Shifting consumer preferences in line with health trends, competition and highly changeable input prices have combined to check growth in Australia’s snack food sector. However, as with other packaged food and different industries (such as bakery and beverages), snacks with a healthy focus are performing strongly, with growth more than double that of the traditional snack market (3% versus 1.4% for the five years to 2015). Some of the industry’s challenges are:
- Demand for healthier products: consumers are seeking snacks with less sugar and fat, this has stagnated demand particularly in the historically highly profitable salty-snack segment and seen more consumers choosing fruit (including dried), pre-cut vegetables and nuts
- Clean eating: consumers following “clean eating” guidelines want no (or worst case, fewer) additives, more healthful ingredients and more organic products
- Paleo: consumers following this diet eschew traditional packaged snacks
- Labelling: snack makers must be aware of country-of-origin changes along with altered “Australian Made” usage rights and the rise of clean labelling, manufacturers must also be aware of often-changing export-labelling requirements
- Private-label competition: fierce competition from private-label snack products has seen falling profit margins for branded products
Despite these challenges, the outlook for the snack food industry is strong, with its economic contribution forecast to grow at 4.7% (annualised) over the 10 years to 2020, compared with Australia’s GDP forecast to grow at 2.7%.
Product innovation remains important, but with tweaks rather than revolutionary products. Packaging innovation, resulting in more new-product variations on shelf, remains another key element behind the sector’s growth.
What’s at foodpro to help your business?
At foodpro, snack food manufacturers can see the latest equipment and technologies, and hear the latest knowledge, to stay ahead of the curve, such as:
- Ingredients (probiotics, flavours, essential oils, extracts, coffee, tea, spices, chocolate, flours, etc.)
- Sealing and packaging machinery
- Coding and labelling solutions
- Inspection, weighing and detection systems
- Processing and cooking equipment
- Education and association representatives
See here for a full list of exhibitors.