Global snack food discovery - online out, in-store in
November 10th, 2023, Lesley Simeon

Global snack food discovery - online out, in-store in

Brands leave no stone unturned to get consumers to notice their new products - from elaborate event activations (Super Bowl, anyone?) and celebrity endorsements to influencer collaborations and in-store promotions. But when it comes to snacks, which channel is most effective at introducing a new line of products?

A recent YouGov survey asked consumers across 17 international markets how they typically discover new products or new variants of existing products. Polling data shows that nearly three in ten consumers (29%) discover new snack foods like confectionary items and chips/crisps via in-store promotions, followed by television advertisements (15%) and word-of-mouth recommendations (12%).

Brands across the board are eager to go digital and engage their audiences online. But this approach may not necessarily work when it comes to informing consumers about new snack foods, our data shows. Fewer than one in ten consumers discover new items via social media (9%), online ads (8%) and online reviews (5%).

In-store promotions are the most popular product discovery channel for both men and women. But women are more likely than men (33% vs. 26%) to say they discover new snack foods via in-store promotions. Equal proportions of both men and women (15%) discover new snack items via TV adverts.

Next, by country, let’s look at how consumers discover new snack food items.

Sweden, France, Great Britain, and Singapore are among markets that are most likely to discover new snack foods via in-store promotions 

Consumers in Sweden are most likely across all our markets (41%) to discover new snack food items via in-store promotions. Consumers in France (38%), Great Britain (37%) and Singapore (36%) follow.

Word-of-mouth recommendations seem to work as a product discovery channel more in Asia than they do in Europe and the US.

Hong Kong leads here (17%), followed by other Asian markets, India (15%), Indonesia (15%) and Singapore (14%).

In Europe, 15% of consumers in Spain and 13% of those in Britain also typically discover new snack foods via word-of-mouth recommendations. 

In the US, over a quarter of consumers (26%) learn about new food items from in-store promotions. TV adverts (18%) and word-of-mouth recommendations (14%) follow TV adverts.

Nearly three in ten consumers in Mexico (28%) and Italy (27%) discover new snack foods through television advertisements, while Indonesia accounts for the largest share of consumers across all our markets (27%) who discover new snacks via social media. Proportions of consumers who learn about new snack foods through social media are in the single digits in the US and our European markets.

Moving on to online ads, urban India leads (16%), followed by UAE, Indonesia and Hong Kong (13% each). Online reviews aren’t the most effective snack discovery channel with just one in ten consumers (10%) in India and Hong Kong learning of new snack items via online reviews.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2000 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in August 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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