PepsiCo’s (PEP) recent acquisition of SodaStream (SODA) is but one of a long string of acquisitions in the “Natural” space as of late. J.M Smuckers, General Mills, Mondelez . . . they’ve all stocked their “pantries” with strategic acquisitions, not to mention recrafting of mainstay brands with updated versions that are Non-GMO, free of artificial flavors and colors, organic and in some cases gluten free.
These mega-conglomerates aren’t making these moves out of the goodness of their own hearts and their desire for healthier consumers. No, they’re doing it because they are seeing consumers flock to these options in record numbers:
More consumers frequently snack throughout the day. Salty snacks are competing not only with each other but also with a myriad of other categories as more food and drink products have become “snackable.” Also, busy lifestyles, concerns about long-term health and the desire to get health-boosting benefits from daily food and drinks have also affected the snack aisle.Innova Market Insights reports a snacking evolution, whereby snacks are not only becoming healthier, but more wholesome, satisfying, hearty, and nutritious, blurring the boundaries between snacks and meals. For example, the market researcher has reported a 20 percent CAGR in snack launches with a clean label claim in North America from 2013-2017, followed closely by Europe on 19 percent. Innova Market Insights reports 34 percent average annual growth in snack launches with a high/source of protein claim (Global, CAGR 2013-2017), with snack nuts & seeds and meat snacks being the leading subcategories for such positioned launches in 2017.