You may be surprised to discover that the 11 most popular snacks in the world are top-heavy with healthier snacking options than you might otherwise suspect. Given the growing propensity consumers have for snacking, it’s not surprising that they’re increasingly reaching for healthy snack choices.
The global healthy snack market is expected to grow to $32.8 billion by 2025 according to a May report released by Grand View Research Inc. Cereal bars and nuts & seeds are expected to experience some of the strongest growth in the segment in the coming years. Europe and Asia, where snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables is popular, are expected to be leading regions of growth for the healthy snack market.
The Grand View report cited General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ), PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), Nestle SA Reg Shs. Ser. B Spons (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSRGY), B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE:BGS), and Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) as being some of the biggest names in the healthy snack food market. It noted that General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) recently launched a new series of products focused on healthy snacks. Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC), Unilever NV (ADR) (NYSE:UN), and Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) are some of the other major snack brands.
In terms of global snack sales, North America and Europe currently account for well over half of the global market, which stood at $374 billion in value as of 2014. Snack food consumption statistics also vary widely by region, as well as by gender. In terms of the latter, women outsnack men in each of the 11 most popular snacks in the world, including by wide margins in chocolate, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. Certain regions are much more prone to certain snacks than others, including Latin America’s love for ice cream, and North America’s passion for chips.
The younger generations are also driving new snacking trends, including consuming snack foods more often during their main meals, due partly to their lower cost and ease of preparation (or lack thereof). According to the NPD Group, fruit and yogurt are among the snacking choices that are popular among millenials, as they focus in on healthier snacking options.
According to Nielsen, consumers are increasingly becoming more conscious of what their snacks are being made from as well, including what snacks are gluten free (popular choices include popcorn, Jello, pudding, and various fruits) and what snacks are fat free (frozen yogurt, popcorn, and raw veggies are great choices). Consumers are also paying attention to whether snacks are GMO-free, all-natural, and/or made without artificial colors.
We used Nielsen’s 2014 Snack Attack report to compile our list of the 11 most popular snacks in the world, which surveyed 30,000 people in 60 countries on their snacking habits, in particular which snacks they had consumed in the past 30 days. Head to the next page to see which snacks were being shoved down the most throats around the globe.
If we haven’t fully satisfied your craving for sweets after reading this list and you’re just itching to know the top 10 snacks in the US, check out our article on the Top 10 Snack Foods Consumed in America.