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6 Development Trends in the Snack Food Industry

6 Development Trends in the Snack Food Industry. such as Stricter Regulation, Product Upgrade, Demand Health, Marketing Channel Synergy

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Today we talk about 6 development trends in the snack food industry and suggestions for countermeasures. 

Snacks are what people eat in their leisure time and rest. They are also a type of fast-moving consumer goods. Nowadays, consumer concepts are gradually changing and their needs are becoming more and more diverse. 

There is a growing focus on "eating healthy", so the brand awareness of snack products has grown significantly. 

Under the influence of this social concept, the snack food industry has developed rapidly. In recent years, the size of my country's snack food market has exceeded 100 billion yuan, and it has maintained rapid growth, with an annual growth rate of about 25%. 

At the same time, the epidemic has also boosted the pace of growth. According to the "Snacks Status Report" released by Mondelez International in 2020, about 90% of adults around the world enjoy more snacks during the epidemic than before, and global is no exception. 

Millennials and people working from home also expressed that they prefer snacks to meals, and snack consumption has become the "new darling" of post-epidemic consumption. 

6 Development Trends in the Snack Food Industry

From the perspective of product development, snack foods are developing into flavor, nutrition, enjoyment, and even functional types; from the perspective of categories, they can be roughly divided into cereals, nuts, potatoes, confectionery, and pie products. 

In terms of business model, it is generally divided into two types of channels: offline and online. Offline generally includes self-employed, supermarket stores, and chain retail models, while online mainly includes major e-commerce platforms and self-operated online malls. And APP, etc., as the brand is recognized by the public, the "new retail" model is also booming. 

Enterprises are no longer limited to a single retail channel but pay attention to the simultaneous development of online and offline.

However, while my country's snack food enterprises are facing development opportunities, they are also facing many challenges. 

This article summarizes several major pain points in the snack food industry and some judgments on future industry trends. 

The following 6 development trends in the snack food industry will describe one by one.

Trend One: Stricter Regulation

"Food is the priority for the people, and safety is the priority for food". Safety is the lifeline of food companies. However, in order to pursue profits, some companies in the past few years were irresponsible to themselves, society and consumers. 

Illegal additives are competing on the table, coupled with special events such as livestock epidemics, resulting in continuous food safety problems in the industry, causing certain harm to the health of the people, and also sounding the alarm for snack food companies.

At present, some manufacturers that produce and process snack food have problems such as backward technology, poor production environment sanitation, weak quality control ability, and inability to control the key nodes of food safety in the production chain. The impression of “chaotic and poor” has become a high-risk area for food safety. 

On the other hand, the food supervision system is obviously lagging behind. The existing food testing institutions are mostly distributed in large and medium-sized cities, with few full-time testing personnel. 

The testing technology and equipment do not reach the world's advanced level, and it is difficult to implement multi-faceted food production and circulation links. full coverage and immediate supervision. 

Therefore, once a food safety incident occurs, it will have a negative impact on the image of the snack food industry in the minds of consumers, which is not conducive to the regulation of the industry order and hinders the innovation and healthy development of the industry.

Food quality and safety have become an issue that consumers and relevant government departments attach great importance to. The country has successively issued a number of policies to strictly control food quality and safety, combat production chaos in the industry, and promote the healthy development of high-quality enterprises. 

For example, in 2019, the State Council issued the "Opinions on Deepening Reform and Strengthening Food Safety Work", pointing out that reform and innovation must be deepened, and food safety must be further strengthened with the strictest standards, strictest supervision, strictest punishment, and most serious accountability. Work safely to ensure the "safety on the tip of the tongue" of the people. 

Another example is in 2021, the "Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China" updated the standards of the food safety industry, adding a food safety traceability mechanism and a food safety self-inspection system. 

In short, under the correct guidance of national policies, industry standards, and "dual circulation", the snack food industry is gradually building a good environment.

We suggest that enterprises in the snack food industry should establish a complete food safety risk prevention and control system, strengthen supply chain management, improve the traceability system, and improve the level of enterprise food safety assurance through prevention and management, so as to reassure consumers. 

In addition, enterprises in the same industry should strengthen cooperation with an open mind, jointly build a food safety management system, promote systematic, scientific, and standardized food safety management and control, jointly make the industry bigger and stronger, and win the trust of consumers.

Trend Two: Product Upgrade

There are countless snack foods on the market, and the number of each type of product is dizzying. Although the manufacturers are different, there are not many essential differences between the products. Most of the small and medium-sized enterprises are behind the big ones. 

As long as well-known companies launch new products, they are often able to launch similar products in the shortest time, and explosive products appear and follow the trend to copy, which intensifies the phenomenon of product homogeneity, which in turn leads to a vicious circle, which is extremely unfavorable for the development of products and hinders the development of the industry. 

It is the characteristics of low investment and low threshold in the snack food industry that lead to the false prosperity of the market.

