What you need to know

Spending on major snack categories has risen rapidly in the past five years. Further growth is expected in the future due to the increasing availability and accessibility of snacks, which can be attributed to an increase in purchase channel options and the expanded scope and categories of snacks. At the same time, as the post-90s and 00s generations are becoming the main consumption force, the changing demographic structure also brings growth opportunities for the snack market.

Most conventional snack categories such as biscuits and crackers and sweet categories have been growing at a conservative pace in recent years. Consumers’ concern about the sugar content of snacks could be one reason. Brands could increase reduced sugar product options to assuage consumers’ concerns and also use nutritious ingredients in their products to boost the level of healthiness. At the same time, as purposes for snacking become more diverse, brands could provide snack products designed for specific occasions to satisfy consumers’ fragmented demand.

Covered in this report

This Report looks at consumers’ snacking habits, defined as eating between meals, including but not limited to: salty snacks, biscuit/cookies, chocolate and sugar confectionery, meat snacks, as well as types of foods that are not conventional snack products but have been adopted by consumers as snack options, eg yogurt and fruits or vegetables.

The Report will look at consumers’ consumption frequency and occasions of major snack categories, consumers’ purposes for snacking, consumers’ definition of all-natural snacks, and other attitudes towards snack choices.

In this year’s Report, “snack bar” refers to Western-style snack bars. Certain Chinese traditional snack bars (mostly made with cereal or puffed cereal) which come in similar forms to Western-style snack bars are not included in the snack bar segment. Due to its relatively small market size, the snack bar segment is included in the “Others” market size.


Mintel divides consumers into three groups based on their MPI (Monthly Personal Income).

High personal income is defined as MPI above RMB 10,000 in T1 cities, or above RMB 9,000 in T2 cities or below;

Middle personal income is defined as MPI between RMB 6,000-10,000 in T1 cities, or between RMB 5,000-9,000 in T2 cities or below;

Low personal income is defined as MPI below RMB 6,000 in T1 cities, or below RMB 5,000 in T2 cities or below.

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