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Specialty Snacks Market Analysis

ID: MRFR//2416-HCR | 110 Pages | Author: Pradeep Nandi| June 2024

The market dynamics of the specialty snacks market are driven by a variety of factors, including shifting consumer preferences, dietary trends, innovation, and economic conditions. Specialty snacks refer to unique, artisanal, or gourmet snack products that offer distinctive flavors, high-quality ingredients, and often cater to specific dietary preferences or lifestyle choices. One of the primary drivers of market dynamics in the specialty snacks market is the evolving consumer demand for healthier, more diverse, and indulgent snack options. As consumers become more health-conscious and seek out alternatives to traditional snacks high in salt, sugar, and artificial ingredients, there is a growing interest in specialty snacks that offer better-for-you ingredients, such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, and natural sweeteners.

Moreover, changing dietary habits and lifestyle trends are fueling market growth within the specialty snacks segment. With busier lifestyles and on-the-go eating becoming increasingly common, consumers are looking for convenient, portable, and satisfying snack options that fit their dietary needs and preferences. Specialty snacks offer a wide range of choices to accommodate various dietary restrictions and preferences, including gluten-free, vegan, organic, non-GMO, and paleo-friendly options, appealing to health-conscious consumers seeking clean label and transparent ingredient lists.

Furthermore, innovation and product differentiation play a crucial role in shaping market dynamics within the specialty snacks market. Manufacturers and brands are continually introducing new flavors, formats, and packaging innovations to capture consumer attention and stand out in a crowded market landscape. Unique flavor combinations, exotic ingredients, and novel textures contribute to the appeal of specialty snacks, offering consumers a sensory experience and culinary adventure with each bite. Additionally, collaborations between snack brands and celebrity chefs, food bloggers, and influencers help generate buzz and drive excitement around specialty snack products, driving market growth and consumer engagement.

Another significant factor shaping market dynamics is the influence of retail channels and distribution strategies. Specialty snacks are often sold through a variety of channels, including specialty food stores, gourmet markets, health food stores, online retailers, and direct-to-consumer platforms. The growing popularity of e-commerce and online grocery shopping has expanded access to specialty snacks, allowing consumers to discover and purchase unique products from around the world. Additionally, strategic partnerships with mainstream retailers, convenience stores, and foodservice operators enable specialty snack brands to reach a broader audience and increase market penetration, driving sales and market growth.

Moreover, market dynamics within the specialty snacks market are influenced by consumer perceptions of value, quality, and authenticity. While specialty snacks may command a premium price compared to traditional snacks, consumers are willing to pay for products that offer unique flavors, high-quality ingredients, and artisanal craftsmanship. Brands that prioritize transparency, sustainability, and ethical sourcing practices can build trust and loyalty among consumers, driving repeat purchases and brand advocacy within the specialty snacks market.

Global Specialty Snacks Market Overview

The Specialty Snacks Market size is estimated to reach USD 18.97 billion and record a CAGR of 6.78% by the end of 2032. Some examples of specialty snacks include different types of nuts and seeds. People have preferred to snack on these for several centuries because they are a good source of protein and energy. They also are full of healthy fats that help maintain a healthy metabolism.

Specialty Snacks Market Overview

Specialty snacks are low in sugar. Therefore, diabetics love to eat them. They don’t have to worry about dangerous and unexpected blood sugar level spikes.

Covid-19 Analysis

COVID-19 proved to be almost as dangerous as YESNIS PERSTIS (the bacteria that caused the Black Death around the world in the 14th century.) True, most people who got the virus recovered from it eventually. The problem is that some people had to be hospitalized and a small percentage (1%) died from it. Those who recovered from it sometimes had long-term damage in terms of developing diabetes and being constantly short of breath. Governments realized that they couldn’t take COVID-19 lightly.

They responded by imposing quarantines and lockdowns. These were temporary since they were not very successful in helping stop the spread of the disease. That said, many industries and markets were negatively affected by COVID-19. The specialty snacks market was one of these since agricultural productivity dropped in those nations that grew the nuts and seeds that are used in these snacks.

Manufacturers and food processors around the world suffered since they had to pay much higher prices for these harder-to-find nuts and seeds. The consumer paid the ultimate price in the form of higher prices. The manufacturers and food processors found their production costs increasing dramatically and they had to find some way to recoup these costs.

Market Dynamics


People around the world are conscious of their health. Thus, they are looking for healthier foods to snack upon. This is especially true in developed nations, but it is also increasingly the case in developing nations. People are reading the nutrition labels on the foods that they buy more closely now. This has been true for the past few years.

They want to eat foods that are a good source of protein and fiber. Nuts and seeds are a great source of both of these.


Food processing companies and manufacturers are seeing that there is real money to be made in specialty snacks market. They are realizing that this is especially true if the specialty foods that they process have extra nutrition added to them. That’s why they’re investing millions, and sometimes billions, in research and development in the attempt to develop and market specialty snacks that have more nutritional value.


Specialty snacks tend to be more expensive. This is a major factor that is restraining growth in the specialty snacks market. One other big factor is the fact that many people around the world are aware that eating specialty snacks can result in obesity. Obesity is a key trigger for developing diabetes.


