The market research firm’s global consumer trends survey also shows that ingredient selectivity is on the rise with 47% of consumers demanding for all-natural products versus 44% last year.
Senior survey analyst at Euromonitor, Lisa Holmes, said in a statement, “Natural product features seem to appeal to consumers in a way that more specific green labels such as eco-friendly and organic do not.
“Fifty-five percent of respondents look for natural features when buying products in at least one category, compared with 41% who look for eco-friendly features and 39% who look for organic. ‘Natural’ labels are especially important to consumers when they are deciding what food to buy.”
However, the survey found that enthusiasm wanes when those consumers seeking out products with natural ingredients and features are faced with the prospect of paying more.
“Thirty-nine percent of respondents are willing to pay more for natural in at least one product category, compared with 29% who will pay more for organic and 20% who will pay more for non-GMO,” Holmes said. “Willingness to pay more for natural follows the same patterns as general interest in these product features and ingredients, without any unexpected stinginess or overspending among consumers in each country.”
Childhood obesity leads to natural rise
In addition to all natural ingredients, limited/no added sugar is also one of the top 10 labels consumers look for on food products, according to the survey.
“With sweet snacks such as confectionery continually linked by the media to childhood obesity and other diseases, consumers are increasingly aware of their own recommended sugar intake levels and what sweet snacks contribute to that,” head of packaged food sector at Euromonitor, Lamine Lahouasnia, said in a report.
Products need to appear more natural to the consumer, he suggested. “Processed fruit snacks for children, and fruit and nut bars for adults, have shown that growth is still possible in developed markets,” he added.
“KIND bar has been labeled as a game changer in the US snack bar market – as have other brands, such as the Nakd bar in the UK – for their clean label approach in marketing to consumers.”
Brand value in developed markets
Looking forward, Euromonitor predicts that there still be room for traditional snacks. However, the movement towards more snacking occasions will result in a much more diversified array of available snacks.
“The future for the snack industry looks much brighter than the present with growth expected to return to 2% a year from 2017 onwards,” Lahouasnia said.
“In emerging markets, we should expect improved snacks distribution to aid growth. In developed markets, the shift towards higher end, ‘naturally healthier’ alternative snacks should deliver greater value for brands.”