Global Processed Snacks Market- By Product (Potato Chips, Extruded Snacks, Nuts & Seeds, Popcorn, Pretzels, Chocolates, Sweet Biscuits, Snack Bars, Sweet Baked, Fruit Snacks, Meat Snacks, and Others), By Distribution Channel (Supermarket/ Hypermarket, Independent Retailers, Convenience Stores, Service Station, and Others), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa); Trend Analysis, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2016-2026

March 2021
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global processed snacks market

Global Processed Snacks Market- Industry Trends & Forecast Report 2026

The global processed snacks market was worth USD 390.3 billion in 2020 and is further projected to reach USD 493.8 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 4.2% during 2021-2027 (forecast period).

The shift in consumer eating habits is one of the major factors driving the market for processed snacks around the world. Processed snacks are more compact and less perishable than prepared foods. Other than preservatives and sweeteners, packaged snacks typically contain appealing ingredients such as peanuts, honey, dry fruits, and chocolates, allowing them to be relished any time of the day. Thus, processed snacks are gaining an edge over prepared foods.

Health and wellness-conscious consumers nowadays are turning to healthier snacks to avoid excessive calories, trans-fats, sugar, sodium, and other refined ingredients. Therefore, packaged snack vendors are coming up with vegan and plant-based snacks with high-protein content and low calories to cater to the taste of their health-conscious consumers.

Source: BlueWeave Consulting


Global Processed Snacks Market Forecast and Trends

Growth Drivers

Changing Lifestyle

One of the major factors driving the market for packaged snacks around the world have been the shift in consumer lifestyle. As there is an increasing trend in urbanization, more people are getting employed, which in turn is impacting their work-life balance. Therefore, processed snacks are usually designed to be more compact and less perishable than prepared foods to help consumers suppress their appetite in between the work. According to the World Bank, around 3.49 billion people were employed in 2020, which in turn increased the demand for the processed snacks.

Moreover, changes in lifestyle and consumer taste are also transforming the way they shop for food and drinks and consume them. This is particularly true for Millennials as they prefer fresh and experiential snacks of various flavors, textures, and ingredients. The Millennials are also more inclined towards consuming sustainable and organic processed food.

Aggressive Marketing and Promotional Campaigns

Processed snack manufacturers invest a huge amount in their promotional and marketing campaigns to attract the younger generation. For instance, McCain launched a USD 3.03 million campaign portraying the power of chips to unify families. It launched its "We are family" series featuring families from around the UK at the dinner table as they discuss Brexit. This unique concept helped the brand gain the attraction of youngsters towards McCain chips.

Kellogg’s Company has introduced new products in ethnic flavors such as Thandai Badam and Rose-Badam cornflakes. What’s more, the brand also brought Indian celebrity chef Ranveer Brar on-board to whip up unique recipes.

Moreover, in 2018, the company introduced granola with almonds and cranberries to their portfolio to appeal to palettes that are more inclined towards Western breakfast and snacking patterns. At different price points, such as Chocos Fill (center-filled pillows) that start at INR 20, Kellog’s has launched products in different formats and sizes and started vigorous sampling exercises to increase penetration, which in turn is boosting the growth of processed snacks market.



Health Concerns Associated with Processed Snacks

The rising number of health issues caused by the consumption of processed snacks has been hindering the growth of the industry. Moreover, the growing adoption of healthy eating habits are limiting the inclusion of processed snacks such as potato chips in consumers’ daily list of eatables.

A five-year study of over 100,000 individuals conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that every 10% increase in ultra-processed snack intake was associated with a 12% higher cancer risk. Unhealthy amounts of added sugar, sodium, and fat are also an integral part of highly processed snacks. These ingredients, no doubt, enhance the flavor of the snack we consume but also contribute to severe health problems such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, which in turn inhibit the growth of the processed snacks market.

Impact of COVID-19 on industry

In 2020, the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) served as a major constraint on the processed snacks market as supply chains were disrupted due to trade restrictions and reduced demand due to lockdowns imposed by governments worldwide.

Processed snack manufacturers are solely dependent on the availability of raw materials from domestic and foreign suppliers. As several governments limited the flow of products across countries during the lockdown phase, factories had to stop production due to the lack of raw materials. Additionally, trade restrictions imposed on non-essential products and fear of contamination by manufacturing facilities also led to a decline in production. It is envisaged that the epidemic would continue to have a detrimental effect on companies in 2021.

