Fuelling and fulfilling a new breed of snackers Global snacking company pladis, shares its insights into UK snacking habits

 Now in its second year, global snacking company, pladis, today reveals its insights into ‘the new breed of snackers’ in the UK.


“The options for consumers have never been greater. Whether it’s as a wholesome snack, an indulgent treat or a mood-enhancer, it’s interesting to see what will steer people to one particular snack over another. We’ve put consumer insights at the heart of every new product in our pipeline to ensure there is something for everyone, for every occasion,” explained Colette Noé, senior director for consumer and market insights at pladis.


Key insights/takeaways from pladis:


  • pladis has seen increasing demand for products that are easy to buy, store, transport and that can be consumed ‘on the go’ or which are easily sharable
  • Consumers are becoming more ‘mindful’ about what they eat. They often want portion control but they won’t compromise on things like taste, quality or familiarity
  • In some cases, consumers are looking for a more ‘sensory’ experience – as seen by the explosion in salted caramel flavoured snacks in 2017 or products with added protein
  • Often consumers choose a well-known brand, but a new format, a variation of an old-favourite
  • Baby boomers are crucial to the success of a particular snacking category and so pladis pays close attention to how it markets effectively to this demographic
  • Younger consumers are snacking more than any previous generation, triggered largely by the erosion of traditional food rituals such as set meal times; pladis has seen the emergence of the ‘fourth meal’


“The boundary between meals and snacks is blurring. Most people understand a meal to be influenced by cultural traditions around timing, setting and specific food groups. Snacks, on the other hand, are highly personalised and variable mini meals,” said Noé.


With their high levels of social media usage, millennials continue to wield a lot of influence over the UK snacking industry. “We call them the ‘taste makers’ among their peer group, they make much quicker purchases and buy fewer groceries online than you might think,” explained Noé. “We know that millennials are a more visual generation than their parents were; they need to be tempted by a particular type of packaging or instantly register how a product fits into their busy lifestyle,” said Noé.


Whilst millennials’ incomes may have decreased compared to previous generations, they often choose an indulgent treat or wholesome snack as a quick pick me up in favour of a full meal. According to a Snack Hack report by Mintel, Young consumers are more likely than any other generation to snack, and one in four are now “Super Snackers” who snack four or more times in a single day.

At the other end of the spectrum, data from Euromonitor International 2017*, shows that the fastest growing consumer segment is the over 50s, which has grown by a third in the last three years. Whilst it’s no surprise that millennials are generally more experimental in their snacking habits and more open to trying new fillings or textures in a biscuit, pladis never under-estimates the purchasing power of their parents.


“For the ‘baby boomer’ generation, biscuit-buying is part of their routine and they are more determined to cut through the choice in the supermarket aisle to get to the value product, so need to be marketed to in different ways.”


In 2017, pladis launched new products such as McVitie’s Chocolate Digestive Thins by accelerating product journeys from concept to shelf, recognising that when big brands act with a ‘start-up mentality’ and are more agile, they better fulfil consumers’ needs. The Godiva Masterpieces collection was unveiled in the UK earlier this year, bringing chocolates such as its Dark Chocolate Ganache Hearts and Caramel Lion of Belgium to the grocery aisle for the first time. The new range (sold exclusively in UK supermarket, Sainsbury’s) has made Godiva’s luxury chocolate more accessible and introduced artisan chocolate to a new audience. pladis plans to announce further category expansion next year and tap into new snacking sectors and consumer needs.




Author: kimbarnard

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