Diverse and dynamic: Changing taste and health considerations of Indian consumers driving snack evolution

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Beyond Snack’s latest launch claims to be the first branded banana chips made with coconut oil. ©Beyond Snack
Beyond Snack’s latest launch claims to be the first branded banana chips made with coconut oil. ©Beyond Snack

Related tags India snacking trends Coconut oil Banana

India-based banana chips brand Beyond Snack has observed significant evolution of the branded snacks category in the local market, marked by a “discernible shift” towards health-consciousness, authenticity, and premiumisation.

Into its fourth year of business, Beyond Snack​ has found that consumers are increasingly favouring snacks that not only offer convenience and taste, but also align with their nutritional preferences and dietary needs.

This has led to the emergence of products that are gluten-free, non-GMO, and free from artificial additives. Additionally, there has been a growing appreciation for authentic regional flavours, driving brands to innovate while staying true to traditional recipes, much like our focus on Kerala’s culinary heritage.

“The market has also seen a rise in transparency regarding ingredient sourcing and production processes, as consumers seek to make more informed choices.Furthermore, digital advancements have transformed how brands engage with consumers, with a notable increase in online sales channels and digital marketing efforts to reach a wider audience,” ​Manas Madhu, co-founder of Beyond Snack, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Overall, the branded snacks category is said to have matured into a “diverse and dynamic” segment, offering a wide range of options that address the changing taste preferences and health considerations of Indian consumers.

At the same time, there remain untapped opportunities for product innovation and market growth.

One area ripe for innovation is leveraging superfoods and incorporating them into snack recipes to attract health-conscious customers looking for nutrient-dense options.

“There is also potential in exploring regional flavours and traditional recipes that haven’t yet been commercialised, offering consumers new taste experiences while preserving culinary heritage. Personalisation and customisation of snacks based on dietary restrictions or preference profiles could further differentiate offerings in the market.”

According to Madhu, developing eco-friendly packaging and adopting sustainable sourcing practices could also provide a competitive edge, as sustainability continues to be a key consideration among consumers.

“Expanding distribution channels to include more online platforms and international markets could significantly widen the consumer base.

“Embracing these opportunities not only meet the evolving demands of consumers, but also drive sustained growth in the branded snacks category, ensuring that products remain relevant, desirable, and aligned with global trends.”

Strategic fusion

Beyond Snack’s latest launch, Kerala Banana Chips in Coconut Oil, is part of its ongoing efforts to blend cultural authenticity with expectations of the modern consumer.

It claims to be the first branded banana chips made with coconut oil.

“In South India, particularly Kerala, coconut oil is predominantly used for cooking. This tradition establishes coconut oil as the preferred oil for making banana chips to deliver a distinctive and authentic taste,” ​Madhu shared.

The product development process took eight months, during which the firm faced several challenges, including extensive testing to ensure the oil’s natural flavours complemented the bananas without compromising on health benefits.

Preserving the taste and texture of traditional Kerala banana chips while incorporating healthier coconut oil was a major concern. Secondly, managing the coconut oil’s smoking point to uphold healthy cooking practices required a deep dive into the supply chain.

“Sourcing for premium, non-GMO, and gluten-free ingredients that met our strict quality and nutrition standards presented logistical challenges. The team navigated these hurdles by forming strong partnerships with trusted suppliers committed to quality and sustainability.”

By leveraging up-to-date food preservation technologies, Beyond Snack managed to maintain the taste of its products and extend their shelf life, without the use of artificial preservatives, colours and flavours.

Made without onion and garlic, Kerala Banana Chips in Coconut Oil also caters to consumers who are looking for fasting-friendly options.

“It reflects a strategic fusion of traditional values and contemporary health trends, underlining the brand’s responsiveness to the diverse dietary preferences and restrictions of modern consumers, including those who observe religious fasts or adhere to specific dietary guidelines where onion and garlic are avoided.”

In addition, the brand has transitioned to using rock salt, an alternative to the commonly used refined salt, to meet growing consumer demand for minimally processed and healthful ingredients.

Beyond Snack is available at retail stores across India as well as on its website and e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Blinkit, and Instamart.

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