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62% Indians limit their snacking consumption fearing preservatives: Report
Tuesday, 22 November, 2022, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
India’s snacking patterns are ever evolving. The roles played by main course meals vs snacks are reaching the point of intersection. Timing it right, Godrej Yummiez, a brand of ready-to-cook products from Godrej Tyson Foods Ltd (GTFL), undertook a consumer study with the objective to understand the (changing) attitudes & perceptions of Indian consumers when it comes to snacks & snacking. Titled as ‘STTEM – Safety, Technology, Taste, Ease & Mood Uplifter’ - The India Snacking Report (Volume I) by Godrej Yummiez, this report primarily focuses on the attitudes and perceptions towards the frozen snacks.

Commissioned by Godrej Yummiez, this study was conducted by InQognito Insights. The report was released along with the launch of Godrej Yummiez Crispy Potato Starz, a unique star-shaped, crunchy snack, made with choicest potatoes using advanced Individual Quick Freeze (IQF) technology that keeps it fresh for long without any preservatives. The study not only brings in the consumer dynamics of India as a nation but also highlights the nuances of tastes & preferences across geographic zones, age groups, gender and so on.

Commenting on the report, Abhay Parnerkar, chief executive officer, Godrej Tyson Foods Limited (GTFL), said, “What comes out clearly is that going forward, the dynamics that will shape India’s snacking habits will be based on the acronym STTEM – Safety, Technology, Taste, Ease & Mood Uplifter – the five pillars. While taste and ease/convenience have long been the key drivers, safety (hygienic during preparation, storage & delivery, use of preservatives, etc.), technology and as a mood uplifter are turning out to be the three new drivers for snacks.”

This study not only brings in the consumer dynamics of India as a nation but also highlights the nuances of tastes & preferences across geographic zones, age groups, gender and so on. How many times are Indians snacking per day? What are the reasons that influence snack consumption? During what occasions do Indians think of snacking? What are the preferred types of snacks? How do they view the dynamic of safety within snacks? Are preservatives a major concern for people? What could be some of the preservative-free options…and many more!

The highlights across five pillars (STTEM) are as below:

    I. SAFETY - Hygienic Preparation and Use of Preservatives
        1. 62% Indians actually limit their snacking consumption because they believe there is presence of preservatives
        2. 51% Indians feel less guilty to consume preservative-free frozen snacks
        3. 55% parents feel guilty as they feel frozen snacks contain preservatives
        4. 52% women will consume more frozen snacks if they are preservative-free
        5. 52% Indians prefer frozen snacks as they feel it is more hygienic

    II. TECHNOLOGY - Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) Technology
        1. 53% Indians could recall they have heard of IQF technology (Delhi and Kolkata ranked amongst the top two cities)
        2. 17% could further manage to explain what IQF stands for
        3. 60% women recalled IQF technology better as compared to 46% men

    III. TASTE - India’s Preference for Potato/Vegetarian Frozen Snacks
        1. 73% Indians feel taste is the biggest reason for snacking
        2. 62% Indians feel potato-based snacks is an omnipresent part of their snacking platter
        3. 65% Indians prefer vegetarian frozen snacks (North India being the leading region)
        4. 65% Indians prefer potato-based snacks (potato bites, samosa, cheese bites, etc)
        5. 41% consume vegetarian frozen snacks daily
        6. 39% East and 38% South India prefer non-vegetarian frozen snacks
        7. 61% prefer Indian snacks over other options
        8. 43% parents believe children like frozen snacks

    IV. EASE - Convenience of Access, Storage, and Preparation
        1. 51% believe that frozen snacks are easily available and hence make it easier for consumption
        2. 50% Indians believe frozen snacks are convenient to cook
        3. 44% Indians believe that frozen snacks is easier to prepare by households without house help
        4. 55% Indians prefer frozen snacks on special occasions (parties, weekends, and so on)
        5. 83% mothers feel frozen snacks are quick-fix hunger solutions for kids
        6. 65% Indians confessed to indulging in anytime snacking
        7. 76% women snack more often than men
        8. 54% working women find snacking convenient for hunger management
        9. 52% fathers cook frozen snacks more than mothers
    V. MOOD UPLIFTER - Correlation of Emotions to Snacking
        1. 55% Indians binge on frozen foods as a mood uplifter on various occasions
        2. 72% Indians confessed to snacking when they are happy
        3. 74% women snack when they are happy
        4. 70% men snack when they are happy
        5. 60% women snack when they are sad
        6. 52% men snack when they are sad

Speaking on the report, Pritee Chaudhary, Regional Director, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), West Region, said “FSSAI is the nodal regulatory authority which takes note of safety parameters of the food articles in India. Snacking is one such area where safety parameters are checked, be it a domestic production or import. Storage conditions for frozen snacks and transfat control in the final product is of the paramount importance. It’s gaining turf in the busy lifestyle and as it satiates palates. However, responsible snacking is equally important. More emphasis on product development and industry innovation is needed where high fibre, low fat, low salt, low sugar snacks can be provided as an option. And finally a trade off between the health, taste and ease is possible.”
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