Snacks & Beverages Among Fast-Growing Categories Despite Inflation

NielsenIQ: Snacking category growth outpaces global average FMCG growth.
snacking at home teaser

CHICAGO — Inflation is driving consumers to budget-friendly shopping options, but they are still willing to pay a premium for certain categories. 

Consumers are spending less on out-of-home entertainment and eating out to mitigate the impact of rising utility and grocery bills. In a recent survey, NielsenIQ FMCG Retail Management data revealed that 34 percent of consumers have cut back on takeaway, dining out and socializing due to higher prices.

Roughly 44 percent of survey respondents said they are cooking more at home. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) numbers confirm this trend, with consistent sales increases quarter by quarter. For the second quarter of 2022, global sales increased 5.9 percent for ambient food, including categories like flour, pasta, rice or canned food.

As consumers shift from out-of-home entertainment to "hometainment" activities such as watching streaming services and playing board or video games, sales of products that pair well with content consumption and gaming are growing. Namely, snacking and beverages are among the top growing categories globally, according to NielsenIQ.

In the second quarter of 2022, beverages grew 5.4 percent worldwide. Regions with outstanding performance in these categories included Africa Middle East with 32 percent growth over the previous year.

The snacking category also outpaces global average FMCG growth (4.6 percent) with a 9.4 percent increase globally, according to NielsenIQ. The snacking category had double-digit growth across multiple regions in the quarter, with the highest growth in Latin America (24.4 percent), followed closely by Africa Middle East (23.6 percent) and Eastern Europe (15.9 percent). 

Other key FMCG category trends include:

  • Pet category sales continue to soar: NielsenIQ FMCG Retail Management data found that pet care is the fastest growing FMCG category globally, partly due to the spike in new pet adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic. During Q2 2022, category sales grew 9.8 percent compared to Q2 2021.
  • Leaning into alternative foods: In addition to affordability, healthy and nutritious food options are among the top preferences among consumers. A recent NielsenIQ Health and Wellness report shows that 70 percent of global consumers are willing to pay for GMO-free, organic or natural products.

Chicago-based NielsenIQ, part of Advent International's portfolio, is a global information services company with operations in 90-plus markets, covering more than 90 percent of the world's population.