Salty Snacks: 4 Factors Driving Exceptional Customer Experience

Oct 17 – Sep 18 

Category Analysis Salty Snacks

Regions – Romania

As per market research, global snack food market is expected to reach USD 620 billion by 2021. With this large an opportunity, manufacturers are looking to tailor the offerings based on the major attributes that drive a consumer to buy snacks.  In this report we offer insights for snack manufacturers who can better align snack offerings according to the consumer needs and desires.

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The analysis is based on customer reviews and conversations online in the segment. The analysis results presented are completely unbiased and not based on any subjective judgement. The source data used for the analysis are user conversations available publicly online like public forums and social media.


Total number of customer conversations analyzed

Salty Snacks: 4 Factors Driving Exceptional Customer Experience

Executive Summary –  Key Takeaways


Salty Snacks: 4 Factors Driving Exceptional Customer Experience

“Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience.”  – Dale Carnegie.

Brand managers and marketers are conducting audience analysis to look through the eyes of the customers – to see how consumers experience brands in the real world. Marketers are no more limited to just nice words and advertising; it has evolved into knowing customer perceptions – how customers really feel about their brands and what are the drivers of brand loyalty in today’s world.

Think of the last time you had a snack. Was it yesterday or just a few hours ago or it could even be right now while reading this report? Snacking is emerging as an alternative to a full-fledged meal. Consumers, who are busy, find it easy to snack at intervals, replacing full-fledged meals. But what are the factors that are motivating a consumer to reach out to snacks? We, at Clootrack capture every experience that customers have with their brands. We analyzed thousands of customer experiences to capture what people feel about a brand. 

Clootrack analyzed 10,215 online consumer conversations over a period of 12 months to identify the most important drivers that tempt consumers to choose a snack.  In this report, we will help you find the key drivers of exceptional customer experience:

1. Overall Taste

In the snack industry, taste remains the trump card in determining product success. This is proved in the online conversations that Clootrack analyzed. Snack food manufacturers should continually find ways to stay relevant in the changing market by adapting to the changing tastes of consumers. Manufacturers should be committed to offering healthy snacking options without compromising on taste.  Unique taste, nice flavors, different range of flavors, mildly spicy, perfectly salted, and spiced snacks is what consumers are interested to buy.

According to a Mintel survey, 38% of consumers would buy a snack if there is a new flavor. For snack consumers, taste comes before any other factor.

2. Healthy Ingredients

Do you think that consumers are looking at ingredients and the health impact before buying a snack? Analysis of the online conversations conducted by Clootrack suggests that it is the number two driver for a consumer. Health has occupied a position of an intense driver in numerous industries and the snack industry is no different. Manufacturers of snacks are now responsible to cater to consumers who are demanding healthier choices.  In addition to the diets that consumers follow, it has become more important to offer low fat, good fats, low cholesterol, healthy sources, and local ingredients snacks.

As consumers are continuously aspiring for better health and nutritious snack products, the manufacturers of snacks should give more attention to bridging the gap between nutrition and indulgence by offering tasty yet healthy options which can break through the clutter.

3. Low Additives

The snacking industry is undergoing huge changes due to the changing lifestyles of consumers worldwide. Today’s purposeful snackers know exactly what they want to snack and are very selective about what they want to eat. The online conversations analyzed by Clootrack have pointed out that consumers prefer snacks with ingredients that have low chemicals, low sodium, low artificial color, and no artificial ingredients. Consumers have gravitated toward food that is fresh which is free from additives or preservatives. These decisions of the consumers should drive the manufacturers and retailers to expand their offerings towards fresh snacks free from additives.

Consumers are leaning towards fresh snacks that give opportunities for the snack manufacturers to explore further and benefit from embracing the consumer preferences. For example, some snacks that were positioned as a simple indulgence can now be converted into a ‘no additive’ and ‘no preservative’ offering.

4. Natural Flavors

Natural flavors are derived from natural sources such as fruits, spices, and vegetables. They are not just limited to this, but also extend to extracts from roots, barks, herbs, seafood, eggs, poultry, and all other dairy products. Consumers are moving towards organic food which is free from chemical flavors and artificial flavors. This preference will drive the demand for organic snacks in the coming years. Snacks with ingredients that have real plant and animal extracts will open new opportunities for snack manufacturers who can create snacks that meet the needs of today’s consumers.  

Despite snacks being considered an indulgence, today’s consumers are increasingly aware of the natural flavors that are included in snack products. Manufacturers should note that consumers are expecting to see protein, fiber, and other nutrients that are derived from natural ingredients.

Brand Equity

Consumer perception, which is a combination of knowledge and experience, towards a brand and its products, builds brand equity. The perception that a consumer segment holds towards a brand directly results in either positive or negative effects.

What is brand equity?

Brand equity is an indicator of the company’s strength and performance, specifically in the public markets. Brand equity is the additional brand value that a customer attaches to a particular brand due to the perception and experiences with the brand. A positive experience will generate positive brand equity, while dissatisfying expertise will result in negative brand equity.

