Mohini Nitturkar

The diversity in Indian cuisine reflects the local produce, cultural diversity, and varied demographics of the country. Indian dishes make use of numerous ingredients. Spices and herbs are used abundantly in Indian recipes. The processed and packaged foods also make use of these spices, flavours and herbs. Most of the Indian flavours make use of fresh ingredients and some are also used in combination with other spices thus making complex flavours. The traditional Indian flavours are irresistible, and their demand is spread not only in India, but also around the world.

India is one of the world’s top producers of spices and so the name Land of spices. Spices have always been an important part of seasoning in foods throughout the world. Seasonings are added to food to enhance the flavour of any food product/Dish without changing its base taste. The variety of flavours available in the Indian Snack Market range from Indian Traditional flavours to western flavours. The traditional influence is also observed on the Western Snacks as well.

Indian Snack Market

India has just about 8000 towns and nearly each town is famous for its local snack, ingredient, or dish which is sometimes unexplored by the rest of the population, few examples are –

Region  Famous Snack Category
Kolhapur Misal pav Savoury
Kolkata Rasgolla Sweet
Bikaner Bhujia Namkeen
Amritsar Falooda Sweet
Kutch Dabeli Savoury
Tamil Nadu Seeval Namkeen
Kerala Kozhukkatta Sweet
Punjab Matthi Biscuit
Gujarat Khandvi Savoury
Maharashtra Shankarpali Sweet

In India, the Namkeen sector dominates the organised snack market contributing to nearly 37% of the market share.  

The Indian Snacks sector is categorised as chips, extruded snacks, namkeens, nachos and others, with namkeens having highest market share compared to other segments. Currently, Indian Snack industry is valued at INR 41,250 Crores. It contributes to the 8-10% share of country’s packaged food sector.

India’s snack market is divided into organised and unorganised segments. The total Indian Snack market valued nearly 1 Lakh crores in the year 2022. At present unorganised segment dominates with almost 60% share by value and organised snack market holds nearly 40% share, but it is expected to hold the larger part of the share in the forecast period (2022-2027). The unorganised Snack market includes snack items such as freshly prepared snacks( Pani-puri, chaat, Vada-paav, sweets etc) that are sold through roadside vendors, dhabas, food carts, street stalls, etc and some locally packaged snack products that are sold locally. Organised Snack market includes snack items that are sold in hygienic package to one or more regions.

Demand for savory snacks is high in North and West India contributing to more than 55% of the share. In Rajasthan and Gujarat, Namkeen is an integral part of food habits, hence majority of namkeens originate from these regions. Increasing popularity and availability of numerous options in namkeens are driving the growth across the regions for this segment. Consumption of packaged savory snacks is considerable in East India along with street food. Trend shows that consumption of traditional snacks is about to increase gradually as the leading players are entering into this sector with their wide product offerings. For example – Parle has introduced new products in the namkeen sector making use of traditional masala flavour (Chatkeens lite chiwda, Chatkeens Gujarati mixture, Chatkeens farali chiwdo) in the year 2021, Bikano launched a new range of namkeen snacks – Aloo Bhujia, sev, namkeen mixtures etc in the year 2021,and ne crispy ‘Crunchy Munchy’ snacks in the year 2022.

Indian Traditional Snack market has shown tremendous growth in the past couple of years increasing trends towards processed traditional snack amd traditional flavours has created a huge demand for traditional snacks in the market and is expected to groe at 8-9% CAGR in the next five years. These snacks have great importance in different festivals clelebrated in various parts of the country.

Types of seasonings/Flavours used in Snacks

Flavours and seasonings which enhance the taste of the foods play a very important role in Snacks sector. Snacks sector is the major user of seasonings and flavours.

Snacks seasonings and flavours are divided into two main categories, namely, traditional/ethnic flavours and international flavours. Traditional flavours include chilli, masala, tomato, ginger, garlic etc., and international flavours are BBQ, Jalapeno, Pizza, Maggi, and Mexican

Traditional Flavours –

Indian/Traditional flavours are those which have been used since a long time to prepare Indian snacks. Salt, Chilli, Masala, Pepper, Ginger garlic, Onion – these are some of the majorly used Traditional flavours in different snacks. Namkeens are the major consumers of these traditional flavours amongst all the Snacks.

International Flavours –

Western flavoured snacking trend is increasing in big cities as youth demand internationally flavoured snacks. The use of western flavours is mainly found in Western snacks like Nachos, sticks etc.; however, some flavours are also being used in traditional snacks like bhujia, for example, Wasabi flavoured Bhujia sev by Haldiram’s.

Namkeens are highly dependent on the traditional flavours. Potato chips which come in all flavours are also dominated by the traditional flavours contributing to more than 65% of the share. In Extruded Snacks -Spicy, Masala and salted (traditional flavours) contribute to more than 45% of the share. This sector has great opportunities where different flavours can be used. Packaged popcorns/Foxnuts are dominantly consumed in big cities in India and in rural areas people go for locally made popcorns with cheese flavour or simply a salted one.


Tomato, Chilli and Masala flavour is largely consumed by the Indian population and the purchase of other flavoured snacks is based on consumer taste and preference. The local flavours are in high demand and the trend is also towards ethnic flavours. Some of the internationally flavoured snacks also require the Indian traditional flavoured touch to gain popularity. Looking at the current scenario of seasonings and flavours in Snacks – Many key players have introduced new products with traditional flavours; like Parle has introduced new products in the namkeen sector making use of traditional masala flavour (Chatkeens lite chiwda, Chatkeens Gujarati mixture, Chatkeens farali chiwdo), PepsiCo has launched new products in the potato chips sector, with salt & pepper, sundried chilli and tamarind flavour all being Traditional and ethnic flavours. It believes that these products will be a hit in the Indian market and will help in increasing its revenue.

Many new flavours are on the rise catering to evolving consumer tastes. F1rst expects that Snacks with local taste and western appearance would drive market growth in the coming 5 years. The snacks sector has observed a consumer shift from unbranded to branded products especially in the namkeen sector, as the branded products assure quality, hygiene, and more flavour options. For example – Parle Products introduced Chatkeens Gujarati mixture, Chatkeens farali chiwdo, Beyond Snack has also introduced- Banana Chips into 4-5 different flavours, which were originally sold locally. Branded products are capturing the market in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well. The growth in the snacks sector is dependent on tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India and hence the snacks market is expected to growth at a CAGR of 11% in the next 5 years.
In India, the demand for international or western flavoured snacks is mostly observed in Tier 1 & 2 cities, although the demand for traditional/ standard flavoured snacks is high compared to that of international flavours. The unorganised sector which dominates the current Indian Snack market is also highly dependent on the traditional flavours. So overall the usage and demand for traditional flavoured snacks is high.

At F1rst, we are committed to addressing PITF’s key issues such as affordability, packaging, processing technologies, ingredient price stability, availability, shelf life, fresh taste, nutrition, taxation, technology, and innovation, among others, through a series of events and jointly taking a step toward growing PITF and conducted a study on Seasonings/flavours market for Snacks wherein we have captured the supply-demand (2021-2026) scenario of seasonings and Flavours for snacks sector. This study has key details on recent trends, how the market was changed in the last few years in terms of availability, applications, competitive ingredients, challenges, opportunities, and other details.

– *Research Analyst at F1rst. She has completed her B.Tech in Food Technology from Shivaji University, Kolhapur. She can be contacted at