Sweet and Salty/Savory Snacks in the U.S.: Lifestyle Marketing and New Product Development in the New Economy, 3rd Edition

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Published Sep 1, 2009 | 198 Pages | Pub ID: LA1939946

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Estimating U.S. retail sales of packaged snacks at $68 billion in 2008, Packaged Facts projects sales to near $82 billion by 2013, a total market increase of 20%. Despite the dampening effects of global recession, consumers are snacking more than ever, thanks to pull-backs in restaurant dining, harried lifestyles that reduce opportunities for sit-down meals, and a growing consensus that several small meals or snacks during the day are actually healthier than the three-squares paradigm. In addition, as the sluggish economy fans job-loss fears, health insurance woes, and environmental and social justice anxieties, snack consumers are embracing a “value” mentality that prizes quality and “whole” ingredients, “better for you” recipes, and green production practices. While low prices are always a draw, consumers are looking for snacks with fewer additives or preservatives, and even spending extra dollars for organic and premium snack treats that can boost their flagging spirits over the long climb back to prosperity.

To accommodate the complexities of the U.S. market within shifting economic and cultural contexts, and to contextualize these trends within the global marketplace, this report investigates not only the raw numbers associated with product launches, sales and market positions, but also the lifestyle patterns and the financial, social and political concerns that contribute to the rise and fall of snacking trends. While organizing snack products into sweet and salty/savory categories as in previous editions, this edition segments the discussion into four topic chapters based on lifestyle and industry classifications—Value and Traditional, Functional and Fortified, Natural and Organic, and Premium and Gourmet. The analysis focuses on shelf-stable, packaged snacks sold throughout the full retail universe, from national brands and private labels to the often edgier products of niche gourmet and organic players.

Custom Packaged Facts survey data inform our research into snacking attitudes, purchasing patterns, and health and wellness across consumer demographics, with Information Resources, Inc. sales data and Product Launch Analytics data on new product introductions helping to quantify key trends marketwide. Product profiles ranging from multinational brands such as Frito-Lay and Hershey to start-up and boutique brands such as Sahale Snacks and Endangered Species provide a nuanced look into the relationship between consumer attitudes and product development, reflecting the running theme of socially conscious marketing as an important value driver in economic times good and bad.

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Research Methodology

The information contained in Sweet and Salty/Savory Snacks in the U.S. was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed consultation with industry participants; on-site examination of retail venues; and extensive Internet canvassing. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from a range of business sources, including trade publications and newsletters; articles in consumer business newspapers and magazines; government agencies; industry associations; annual reports, 10Ks and other financial releases from public companies; and other reports by Packaged Facts.

Sales estimates are based on data from sources including Information Resources, Inc.’s (IRI) InfoScan Review for mass-market channels (supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers other than Walmart), Progressive Grocer’s annual “Consumer Expenditures Study,” and SPINSscan data from SPINS, Inc., which tracks grocery sales in natural supermarkets. Data on new product introductions are from Product Launch Analytics, a Datamonitor service, based on the specified snack product segments.

Our analysis of consumer attitudes and demographics primarily derives from Experian Simmons’ Fall 2008 National Consumer Study, which is based on the responses of approximately 25,000 respondents age 18 or over, and from Packaged Facts’ February 2009 online poll of 2,600 U.S. adults, conducted to measure specific food purchasing patterns and attitudes.

About Author

Marigny Research Group, Inc. (MRG) is a producer of customized private-label market research reports, offering services including title development, research, market analysis, writing, editing, proofreading, desktop production, and marketing support, with a network of market research professionals that extends across the United States. Since 1986 MRG has authored more than 200 reports published under the Packaged Facts imprint, covering consumer packaged goods, demographic, retail, and financial markets. Within these and other areas, MRG has developed complete report lines, most recently focusing on the burgeoning market for pet products and services.

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