environmentally friendly way.

What’s Next in Global Snack Market Trends?

Consumers are increasingly seeking snacks that provide a good source of protein. This trend is particularly strong in the United States, where protein is seen as an important ingredient for muscle growth and overall health. There is also a growing demand for snacks made with rice and vegetables, driven by consumer interest in clean labels and healthier options.

Consumers are additionally looking for snacks that offer both indulgence and health benefits. Health claims that support the immune system, or provide antioxidants are especially popular. Brands can focus on creating snacks that are both delicious and nutritious, using natural ingredients and reducing artificial additives.


This article is based on our report, “Top 10 Trends 2024 – Snacks – Global​.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
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