Salty Snacks in the U.S., 3rd Edition

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Published Nov 20, 2013 | 94 Pages | Pub ID: LA5154596
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Salty Snacks in the U.S.

Nearly everybody eats salty snacks. More than 90% of households in the country report using a salty snack in the past 30 days, and very few households limit themselves to only one or two kinds of salty snacks. Two out of three American households routinely use at least three kinds of salty snacks.

Salty Snacks in the U.S. sheds new light on a rapidly evolving market that food marketers increasingly count on to lift their overall profitability. The report shows how the packaged food industry’s recent efforts to roll out a wider array of exciting and innovative healthy-ingredient versions of salty snacks can succeed by targeting a critically important subset of healthy snackers. There are 50 million consumers who often snack between meals and agree that “salted snacks are my favorite snack.” Within the population of these self-professed frequent salty snackers, there is a cadre of 14.2 million “healthy” salty snackers, whose favorite snack is a salty snack and who also claim that they “usually only snack on healthy foods.” These frequent salty snackers exercise often, seek out healthy-ingredient foods of all kinds and do not see a conflict between craving salty snacks and pursuing a healthy snacking diet.

The report highlights some of the most salient trends Packaged Facts expects to generate challenges and opportunities for marketers of salty snacks. For example, potatoes and corn, once the rulers of the salty snack world, will continue to face growing competition from snacks made from an ever-growing panoply of vegetables and legumes.

The report demonstrates that salty snacks marketers will need to be agile and fast-moving to be up to the challenges presented by today’s generation of salty snackers. For example, it is no longer enough for salty snacks marketers to roll out products with a single flavor, no matter how robust or exotic. Dedicated snackers are seeking out surprises in the form of unexpected combinations of flavors. Moreover, salty snacks marketers will need to be alert to new possibilities for creating innovative products by merging traditional platforms into new snack forms. At the same time, established marketers face intensifying competition from smaller players bent on launching creative and healthy products to meet the needs of today’s increasingly health-conscious snackers.

Market Definition

This Packaged Facts report defines the market for salty snacks based upon the following product types: potato chips; tortilla/tostada chips; other salted snacks (not including nuts); pretzels; cheese snacks; corn snacks (not including tortilla chips); ready-to-eat popcorn/caramel corn; and pork rinds. The report also analyzes consumer behavior related to the four categories of salty snacks tracked by Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS): potato chips, popcorn products, corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks and pretzels.


The first source of primary data used in this report is IRI InfoScan Reviews for the 52 weeks ending September 8, 2013. The second is the Spring 2013 Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS), which was fielded between January 2012 and March 2013. The report also includes data from the Spring 2005 Simmons NCS.

The report is also based upon data collected from field surveys of food retailers in various channels as well as a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, and annual reports, 10Ks and other releases from public companies.
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