Higher profit margins would allow companies producing snack foods to improve their production and push the market forward. COVID-19 has contributed to limitations on the movement of staff, shifts in the market demand, the closing of snack manufacturing facilities, limited food trade policies and financial strains in the supply chain of processed snacks. Unprecedented strains have been imposed on food supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic, with bottlenecks in farm labor, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, as well as momentous demand changes

Global Processed Snacks Market- By Product

Based on product, the market is segmented into- potato chips, extruded snacks, nuts & seeds, popcorn, pretzels, chocolates, sweet biscuits, snack bars, sweet baked, fruit snacks, meat snacks, and others. In 2020, the chocolate segment dominated the global processed snacks market due to the increasing demand and popularity of dark and organic chocolates among youngsters. The chocolate segment is likely to maintain its sustainability during the forecast period. Additionally, consumers' impulsive buying behavior is boosting the sales of chocolates around the world.

Global Processed Snacks Market- By Distribution Channel

Based on Distribution Channel, the market is segmented into hypermarkets/ supermarkets, independent retailers, convenience stores, service stations, and others. Due to the existence of numerous supermarkets and hypermarkets, this segment held a significant share in the processed snacks market in 2020. It can be due to the availability of multiple types of processed snacks at a single location. The rising income level and increasing millennial population are also ­­­­contributing to the growth of this segment. The growth can also be attributed to businesses rearranging their operations to recover from the effects of COVID-19.

Source: BlueWeave Consulting

Global Processed Snacks Market- By Region

With a share of over 35%, North America held the largest share in the processed snacks market in 2020. In North America, considering the large customer base of the country, the US remains the largest consumer of processed snacks. The market growth in this country is driven by a growing population and strong economic growth coupled with an increasing preference for comfort, protein, and healthy eating.

The Asia-Pacific will also catch up as the fastest-growing region in the processed snacks market due to the heavy presence of food processing units in APAC countries. 

Source: BlueWeave Consulting

Competitive Landscape

Some of the leading companies in the processed snacks market are PepsiCo, Tyson Foods, Kraft Heinz Company, Kellogg Company, Conagra Brands, Hormel Foods Corporation, Unilever PLC, Calbee Corporation, and Nestlé.

These companies mainly focus on improving their product quality by investing in R&D coupled with technological advancement to strengthen their product portfolio in the market.

PepsiCo is one of the most famous brands in the world known for its beverages. The company also has some of the most famous snack brands under its umbrella, including Frito-Lay, Doritos, Stacy’s, Cheetos, Cracker Jack, Funyuns, and Cap’n Crunch,

Recent Developments

·         In Feb 2021: PepsiCo launched Frutly juice waters made from fruit juice, water, and electrolytes for teenagers. The company said there are no added sugar or sweeteners in the drink. The drink available in strawberry kiwi, fruit punch, and apple grape flavor will be available from March.

·         In Feb 2021: Nestlé announced its plan to launch Vegan Kitkat in several markets around the world. The vegan Kitkat developed by Nestlé’s experts at Confectionery Research & Development Center in York, UK, will be known as “KitKat V”.


Scope of the Report




Years considered

Historical data- 2016-2020

Base Year- 2021

Forecast- 2021-2026

Facts covered

Revenue in USD Billion

Market coverage

US, Canada, Germany, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, China, India, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and others

Product/ Service segmentation

By product, By Distribution Channel, By region

Key Players

PepsiCo, Mondelez International, Unilever plc, Calbee Corporation, and Nestlé


Ø  By Product

·         Potato Chips

·         Extruded Snacks

·         Nuts & Seeds

·         Popcorn

·         Pretzels

·         Chocolates

·         Sweet Biscuits

·         Snack Bars

·         Sweet Baked

·         Fruit Snacks

·         Meat Snacks

·         Others

Ø  By Distribution Channel

·         Supermarket/ Hypermarket’

·         Independent Retailers

·         Convenience Stores

·         Service Station

·         Others

Ø  By Region

·         North America

·         Europe

·         The Asia-Pacific

·         Latin America

·         The Middle East and Africa




We've been tracking the direct impact of COVID-19 on this market, and wherever required we will be considering covid19 footprints for a better analysis of markets and industries. Contact our sales team for more details at

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