First of all, in the current situation of the increasingly fierce homogenization competition in the snack food industry, it may be possible for snack food companies to continue to focus on one category, anchor a style, seize a segmented market, and conduct continuous and in-depth vertical research and development of products. The way to break the game.

Secondly, in order to gain a firm foothold in the rapidly changing market, snack food companies must continue to innovate, adjust product line structure, optimize product quality, and promote product upgrades. For example, under the guidance of the high-end snack strategy, BESTORE has upgraded 395 high-end products for its more than 1,400 SKUs. Among them, 12 classic products have been upgraded to high-end to meet the needs of consumption scenarios such as office tea breaks and party sharing.

Third, in order to break the industry development barrier of product homogeneity, in the future, snack food companies can only break the homogenous competition by continuously innovating and upgrading products and self-iteration in order to obtain higher brand premiums in the fierce market competition.

Trend Three: Demand Health

People's demand for snack food has gradually changed to safety and health, which has also become the main development direction of enterprises. While satisfying people's basic leisure and entertainment needs, snack food has increasingly become the "fourth meal" in the daily diet. 

According to the 2020 Consumer Survey released by McKinsey, about 60% of consumers are accustomed to checking the ingredient list of food when shopping, they will buy healthier food, and increase their spending on health and lifestyle-related items. 

Eating safe, healthy, and nutritious food has become the consensus among snack food consumers. Low-sugar, low-calorie, high-quality raw materials, healthy functions, non-fried, non-baked, and no preservatives will become new consumer demands. Low-salt, low-fat "three-low products" gradually appeared in the snack food circulation market.

Therefore, on the one hand, snack food enterprises should carry out further innovation and improvement on the basis of ensuring the original taste and flavor of snack food, optimizing the overall production process, improving the nutrition of snack food, ensuring nutritional balance, and gradually make snack food more healthy, the direction of functional development, which is also the main development direction of snack food enterprises in the future.

On the other hand, snack food companies need to accurately locate the crowd. With the popularization of online consumption habits, snack food consumption is driven to penetrate into all age groups. 

The main consumption force is not limited to young people. Children and the elderly will become important consumers. For example, Baicaowei launched a children's food series. 

The products are aimed at children aged 3-12. They pay attention to nutrition in products and ingredients and are positioned as "beneficial supplements beyond the main meal" for children. 

At the same time, the food market for the elderly is still a blue ocean. The number of aging people in my country is increasing, and the number of elderly people with diabetes, blood sugar, and dyslipidemia is increasing. 

Traditional pastries are no longer suitable for the elderly due to excessive sugar content. Healthy and nutritious Snack foods with other functional characteristics will become a new breakthrough for the consumption needs of groups such as the elderly and children in the future.

Trend Four: Marketing Channel Synergy

The market is booming, but some second and third-tier cities have a single distribution channel. Relevant statistics show that at present, snack food is mainly sold in three types of offline channels, namely centralized sales in supermarkets and hypermarkets, bulk weighing-type sales, and franchise-type sales, while the business formats in second and third-tier cities are significantly different from those in first-tier cities.

The retail format of snack food in first-tier cities is mainly manifested as: diversified competition of channels and relatively high concentration. National and large-scale chain enterprises and large supermarkets occupy the main force of snack food sales, and the sales scale has increased rapidly. 

At the same time, consumption has gradually become high-end, and chain convenience stores such as 711 and Watsons have become the main sales force of high-end snack food. The competition between imported food and domestic food is increasingly fierce.

The distribution channels of second and third-tier cities are mainly regional food retail chain stores. The categories are mainly concentrated in domestic food, which is relatively simple. The competitiveness of imported food in second and third-tier cities is obviously weak, and it is difficult to compete with domestic snack food.

However, with the improvement of information infrastructure construction and modern logistics system, online channels have gradually solved the pain points of small batches and high frequency of snack foods, greatly reducing sales costs and logistics costs, while improving transportation efficiency. 

From the perspective of the distribution structure of sales channels, the sales channels of the snack food industry will show a trend of diversification and integration in the future, and the integration of all channels will become more and more obvious.

We believe that omnichannel synergy will become the mainstream model of snack food in the future. The convenience of online channels can provide a purchasing experience that is not limited by time and space, expand the range of consumer categories to choose from, and the effect of traffic aggregation is obvious. need.

In terms of attracting customers, offline channels are significantly lower than online retail channels due to the time and space constraints of store locations. However, in terms of experience, offline channels can provide consumers with more direct product displays and sales services. , and better than online channels. 

Therefore, the omnichannel expansion of online and offline integration is one of the methods for the construction of marketing channels for snack food companies. Companies that attach importance to offline channels will cooperate with third-party e-commerce platforms or build their own e-commerce platforms to expand their online and offline channels. 

The influence of consumers, and snack food e-commerce companies have also begun to gradually deploy offline business, to further get closer to consumers through offline physical stores, and to understand consumer needs in an all-round way while rebranding.

