Indians Relieve Stress by Eating Snacks

India enjoys a wide variety of local snacks, be it Gujarat’s dhokla (pictured) to Ratlam’s sev, Indians simply love their snacks, according to a new research from Mintel.

The market researchers reveal that three in five (60%) Indian consumers eat snacks at least twice a day, while 15% of Indians are “super snackers” —snacking four or more times per day. The demographic profile of super snackers indicates that they are largely people living with their extended families (70%) and women (60%).

It seems that the pressures of everyday life are driving Indians to treat themselves with snacks, as according to Mintel, almost two in five (37%) snackers do so to relieve stress. Meanwhile, other emotional reasons such as the desire to treat oneself (44%) and taking a break (42%) are encouraging consumers to indulge in snacking.

Minu Srivastava, consumer research analyst India, at Mintel, comments: “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 themselves with indulgent foods as a way to manage their mood. Hence there is a correlation between what we eat and our emotional state, especially when it comes to ‘stress eating’. Consumers may reach out for a snack in response to hunger or an emotional trigger, but a growing snacking culture and increased frequency of snacking means indulgence needs justification. Brands can tap into this by offering snacks that provide indulgence along with health and taste in today’s world.”

Furthermore, Mintel research reveals that health and nutritional benefits have become an integral part of the snacking experience, as half of Indian snackers (51%) wish there were more healthy snack options. Moreover, some Indians are justifying their snacking frequency by saying that they snack to control their weight (28%) and avoid overeating at meals (30%).

There has been a growing demand for products that fit lifestyle needs. Among snackers, over a third (36%) agree that they would like to have a better variety of conveniently packaged snacks, while one-third (33%) look for single-serving size packaging when choosing a snack.

“Snacks have traditionally been a companion to TV viewing, given that mobile devices are the ‘new TV’, especially during the everyday commute, this gives brands opportunities to develop on-the-go snacks. Furthermore, health guides many consumers’ life choices, and snacking is no different as Indian consumers are now looking at the functional benefits like added nutrition and lower calorie content while choosing a snack. Thus, snacks need to evolve and transform with these changing consumer lifestyles and habits,” Minu Srivastava says.

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