Bakery & Snacks

Premium natural snacks win shelf space

US supermarket bakery category sales reached 11.6 billion dollars according to Nielsen and it is the fastest-evolving segment in the food retail industry. All the opportunities for the Italian brands.

Snacks are probably the fastest-evolving category in the food retail industry, as consumers turn to veggie chips, protein-rich bars and cheese bites for their everyday quick meals. Manufacturers are innovating recipes, sizes, packaging and adding new ingredients and flavors to tease younger generations who are the largest consumers of snacks. US supermarket bakery category sales reached 11.6 billion dollars according to Nielsen, and 69.6% of respondents in a market research by Progressive Grocer said bakery sales will continue to increase this year after rising in 2016. Chips are probably the most innovative snack category, with a variety of vegetables now replacing potatoes: avocado, plantain, guava, beetroot, lentil, and turmeric are only a few. But do not discount meat-based chips, like those with free-range chicken, which are enjoying new popularity in America, according to IRI. Flavors are the essential ingredient of traditional potato chips, with natural ingredients such as lime, sea salt, and cheese being added to make every product unique also in taste.

The Italian recip

The same trend involve baked goods like crackers and breadsticks which are available in different sizes and flavors. Bites and thins are increasingly popular for different reasons – bites help reduce the size of traditionally bigger and heavier snacks while thins are lighter and pleasantly crunchy. Italian baked goods and snacks are favored for their Mediterranean and artisanal recipes. Single-serving packages of cheese and crackers with rosemary and olives are in every store. Opportunities for snacking consumption are also increasing. Breakfast is returning to have an important role, with granola defeating competition from traditional muffins and cinnamon rolls. Sweet and savory are blending, but spicy hot alternatives remain very popular.

Snacks sales

Sales of hot snacks are seen reaching the potential of 213 million dollars in five years according to IRI, growing a CAGR 6%, followed by cheese-based snacks (4.5% CAGR, 130 million dollars) and nuts (2% CAGR, 41 million dollars). Packaging is again a winning point. Around 53% of consumers say that product label and packaging influence their snack decision, according to the 2017 IRI Snacking Survey. Also, 35% of consumers want packaging to be sustainable. But innovation cannot forget about taste, which drives the purchasing decisions of 90.6% of consumers.

Why choosing Italian bakery?

Opportunities:
– The value of traditional Italian food
– Regional, typical, historical, clever treatment
– Naturally healthy and good: not artificial
– Salad trend to be intercepted
– Craftsmanship = chain control but also =
creativity in tradition (branding and history, narration)
– Culture of raw materials

Challenges:
– Passing on the tradition of Italian pastries
(e.g. Christmas pastries)
– The use of frozen products
– Decoration and visual appeal
– More variety and ‘richness’ (mini-cakes and snacks)