The biggest challenge that food processing companies and manufacturers face lies in developing specialty snacks with more added nutrition that are affordable for the masses.

Technology Analysis

PepsiCo is a major American company. It has managed to remain one of the specialty snacks market leaders by creating a sustainable competitive advantage through extensive investments in research and development. This has allowed it to develop and market many specialty snacks that have high nutritional content. One of these is The Harvest mixed nuts and seeds snack.


By Product Type

The specialty snacks market can be divided into the following sub-segments based on product type:

  • Snack bars

  • Baked goods

  • Snacks containing nuts and seeds

  • Popped snacks

  • Others

By Category

The specialty snacks market can be divided into the following sub-segments based on category:

By Distribution Channel

The specialty snacks market can be divided into the following sub-segments based on distribution:

  • Store-based

  • Non-store based

The store-based sub-segment is further divided into

  • Supermarkets

  • Hypermarkets

  • Convenience stores

  • Others

By Region

The specialty snacks market can be divided into the following sub-segments based on region

  • North America

  • Europe

  • Asia-Pacific

  • The rest of the world

The North American region has been broken down into the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada.

The European Union has been broken down into the following nations

  • The United Kingdom

  • France

  • Germany

  • Spain

  • Italy

  • The rest of Europe

The Asia-Pacific region consists of the nations of China, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

Regional Analysis

  • The North American market holds the dominant specialty snacks market share at 35%. This was according to 2018 numbers. The North American region is seeing strong growth in the specialty snacks market and there are many reasons for this:

  • People are more conscious about what they put in their bodies in terms of food. They want to eat foods and snacks that are healthier and more nutritious.

  • People in America are getting fatter. They are looking for nutritious foods and snacks to help them shed the excess fat pounds.

  • People in the North American region are very busy. This is especially true in the United States of America. They often don’t have time to cook nutritious meals as their grandmothers did in the 1950s. They want to have something quick and nutritious to eat while they’re on the go.

  • The 14 years between 2004 and 2018 saw a 50% increase in the number of households who ate specialty snacks in the form of cereal bars. This was especially true of chewy granola snack bars.

  • The North American region is expected to have a respectable CAGR in the specialty snacks market until 2024.

  • The European Union had a good specialty snack market share as well. What accounted for this was the fact that many food processors and manufacturers are developing innovative specialty snacks that are more nutritious and affordable than their predecessors were. Private label brands that are priced at reasonable prices are especially popular.

  • The millennial population in the European Union accounted for most of the purchases in the specialty snacks market.

  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to see marginal growth in the specialty snacks market. What accounts for this is the fact that there is limited awareness, purchasing power is low, and there is already a lot of competition in the specialty snacks market.

Recent Development

  • Kellogg Company: In 2021, they launched Kellogg's Special K Keto-Friendly Snack Bars catering to the growing demand for keto-friendly options.

  • General Mills: In 2021, they introduced Good Measure, a new brand focusing on snacks for people managing blood sugar levels.

Competitive Landscape

The global specialty snack market remains very competitive. What accounts for this is the fact that the market is fairly lucrative and there are few barriers to entry. Companies are finding that they have to resort to one or more of the following measures to create the sustainable competitive advantage that they need to remain profitable in both the short and long run.

  • Invest heavily in research and development

  • Merge with/acquire other companies

  • Enter into strategic partnerships with other successful companies

Companies invest in their future when they invest intensively in research and development. They expand and broaden their horizons and their prospects for remaining profitable in both the short and long run by developing newer products that are more nutritious. These snacks will be more popular with a global population that is increasingly health-conscious.

Companies can find customers in new markets easier when they launch new products. They can also strengthen their customer base in existing markets and acquire more customers in these markets.

When companies merge with and acquire other successful companies, they acquire extra resources that they didn’t possess before. This allows them to invest in research and development to develop and market the newer and more nutritious products that will allow them to justify charging much more for them.

They also have more resources to market more extensively. This helps them find customers in new markets. They have an easier time acquiring more customers in existing markets and finding new customers in these markets as well.

Entering into strategic partnerships with other successful companies accomplishes the same thing that mergers and acquisitions do.

Pepsico is a major American player. It has managed to create a global name for itself by continually innovating in terms of the types of food products that it develops and markets. A good example of this is Smartfood Smart 50.

List of Companies

  • The Kraft Heinz Company (US)

  • Conagra Brands Inc. (US)

  • General Mill Inc. (US)

  • Kellogg Company (US)

  • Pepsi Co. (US)

  • Nestle SA (Switzerland)

  • Mars Incorporated (US)

  • Blue Diamond Growers (US)

  • Calbee, Inc. (Japan)

  • Diamond Foods, LLC (US)

  • FamousFoods, Inc.(US)

  • Sukhadia Foods (US)

  • Pepsico promotes Gatorade

Report Outlook

The specialty snack market has a CAGR of 6.25%. The market is worth USD 17.25 billion. The United States of America dominates in terms of specialty snack market share. The European Union comes in second place in terms of market share. People are increasingly health-conscious, and this is what is driving growth in the market.

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