The snacks are not only just a delicious treats; but it is a big business in India. With the cultural diversity, the snacks market in India is highly diverse with region specific varieties, taste, flavors, and mixes. Primarily, the snacks market consists of bakery foods, biscuits, chocolates, confectioneries, and traditional savory snacks. Among these varied snacking options, particularly the ‘savory snacks’ (salty snacks made from natural as well as added colors and flavored ingredients); gained momentum in recent years due to increased penetration of packaged snacks in this category, reflecting the quickly changing snacking patters of Indian consumers from homemade traditional snacks to a better quality branded packaged snacks.
According to the IKON’s estimates, the Indian savory snacks market (branded packaged and unbranded packaged or loose) is growing at healthy double digit CAGR over the past five years. In fact, if the growth trajectory remains the same, the market may cross Rs 1000 Billion mark by the end of the current decade itself. Surprisingly, Rural India dominates the savory snacks market in India. As per IKON’s estimates, the rural market occupies almost 52% of the total market. The increased education and exposure to media, penetration of low priced packaged savory snacks in rural market along with the trend of consuming homemade and Unbranded loose savories, paving the ways for the growth of the rural market. The rural market for savory snacks is growing at healthy double-digit CAGR of almost 30% over the past 5 years, which is slightly higher than the urban market’s growth over the same period of time.
The underlying factors driving the overall growth of the Indian savory snacks market are easy availability, affordability, convenience & hygiene factors. In recent past years, the market trend shown gradual shift towards the organized (branded packaged) segment, as a result, currently it holds almost 60% of the market, and the remaining 40% have been enjoyed by the unorganized (Unbranded packaged or loose) market segment. The ‘Western Snacks’ is quickly growing segment in India, however the ‘Traditional Snacks’ still dominates the market of savory snacks in India making it still traditionally tasty.
The market holds tremendous growth potential, attributed to India’s ever rising population and disposable income. However, due to low entry barriers, the competition is fierce to meet the ever changing expectation of the Indian consumers. The major players ruling the branded packaged savory market are PepsiCo - the market leader with its Cheetos, Kurkure, Lay’s Lehar & Uncle Chips brands, Haldiram, Balaji Wafers (Balaji), Parle (Hippo, Parle), ITC (Bingo), Bikaji, Bikanervala, Prataap Snacks (Yellow Diamond), and DMF (CRAX) amongst others. Apart from these, there are a large number of regional players doing wonders in their respective territories.
The market is witnessing a continuous rise in demand of savory snacks due to underpinning various driving factors, which is in turn providing an immense opportunity to the marketers to grow and operate profitably. Besides the existing demand from urban market, the large untapped rural market and lower price points (Rs.5 & Rs.10) and snacks specifically targeted towards kids, are providing lucrative opportunities to drive the sales of packaged savory snacks in India.