The pandemic has elevated Thai consumers’ need for self-care and emotional wellness through snacking.
The latest research from Mintel shows that 77% of Thais* are turning to salty snacks** as a way to treat themselves. This number rises further to 81% among those aged 25-34.
Furthermore, pandemic-induced stress and anxiety, coupled with hectic urban lifestyles, are influencing Thais’ snacking occasions. “Distracted snacking” or eating snacks while working, commuting/traveling or doing other leisure activities, is a habit among 76% of consumers.
Pimwadee (Sara) Aguilar, Associate Director, Food & Drink, Mintel Reports Thailand, said:
“Snacking is a common favourite pastime for Thai consumers to keep them going through the day. Second to Indians, Thais show the highest frequency of substituting a meal with a snack/drink in 2021 compared to other Asia Pacific markets, according to Mintel Global Consumer research.
“Growing consumer interest in the connection between food and mood provides a potential for salty snacks brands to help promote emotional wellbeing in their product messaging and marketing campaigns.”
Many Thai consumers also eat salty snacks during occasions such as ‘we-time’ (54%), including socialising with friends or spending quality time with family, and ‘me-time’ (45%), including when bored or stressed. Between age groups, 59% of Millennials (those aged 25-44) consider themselves to be more of ‘we-time’ snackers, while 58% of Gen Zs (those aged 18-24) are ‘me-time’ snackers.
Balancing health with indulgence
Despite salty snacks’ appeal for emotional comfort, sodium and additives/preservatives are in friction with consumers’ desire for better-for-you foods.
Between January 2019 to December 2021, launches of salty snacks with natural ingredients and no additives/preservatives/allergens are more popular (19%), while eco-friendly product propositions are also gaining interest (17%) according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
Consuming salty snacks with third-party accreditations such as the Thai Healthier Choice logo is also preferred by 77% of Thai consumers who have seen and know what it is…
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