Nielsen study reveals snacking habits, preferences of Pinoy and other Asian consumers


A new global market report recently released by Nielsen reveals a growing global market for snack food  items, with consumers spending $374 billion in 2013-2014, with 2 per cent increase on a year on year basis.  While total snack sales are mostly accounted for by buyers in Europe and North America, the revenues in Southeast Asian nations contribute significantly to sales, at a growth rate of 3.6 per cent year on year.

The ASEAN region expects almost 300 million new consumers in the next ten years.  Coupled with rising income levels and an expanding middle-class, this spells big prospects for growth for the snack food industry.

“Increased consumption and the expanding middle class are the two key reasons why developing countries in Southeast Asia are expected to fuel further growth in this category. Nielsen surveyed 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries to identify which snacks are most popular and which health, taste and texture attributes influence choice of items,” says Stuart Jamieson, Managing Director of Nielsen in the Philippines.

Snack food makers are advised to align their business strategies with the growing middle class, the market’s changing taste, and the growing concern for healthy eating.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Snacking polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries to identify which snacks are most popular around the world and which health, taste and texture attributes are most important in the selection criteria.

The highlights of the survey of Philippine respondents are as follows:

1)       For Pinoy respondents, snacking is viewed as a source of nutrition, which contrasts with Indonesians, Singaporeans and Vietnamese who identify enjoyment as the foremost motivation for snacking.  Occasionally, they crave for treats.

2)       Local consumers also regard snacking as a moment for sharing with family and friends, which they share with the rest of the respondents in the region.  This indicates the need to adjust packaging sizes.

3)       Filipino respondents eat a wide variety of snacks, foremost of which are bread/sandwiches, fresh fruit, and chocolate, in that order.

4)       Consistent with their concern for healthy snacking, they look for beneficial ingredients, rating fiber as the most important attribute, followed by all natural ingredients, and natural flavors.

5)       It is important for them that snacks include ingredients that are organic, preferring the use of local herbs.  This makes them the most environmentally conscious consumers in the region.

6)       Fresh, flavorful and juicy snacks resonate as the most important taste attributes in the snacks they eat.

7)       They are spontaneous, rather than purposeful, snackers, as they try new snacks, buy a variety of snacks, and make unplanned snack purchases.

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