Gone are the days when the Indian snacks market was dominated by a handful of imported manufacturers. Previously, it only consisted of a few western companies catering limited products like chips and cutlets leaving the consumers with not much to choose. The current trend in the market is witnessing a substantial change, that is; the snack eaters are falling back to their roots and the traditional snack items are finding increased takers. Moreover, the Indian snack segment is successfully bringing in many savory items that were lost in time. Interestingly, the Indian markers have a variety of tastes such as spice, sweet and sour opening up the market for the consumers.
A snack in the Indian culture today is more than just an evening stuffer as it is widely consumed even during other hours of the day. People both from the foreign and the domestic fronts are slowly and steadily shifting their taste preference from the usual potato chips to the vast traditional menu that is on offer. However, the industry has segmentations of different tastes such as spicy and sweet items, both having a notable space on the sales chat. There are multiple companies trying to make their mark as a topper of the Indian snacks market. From the international belt there is the Frito-Lay known as Frito-Lay India nationally. It is the market leader having a dominant share of 35% for the year 2013. The company has dedicated brands known as Kurkure and Lehar which are omnipresent in the market today. On the other end, domestic companies like MTR Foods, Garden Snacks, Balaji Wafers Pvt Ltd and Parle Products Ltd too have a footed stake in the market.
Surprisingly, the per capita consumption of snack items in India is around a fraction of the quantity consumed worldwide. This surely indicates a potential growth that is on the cards. At present, the branded salted food market alone is valued at around US$ 1.68 billion and is expected to go up at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGE) of 15-18% in the upcoming years.
Addressing to the packed snack segment, there is an urgent rush of the national companies like Parle Agro-Hippo and ITC-Bingo introducing the budget packs costing as low as Rs.5. The snack industry in India received a fresh breath with the launching of Haldirams, bringing unlimited range of snacks and confectioneries.
It is thus acceptable that the Indian snacks market has come a long way in the last decade and is surely up and ready for a further makeover in the days to come.