Want Want, PepsiCo and Orion only account for 19% of the Chinese snack market. Could nuts and seeds be a future disruptor?

Savory snacks market in China expected to reach $16.6bn by 2021, Euromonitor

Kraft introduced its Planters brand to China last year to crack into the country's nut snack market. Pic: China Candy

A recent Euromonitor report projected China's savory snack market will reach sales of 3,676,200 tons and 144.1bn RMB ($16.6bn) by 2021 with 4% retail volume CAGR and 6% value CAGR. 

Although Chinese consumers are concerned about a rapid rise in childhood obesity, which caused a slow growth of savory snacks during 2016, Euromonitor noted the the category is proving more resilient than other snack categories. Snack bars, fruit snacks, sweet biscuits, confectionery and ice cream are all set to see retail volume sales decline, said the market research company.

“This will be thanks to a healthier image for many areas, with nuts, seeds and trail mixes notably viewed as healthy. A wide range of low-fat products are also available across savory snacks.”

Fragmented category

Currently, Want Want Holdings is the leading player in the Chinese savory snacks market with 9.9% of the share, profiting from its diverse portfolio of puffed snacks and rice snacks.

“The company benefits from strong investment in marketing and a wide distribution reach, and will thus continue to edge up marginally in share in 2016,” the report said.

The second-ranked savory snack company is PepsiCo from the US with 5.1% market share, while the third is Orion from South Korea with 4.2%.

But, the fragmented shares seen in the category make it difficult to gauge whether domestic or multinational companies dominate, with Want Want (Taiwan), PepsiCo and Orion accounting for just 19% value share in 2016, Euromonitor added.

Some of the domestic top-selling companies include Hefei Huatai Food, Shanghai Liwayway Food, Fujian Dali Food, as well as the dominant e-commerce nut snack brand, Three Squirrels. Each of them makes up 3.4%, 2.8%, 2.4% and 2.3% of the market.

Other international food giants, including Mondelēz and General Mills only own a small share of the market in 2016, with 0.8% and 0.4% respectively.

It is noted that, while General Mill’s market share remained stable for the past few years, Mondelēz, on the other hand, has seen a steady decline.

Nut, seeds, and trail mixes

Euromonitor predicted there will be a rise in unit price of savory snacks between 2016 and 2021, “partly due to rising production and distribution costs.

“This growth will also be due to consumers trading up, with nut, seeds and trail mixes notably set to see growth of 10% as consumers seek higher-quality and fresher products,” the report said.

The nut, seeds and trail mixes segment, according to Euromonitor, is expected to reach retail value of 33,634.6m RMB ($4.9bn) by 2021, while savory biscuits anticipate a 17,109.5m RMB ($2.5bn) worth of sales. 

Related News

In China's snack market, nuts and seeds is the largest category as the focus on health and nutrition continues to dictate, says Mintel. Pic: ©iStock/Amarita

Chinese ‘Mintropolitans’ go nuts over healthy snacking, say researchers

China is expected to be Kraft's biggest market in Asia Pacific in the next few years.

Kraft brings Planters Peanuts to China’s competitive snacking nuts market

Mondelēz recently partnered with Alibaba in China

Mondelēz warns multinationals to reposition during China’s economic slowdown

Milka's flavors be customized to fit Chinese consumers' taste buds.

Mondelēz adapts Milka to local tastes for China launch

China is one of the largest markets globally for packaged bakery products in terms of volumes.

Sneak peek: NPD coming to China Candy & Snacks Expo 2016

Three Squirrels is the largest snack brand in all Chinese e-commerce channels combined.  Photo: Three Squirrels

China’s e-commerce goes ‘nuts,’ as Three Squirrels breaks record of $73m sales

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.