Snack bars are nutritious and can be consumed quickly. This makes them suitable for quick breakfast, lunch, and as snacks between meals. Therefore, due to the increasing popularity of the snack bar market in Asia-Pacific is expected to register a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period of 2018-2023.
BioFoodLab, a Russian snack bar firm, on November 15, 2017, unveiled plans to expand in Asia-Pacific, with China and India identified as the two key priorities. BioFoodLab manufactures snack bars that are free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), gluten, milk, soy, sugar, preservatives, dyes, flavors, and emulsifiers. All snacks of the company are produced at their own factory in Moscow, Russia. They have developed a novel technology for processing raw fruit and nut ingredients, which allows the company to preserve all the nutrients without adding chemical ingredients.
Calbee, the Japanese cereal giant, increased its granola production capacity by 40%, to capitalize on the growing health-consciousness trend in Asia. The company is investing USD 67 million in another production facility for Frugra fruit granola cereal, in the Kyoto Prefecture on the island of Honshu.
Due to change in life style and increase in disposable income, both of which result in increasing the inclination of customers toward new healthy and quick snacking options, Asia-Pacific is considered to be the fastest growing market for snack bars. Yet, in many regions, it is still considered a niche product. In addition, less awareness of the product decreases its buying capacity. However, with the changing scenario and increasing western influence, share of the snack bar industry in Asia-Pacific is bound to increase by the end of the forecast period. Many popular snack foods, such as chips, candy, and snack mixes are high in calories, fat, and excess sugar. Snack bars are healthy alternatives that are convenient to grab on the go, in addition to being nutrient dense, providing vitamins, minerals, and energy to the body.
Australia, India, Japan, and China are the major regions of Asia-Pacific in the snack bar market, where snack bars are considered as the most convenient snacking items. In Australia, the snack bar market is witnessing a shift toward more wholesome product offerings, as consumers have become increasingly concerned about the negative health aspects associated with conventional snack bars. There is a significant demand for natural healthy snacks, such as granola/muesli bars, as they are perceived as being a more natural alternative traditional snack bars. In Japan, the convenience of snack bars meets the needs of an increasing number of Japanese consumers who lead busy lifestyles, and are looking for quick solutions for their diets. Snack bars continued to have low sales only in China, mainly due to limited product awareness. However, China is expected to witness exponential growth in the future. The concept of snack bars is still relatively new in India, as consumers do not purchase these for breakfast purposes, but rather as a healthier version of a chocolate bar. As cereal bars contain nutrients like proteins and fiber, the rise in health consciousness among the consumers supports the growth of snack bar market in Asia-Pacific as a whole.
There are various companies in the snack bar market that offer various products. However, the market is fragmented, and different companies capture different regions in Asia-Pacific. Nestlé Australia Ltd was the leading company in snack bars in 2015, due to the dominant position of the iconic Uncle Toby’s brand, which, for most Australians, is synonymous with snack bars. VV Group is the dominant player in China for snack bars, and accounted for over 77% retail value share in 2015. Otsuka Holdings continued to lead the snack bar market in Japan in 2015, with a retail value share of 36%, due to the strong presence of the company’s brands Calorie Mate and Soy Joy. Naturell India Pvt. Ltd maintained its leading position in the snack bar market in India in 2015, with 68% value share.
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