Just like the three squirrels that started online, and BESTORE that started offline, the optimization of the omnichannel network has achieved remarkable results. In the era of consumers' independent choice, the coordinated development of online and offline snack food companies and the formation of multi-channel coordinated sales is the best state for the channel development of the snack food industry in the future.

Trend Five: Industrial Integration

The industrial chain of the snack food industry includes upstream planting and breeding and other raw materials, midstream food processing, warehousing and logistics, and downstream terminal consumption. Different enterprises have different degrees of participation in each link of the industrial chain, forming a variety of business models. 

The production of snack food is closely related to agricultural resources. Different regions have completely different resources, and the industry concentration is high. 

However, from the perspective of market competition, the brand concentration of snack food is relatively weak. Due to the influence and constraints of many upstream factors in the industry chain, many companies are difficult to produce products that meet the diverse demands of consumers, leaving a huge market gap. Still take the three squirrels as an example. 

In the past, the three squirrels did not participate in the upstream production link of the enterprise and mainly entrusted OEM OEM production. In the midstream link of the industrial chain, authorized cooperative factories carry out production and processing in accordance with the brand's product standards and requirements. 

Finally, the brand fully participates in the downstream links of the product chain, focusing on building the retail end to reach consumers. The disadvantage of this method is that it relies too much on the upstream industry and cannot fully develop the snack food products that consumers demand according to the brand idea.

In order to improve product quality and strengthen product quality control, snack food companies should strengthen supply chain integration, deploy the entire industry chain, use data and supply chain management capabilities, and build a "sales based on production" procurement model to ensure the rapid transformation of consumer demand into products. 

In 2020, the three squirrels will form an all-around and integrated product quality control system from the upstream raw material end to the midstream processing link, and then to the finished product inspection, optimize the front-end of the supply chain and the high efficiency of the organization, and product brands can realize precise manufacturing according to their own grasp of consumer insights, and finally realize the integration and even integration of the whole industry chain in terms of production, supply, and marketing.

Trend Six: Organizational Control

Due to the special products of leisure snack enterprises, the characteristics of their unique industries are formed. The management level of each enterprise is generally backward and the competitiveness is poor. 

The reason is that the casual snack industry has a seasonal cycle, and most categories have high consumption demand in the low-temperature weather in the first and fourth quarters. 

However, enterprises generally lack food management strategies for seasonal changes, and talents are generally scarce, making it difficult to find professional management talents.

Secondly, the snack food industry has regional characteristics. Due to the vast territory of our country, the climatic and geographical conditions are different, and the raw materials of the food are very different. 

The different eating habits of different places also make the tastes different, and the income levels of different regions are different. It also leads to large differences in consumption capacity. This is also one of the reasons for the backward management level.

Therefore, from the perspective of the industry as a whole, the human resources of enterprises are in the "personnel management" stage, and the initial stage presents the following characteristics:

First, the overall quality is low. Many food business owners can only be called businessmen, not entrepreneurs with a modern business philosophy and a sense of social mission. 

Most food companies are engaged in the rough processing of agricultural products and have very low requirements for employees. , resulting in generally low labor quality of employees in food enterprises.

Second, human resource management lags behind, treating employees as "labor" rather than human resources. Human resources work is managed by the office, but in fact, human resources management is more in the business scope of personnel and labor, and there is a lack of planned and systematic related work.

Third, there is a shortage of talents in enterprises. As an agriculture-related industry, food companies are usually located in relatively remote locations, with traffic congestion and a poor living atmosphere, making it difficult to attract high-level talents. 

After the post-80s and post-90s gradually became the main force of the labor force, the new generation of migrant workers and college students will become the occupation of the new generation of migrant workers and college students. Views are contrary to the characteristics of the food industry.

Fourth, there is no effective incentive mechanism, and it is very single, and it is impossible to scientifically and effectively set up incentive mechanisms according to positions, functions, and ranks. 

Except that the incentive mechanism for sales personnel is assessed through business achievement, the implementation of incentive mechanisms for functional departments, technical departments, and production departments is mostly ineffective.

Fifth, there is a lack of a sound performance appraisal system. Employees at different positions, departments, and levels use a set of performance appraisal systems. The difference between each position and employees at all levels is only distinguished by the basic salary. The implementation process is often just a cutscene.

Therefore, we suggest that, on the one hand, organizational management should conform to the management orientation of "small community" and "collaboration", shape an open organization, actively implement technological innovation strategies, consolidate the "characteristics" of enterprise operations, and strengthen enterprise competitiveness.

On the other hand, organizations should improve human resource management, focus on improving the quality of entrepreneurs, attract talents through multiple channels, strictly control the proportion of professionals in food enterprises, and actively carry out professional ethics, safety awareness, and legal education for food employees, and build enterprises. 

Safety culture, strengthen the training of enterprise employees, formulate strategic plans for enterprise human resources development, broadband performance compensation system, and establish post target management models, etc., to comprehensively strengthen.

The above six major trends and pain points, together with practitioners in the snack food industry, look forward to more and more excellent snack food brands emerging in the new consumption track!
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