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Sweets and Snacks Trends 2021

1 Feb 2021

Innova Market Insights, Partner of ISM, presents the Top Ten Trends 2021 for Sweets and Snacks

Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director Innova Market Insights

Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director Innova Market Insights

In early February 2021, Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova Market Insights, presented the Top Ten Trends 2021 for sweets and snacks during a webinar initiated by ISM. The world's largest trade fair for sweets and snacks spoke with her about these trends and other developments that will influence the industry in the coming year and beyond.

1. Following the webinar: Which top trends are currently shaping the confectionery and snack market?

Williams: Based on what we can see from the Transparency Triumphs trend, products from the Snacks and Confectionary industries are now being more consistent with adding detail on traceability of their ingredients and a meaningful story telling. A good example of this is chocolate products highlighting how their cacao is produced using sustainable farming techniques or how through its cultivation, many communities are being empowered and supported.

3 in 5 global consumers say that they are interested in learning more about where their food comes from and how it is made. Source: Innova Consumer Survey 2020

Another trend that that has been shaping the snacks and confectionary industries is Plant Forward. A trend that has been consistently evolving through the years and now, we can see producers incorporating new innovative alternatives to their existing portfolio, offering indulgence across sweets and salty products that highlight the plant-based element.

Confectionary product launches with Plant-based claims show an average annual growth of +34% (Global, CAGR 2017-2020YTD*) *2020YTD=Jan 2020-Oct 2020 (Source: Innova Database).

Trend & Experience Zone Innova Market Insights at ISM 2020

Trend & Experience Zone Innova Market Insights at ISM 2020

2. How does COVID-19 influence consumer behaviour and thus also the trends?

Williams: Williams: As the COVID-19 pandemic transforms our shopping and eating habits, we see it impacting almost all the Top TenTrends for 2021. The pandemic also has bolstered focus on overall health and immunity, with consumers seeking foods and ingredients that support their unique lifestyles. In our “In Tune with Immune” trend we see how immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role in the coming year.

3 in 5 global consumers say they are increasingly looking for food and beverage products that support their immune health. Source: Innova Consumer Survey 2020

3. Which of the trends mentioned above will prevail above all in Europe and which more in the USA and Asia?

Williams: Trend 10. Age of the Influencer is a trend that is most likely to prevail in Asia, this trend takes a look at really what is influencing consumers to try things. Chinese consumers highlighted that WeChat, TV and Weibo are platforms that have a major impact on Chinese consumers purchasing behavior. Idol actors and singers are also used by brands in China to attract young consumers and increase brand recognition.

With plant-based products becoming more mainstream, we can see the Plant-Forward trend prevailing in European and US markets. Variety of plant powered snacks and sweets increase consumer awareness of this trend and allow room for further product innovation.

From a global perspective, there are trends that will prevail across regions, for example Transparency Triumphs. Consumers across the world are now engaged in understanding where the products they are buying come from and how they are being produced. It has now become part of the identity of consumers to care for what they put into their bodies.

The same we could say about the In Tune with Immune trend: The pandemic ignited a sense of curiosity in global consumers. They are educating themselves on ingredients and procedures that can keep them healthy, for instance botanical ingredients with immune-boosting benefits being incorporated across product categories.

Trend and Natural Snacks Special Exhibitions showed natural and sustainable products at ISM 2020

Trend and Natural Snacks Special Exhibitions showed natural and sustainable products at ISM 2020

4. What are the challenges producers of confectionery and snacks have to face with regard to the trends? Do they have to deploy new ingredients, for example?

Williams: Increasing consumer demand for more natural and healthy options that can also add an element of indulgence within snacks and confectionary products is one of the biggest challenges producers face in 2021. The use of Natural colors, sweeteners and flavors is expected to become more mainstream across categories.

Confectionary product launches with a natural claim show an average annual growth of +36% (Global, CAGR 2017-2019) Source: Innova Database.