For example, Starbucks’s customers have chosen the brand over other coffee brands due to its quality. According to Fortune magazine, Starbucks is rated as the fifth-most-desirable company in the world. It has more than 21,000 stores globally and remains a top roaster and retailer of Arabica coffee beans. 

Brand equity offers a competitive edge in the market. Customers identify a brand and are loyal to a brand. This leads to improving the competitive edge of the products. When there is higher brand recognition for a company, there is higher brand equity, which automatically gives a competitive edge over other well-known brands.

To know more, download the detailed report for free. The detailed report shows the brand names, also covers the list of features that delight users and several other interesting insights.

Salty Snacks – Top 5 Emerging Trends

The growth of the snack industry is triggered due to the convenience that snacks give to urban consumers. Consumers prefer to have healthy and nutritious snacks and this has led to product innovation. To keep the snack industry growing, snack manufacturers should study the emerging trends and align their strategies to the evolving taste preferences of consumers.

The emerging trend in the snack industry is to have organic and local ingredient snacks in addition to low-calorie and diet-friendly snacks.

Consumer preferences are evolving, and there is high demand for more variety and sophisticated taste and flavor which not only satisfies hunger but also can become a healthy alternative.

1. Organic And Local Ingredient Snacks

Just like many things change over time, snack products saw new trends like organic and gluten-free options that are gaining popularity. Organic or plant-based ingredients are taking over the snack industry like a storm.

Consumers want to eat more plant-based snacks that can add necessary nutrients to their diet. There is a trend to buy snacks that have many nutrients such as vitamin C and prebiotics which can be found in plants.

Mintel reports says that 84% of all consumers are choosing foods that say “free-from” claims as they are looking forward to snacking on natural and organic food.

Now here is an opportunity for snack manufacturers to provide customers with the most valuable organic snacks that are made out of local ingredients. 

2. Low Calorie And Diet-Friendly Snacks

Many a time consumers become very busy and simply don’t get time to prepare a healthy meal. A sudden craving for a tasty snack can tip over the calorie count and end up more than a full-blown meal. Hence the latest trend has emerged where consumers want to have some healthy snacks on hand that are low in calories and do not disrupt their diet plan. Flavorful, low-calorie snacks are emerging as a trend in the snacking industry.

Many consumers avoid snacks because they fear that snacks contribute to weight gain. However, snack manufacturers should offer a healthy snacks with health benefits that can be included in a diet program.

The manufacturers of snacks should offer a snack that is low in calories but has a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats that is just right for the diet plans that consumers are practicing. 

3. High Protein/High Fiber Snacks

Snacking is undergoing a huge evolution. Snacks are moving away from being just a product that can satisfy cravings to much healthier and wholesome options which can offer healthy and nutritious replacements for a full-fledged meal.

Plant-based protein is becoming a hot option now. Proteins such as soy, chia seeds, quinoa, peas, spinach, and broccoli are gaining importance in snack products.

Snack manufacturers should consider capitalizing on this trend by offering plant-based proteins in their snack products. Consumers should no longer complain that they don’t have time to make a protein-rich salad before leaving for work! 

4. Traditional And Exotic Recipes

Normal snacks satisfy cravings and offer health benefits to consumers. But the more recent emerging trend is to have snacks with traditional and exotic recipes. Consumers now are ready to experiment the exotic snacks that can be super delicious for some but could not be their cup of tea for others.

Consumers are expecting snack manufacturers to release more exotic snacks. Manufacturers should gear up to techniques and familiarize themselves with uncommon ingredients that can make a snack exotic. For example, a snack can be an unforgettable blend of flavors from Asia and American traditions while it can be enjoyed by consumers in the UK.

Snack makers should get increasingly innovating around unique and exotic flavors and ingredients. There is increased research happening in the snacking segment where even exotic fruits and vegetables are taking on different formats starting from freeze-dried to baked, fried, dried, and puffed. 

5. More Nuts And Seeds In Snacks

Nuts and seeds have proved to be nature’s best snack foods and they can be eaten in a variety of ways. Consumers are well aware that adding some nuts and seeds to their daily diet can have numerous health benefits. Nuts and seeds are good sources of unsaturated healthy fats which are considered good to prevent heart disease.

Imagine if your snack is rich in nuts and seeds!! This is the next big emerging trend in snacking industry where consumers want to eat snacks that are rich in nuts and seeds. Consumers have started to understand that nuts and seeds are one of the best snack food options for not just children but for adults as well.

Snack manufacturers are going out all the way to add nuts and seeds which are a convenient and healthy snack option and can take the edge off hunger without adding carbohydrates and sugar.

Detailed Report

Changes to the eating habits of consumers have evolved as a major factor behind the booming snack industry. Do you want to know more insights into consumer behavior and their preferences?  You can download the pdf version of the complete report for free.

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