The Spanish snack market stood at around 660 million euros during 2014, with a year-on-year increase of 2%. With regard to modern distribution, sales fell by a modest 0.1% to just under 89,490 tonnes, for a value of 583.1 million euros (-0.9%). The main offer in volume and value is made up of potato chips, slightly below 54,970 tonnes, for a value of 333.5 million euros. Below are the snacks, with 25,550 tons and 216.3 million euros and the popcorn, with 8,970 tons and 33.2 million euros. Among the potatoes, the main offerings were plain chips (39.4% of the total in volume), followed by artisans and homemakers (23%), corrugated (21.4%), tube (10% ), Light and dietary (4.6%) and straw (1.6%). Among the snacks are the worms (16.9% of the total in volume), triangles (15.9%), snacks (15.4%), frits and strips (8.2%), (7.8%) and cones (7.5%). Pips are the most sold nuts, with a share of 25.6% of the total in volume. Peanuts (18.4%), assortments (16.8%), walnuts (11.9%), almonds (7.8%), pistachios (6.8%), hazelnuts (3.6%), small corn (3.4%) and cashew nuts (2.5%).


Although at the base of the business structure of the snacks, chips and nuts sector is a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, with very localized incidents, at the top are some large groups, among which are the subsidiaries of huge companies Multinationals, with strong internationalization strategies. The Appetizer Manufacturers Association (AFAP) is made up of 18 companies that account for 60% of all production. The direct and indirect jobs generated by all companies in the sector exceed 20,000 people. The leading group in the sector has a production of 60,000 tonnes, with sales of 300 million euros, while the second also reaches 60,000 tonnes, but its turnover is only 63 million euros. The third, for its part, is around 58,000 tonnes and 47 million euros, the fourth is at 24,000 tonnes and 42 million euros and the fifth is approaching 23,000 tonnes, with a turnover of 71.8 million euros. Distribution marks are very important in some of the main presentations. In potato chips, they control 47.8% of all sales in volume and 37.7% in value, while the first marquista offer presents a respective percentage of 36.1% and 44%.


During the year 2014, Spanish households consumed 126.6 million kilos of nuts and spent 869.6 million euros on this product. In per capita terms, it reached 2.8 kilos of consumption and 19.4 euros of expenditure. The most notable consumption is associated with nuts (0.6 kilos per person and year), followed by peanuts (0.3 kilos per capita), almonds (0.2 kilos per capita), hazelnuts (0 , 1 kilos per capita), and pistachios (0.1 kilos per capita). In terms of expenditure, nuts account for 23.2% of expenditure, with a total of 4.5 euros per person, followed by almonds, with a percentage of 14.9% and a total of 2.9 euros per person Per year. Next are pistachios, with 6.7% and 1.3 euros per person, peanuts, with 5.2% and 1 euro and, finally, hazelnuts, with 4.1% of the total and 0.8 euros per person per year.


There are no very reliable figures on the foreign trade of snacks and potato chips, since many of the international movements are made between subsidiaries of large multinational groups and are not usually reflected in import and export statistics. Taking into account the nuts, it is necessary to start recognizing that some of the most consolidated offers are not cultivated in Spain, so that the recourse of imports is essential. The most important cases are pistachios, cashews and Macadamia nuts. Some of the most important Spanish manufacturers have implemented internationalization strategies to increase their production volumes. During the last year there have been some operations of acquisition of Spanish companies by French and Japanese multinationals to ensure their presence in our markets. The sector leader has four production plants abroad. The turnover of its US subsidiary is 200 million euros. As far as snacks are concerned, there are strong export movements to other European countries, such as Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, while outside Europe, exports to Japan stand out.

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Montse Gonzalez