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Europe: More consumers say no to sugar

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The growth of healthy snacks rose by 7% in 2014-2015 compared to ‘conventional’ snacks, which only increased by 5%, according to the Euromonitor International at a press briefing in London, UK.

“The growth in healthy snacks was driven by Western Europe and North America, which combined, increased by US$10.8 billion from 2011 to 2016, an emerging trend that could transform the food industry,” said food analyst Jack Skelly.

The ‘war on sugar’ has dented the potential demand of sweet snacks as consumers have greater awareness of ingredients used in food production and are more cautious on their consumption.

According to a recent Euromonitor survey, 47% of global respondents look for foods with limited or no added sugar.

“The demonization of sugar inevitably created a change in the type of ingredients used in snacks,” says ingredients analyst John George.

In 2015, global sweeteners use in conventional snacks amounted to 15.5 million tons, while in comparison, new snacks included less than a fifth of this at 3 million tons.

This health trend does not only foster ingredients shift but also new pack sizing strategies.

“We’ve seen an increasing polarization of pack sizes in conventional snacks, as larger formats are marketed for a shared consumption, and smaller sizes, more commonly launched as ‘calorie packs’,” says senior packaging analyst Karine Dussimon.

“The aim of these new formats is to convey greater portion control and lower the guilt of buying a treat while still boosting impulse purchase.”

New products are predicted to take a larger slice of the snacking market, resulting in further acquisitions.