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Sweet and Salty: Understanding the Snack Market in Germany

Published Mar 02, 2022

Toluna,

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When it comes to snacking, today’s consumers are more aware than ever of the nutritional contents of what they eat. In turn, this is creating a heightened demand for more natural and sustainable snacks with less sugar.

Where do consumers find this information? What do they want to know about the products? Where do they buy the snacks? What makes them try out new snack products? To find out the answers to these questions and more, we fielded a survey of 442 German consumers on Toluna Start between October 21 and 24, 2021.

Where consumers buy snacks

Whether eating chocolate bars, biscuits, chips, or nuts, 79% of consumers snack most at home. But where do they buy them? Here are the top five places where Germans shop for their snacks:

• 65% Supermarket or wholesale market

• 32% Mall

• 22% Bakery

• 16% Gas station

• 16% Drugstore

Which factors influence purchase decisions?

Whether it’s pricing, ingredients, or appealing branding, there are many factors that contribute to the decision to buy a snack. However, there is one factor that stands above all; eighty-one percent of German consumers say that taste is either important or very important. What follows behind?

• 51% Natural ingredients

• 45% Low price

• 38% Brand values

• 38% Environmental impact

• 37% Locally produced

• 29% Brand loyalty

How important are health aspects?

Fifty-one percent of respondents say that it’s important to have a selection of healthy snack products. Likewise, natural ingredients are a major deciding factor in purchases, as most consumers feel that their snacks should be free of artificial ingredients.

Consumers are also deliberately seeking out snack products that contain less sugar—or none at all. Overall, almost half of consumers are looking for healthy alternatives more often than they used to.

Consumers gather information online

Many of today’s consumers head to snack brands’ websites or other online platforms to learn more about the ingredients of the snacks they buy. This is particularly true amongst young adults aged 18-35. Twenty-two percent say they visited a snack brand’s website within the last month.

Consumers want to try new snacks – reasons for switching brands

One of the notable trends in today’s snack market is that consumers are less loyal to specific brands. In fact, only 10% say it’s very important to be brand loyal. Why is this? In addition to health considerations, 58% of consumers simply say they like to try new snacks. This bears out in purchase behavior, too, as a majority of respondents indicated that they tried new snack brands during the final quarter of 2021.

Other reasons for trying new products include current offers, caloric content, and the inclusion of natural ingredients. For manufacturers, these results demonstrate the importance of new product development to offer consumers the variety that they desire. Additionally, the heightened demand for healthy and sustainable snacks is having a real impact on customer loyalty.

A look into the future of snacking

The results are clear: today’s consumers are more discerning than ever, and they will continue to look for healthier, more sustainable snacks that contain less sugar or are free of it entirely. The trend towards vegan or plant-based is also progressing—not just among younger adults, but with older ones, too.

Are you interested in finding out more about your audience’s current and future behaviors? It’s critical to stay on top of consumers’ evolving wants and needs to ensure your brand’s long-term success, and the agile Toluna Start platform enables you to do this in real-time. Ready to transform the way you collect insights? Get started by scheduling a demo today.

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