Local Taste Leads the Way in Baked Snacks

There is a real push for the localization of flavors in the snack industry; consumers are also increasingly more conscious about the ingredients used in their favorite snacks and are curious about food sources. 

By Sharmila Rajah

Flavor innovation is being driven by culture and localization. Taste is leading the way when it comes to the growing focus consumers have on their snack choices and preferences. Innova Market Insights reports that 75% of global consumers rank interesting flavor as an important snack purchase criterion.

Consumers’ attitudes and behavior naturally influence trends in flavor, food and snacking.

Consumers seek surprise and fun from their snacks; they yearn for what’s familiar yet desire for more novel flavors. Expect ‘elevated classic and nostalgic’ flavor profiles to emerge in the snack category. Restrictions around movement over the past two years have also led consumers to travel the world through their taste buds and snacking choices. Borders blur when spices like cinnamon, cardamom, roasted cumin and turmeric invigorate everything from pretzels and crackers to popcorn and crisps. Almost 60% of consumers prioritize global flavors—bold, spicy, and exciting combinations—when selecting their snacks.

The Snack Market

The global baked savory snack market is estimated to grow in the forecast period of 2022-2027 at a CAGR of 4.10%, driven by such attributes as easy availability, low cost and ongoing product innovation. The surging preference for on-the-go snacking options because of consumers’ hectic lifestyles has been facilitating market growth. Some of the commonly-consumed baked snacks include biscuits and chips from established global players like General Mills, Britannia Industries, and ITC Limited. Consumers continue to demand for baked snacks with functional benefits such as gluten-free, low-fat, organic and protein-rich snacks.

The Asia Pacific baked snack market is expected to thrive with profitable growth opportunities due to increasing demand, particularly among the younger population in countries such as India and China. GlobalData’s 2021 consumer survey finds Indian consumers to be strongly motivated by curiosity, brand trust and familiarity when purchasing their snacks. The fast-paced recovery of developing economies post Covid will further support and bolster the baked snacks segment. The region also boasts a large concentration of small regional players accounting for maximum category sales. 

Innovation & Flavors

Bakers and manufacturers derive inspiration from their respective local markets for snack innovation. While flavors are indigenous to specific regions of the world, they are increasingly transcending borders and cultures across the baked snack market. Brands are focusing on pairing emerging, yet less common flavors and ingredients with familiar flavors to appeal to consumers’ preferences. Recipes ranging from Mexico to the sweltering kitchens of Southeast Asia provide a colorful backdrop to flavor innovation.

Capitalizing on local flavors for successful new product development (NPD) in the Asian market has never been more important. Comfort and nostalgia resonate in Singapore manufacturer Melvados’ Pisang Goreng (fried banana) Brittle. This snack features real banana puree as its base; after baking, the brittle is topped with crushed banana corn flakes and banana chips. Consumers can expect more local flavors from the manufacturer as they plan to venture into other markets within the region. 

You can read the rest of this article in the Fall issue of Asia Pacific Baker & Biscuit magazine, which you can access by clicking here

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