Snack food manufacturing develops a taste for the future

A recent report by IBISWorld forecast a sweet future for the snack food manufacturing industry in Australia.

The report anticipates that industry revenue will rise by 1.2 per cent each year in the five years until 2023-24, reaching a total of $1.8 billion.

The report puts down this increase to rising household disposable incomes and the greater popularity of healthy snack foods.

While the increase in health-conscious snacking habits by consumers, particularly in urban areas, the traditionally high-sodium and high-fat snack offerings have receded in popularity. However, with food manufacturers developing new healthy snack products, consumers are starting to come back to snacks.

The report notes that the higher sales of muesli bars, grain or wheat snacks and nuts has driving this new popularity for healthy snacks, and those manufacturers who have included wholegrain and premium chips in their range or low-fat and low-carbohydrate versions as seeing increased sales and growth.

Another impact on the value and popularity of snacks has been the increase in the domestic price of vegetables, which the report predicts will continue to rise, however not as quickly as in the past five years.

As eating patterns continue to shift, snack manufacturers could adapt to the increase in the appetite of consumers for out-of-home eating. The portability of snacks in smaller package sizes and their distributed purchase points make them attractive to consumers who are seeking a food purchase on the move.

In contrast to the past five years, where industry revenue dropped as private labels encroached on the market share of established players and input prices became increasingly volatile, IBISWorld sees a positive future for the industry.