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Crackers - US - January 2017

"The cracker category continued to post modest growth in 2016, but was up only 0.8% from the same time period in 2015. The category benefitted from increased consumer activity in snacking and from its existing reputation for being a healthy and easy to enjoy snack. Snacking innovation from a number of other categories is stepping up the competitive pressure on the cracker category. Continued growth of the category will depend on brand innovation that supports that healthful reputation with products positioned with simple, recognizable ingredients as well as product development featuring new flavor and textures or even uses. Improved packaging for both at-home and on-the-go occasions may hit the mark with consumers."

Michael Averbook, Food & Drink Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Cracker sales slow in 2016
  • Nearly all households purchase crackers
  • Interest in health claims without sacrificing taste and flavor
  • Crackers enjoy a healthy reputation
  • Current packaging letting consumers down

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Cracker sales slow in 2016
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2011-21
          • Nearly all households purchase crackers
            • Figure 2: Cracker purchase, any purchase, November 2016
          • Interest in health claims without sacrificing taste and flavor
            • Figure 3: Cracker attributes, November 2016
          • Crackers enjoy a healthy reputation
            • Figure 4: Cracker attitudes, health, any agree, November 2016
          • Current packaging letting consumers down
            • Figure 5: Cracker attitudes, packaging, any agree, November 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Simple and recognizable ingredients
              • Figure 6: Cracker attitudes, ingredients, any agree, November 2016
            • Room for flavor, function innovation
              • Figure 7: Cracker innovation, flavors and functions, November 2016
            • Improved packaging that delivers freshness and on-the-go features
              • Figure 8: Cracker innovation, packaging, November 2016
            • Highlight recipe and meal uses with crackers
              • Figure 9: Cracker usage, meal and recipe, November 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Cracker category posts modest growth in 2016, up only 0.8%
                • Other crackers segment dominates the category
                  • Popularity in snacking creates more opportunity, yet more competition
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Cracker sales grow 13% from 2011-16
                      • Figure 10: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2011-21
                      • Figure 11: Total US sales and forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2011-21
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Other crackers dominate category sales
                      • Figure 12: Total us retail sales of crackers, by segment share, 2016
                      • Figure 13: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2010-16
                    • Supermarkets maintain lion’s share of cracker sales
                      • Figure 14: Percentage of us retail sales of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2011-16
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Competition heats up from all sides
                      • Figure 15: BFY snack attitudes – Agree, June 2016
                  • Market Factors

                    • Interest in healthy eating
                      • Figure 16: Attitudes toward food, by diet status, June 2016
                    • Core consumers hitting life milestones
                      • Figure 17: Households with own children under age 18, by age of householder, 2016
                    • Shrinking household size shows signs of rebound
                      • Figure 18: Households, by presence of own children, 2006-16
                    • Growing Hispanic, Asian populations
                      • Figure 19: US population, by race, 2012-22
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Top four cracker manufacturers dominate the category
                      • Brands known and not take the health approach
                        • Wholesome positioning, ingredients make a connection
                          • Thin for the win
                            • Alternative bases emerging
                            • Brand Sales of Crackers

                              • Mondelēz continues reign as king of crackers
                                  • Figure 20: MULO sales of crackers, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Keeping it real
                                  • Real life connections
                                    • Figure 21: MULO sales of Nabisco all other crackers
                                    • Figure 22: TV Ad - Glasses – Ritz
                                    • Figure 23: TV Ad - Little Brother – Honey Maid
                                    • Figure 24: MULO sales of Nabisco graham crackers
                                  • Real reformulations
                                    • Figure 25: MULO sales of Snyders-Lance crackers with fillings
                                  • Truly real
                                    • Figure 26: Cracker product launches, by natural and minus claims, 2011-16*
                                  • Going organic
                                    • Thin is in
                                      • Figure 27: MULO sales of Good Thins brand
                                    • Limited edition & seasonal flavors
                                      • Figure 28: MULO sales of Triscuit brand
                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                    • Kellogg brands struggle to grow
                                      • Austin crackers
                                        • Figure 29: MULO sales of Austin brand
                                      • Special K
                                        • Figure 30: MULO sales of Special K brand
                                      • Saltine crackers dry and outdated
                                        • Figure 31: MULO sales of saltine crackers
                                      • Sales of private label crackers continue to decline
                                        • Figure 32: MULO sales of private label crackers
                                    • What’s Next?

                                      • Innovative packaging
                                        • Keep it fresh
                                          • Alternative bases
                                            • Figure 33: 2016 cracker launches, by ingredients, 2011-16
                                          • Exotic flavors
                                            • Out of the center
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Nearly all consumers buy crackers
                                                • Clear and simple
                                                  • Packaging improvements due
                                                    • Bold flavors, combo-packs spark consumer interest
                                                    • Cracker Purchase

                                                      • 92% of consumers purchase crackers
                                                        • Figure 34: Cracker purchase, any purchase, November 2016
                                                      • Nearly half of consumers have established patterns
                                                        • Figure 35: Cracker behavior, assortment of cracker types and annual cracker purchase, November 2016
                                                      • Higher purchase among young adults
                                                        • Figure 36: More than once a month cracker purchase, by age, November 2016
                                                        • Figure 37: Cracker behavior, purchasing more crackers than last year, by age, November 2016
                                                        • Figure 38: Repertoire of type of cracker purchase, by generation, November 2016
                                                      • Parents most likely to purchase every type of cracker
                                                        • Figure 39: Cracker purchase, any purchase, by parental status, November 2016
                                                        • Figure 40: Cracker purchase, more than once a month, by number of children under 18 in household, November 2016
                                                      • Hispanics purchase crackers most frequently
                                                        • Figure 41: More than once a month cracker purchase, by Hispanic origin, November 2016
                                                        • Figure 42: Cracker purchase, by Hispanic origin, November 2016
                                                    • Cracker Attributes

                                                      • Health takes a backseat to taste and flavor
                                                        • Figure 43: Cracker attributes, November 2016
                                                      • Whole grain, fiber, and real ingredients garner widespread appeal
                                                        • Figure 44: Cracker types, by attributes, November 2016
                                                      • Young adults place importance on brand, older seek specific health cues
                                                        • Figure 45: Cracker attributes, by generation, November 2016
                                                      • Parents more interested in brand and organic claim than non-parents
                                                        • Figure 46: Cracker attributes, by parental status, November 2016
                                                    • Behaviors Related to Crackers

                                                      • Majority of consumers stick with their patterns
                                                        • Figure 47: Cracker behavior, November 2016
                                                      • Younger adults balance indulgent with healthy components
                                                        • Figure 48: Cracker behavior, indulgent and healthy crackers/toppings, by generation, November 2016
                                                        • Figure 49: Cracker behavior, by age, November 2016
                                                      • Parents seeking new types, uses for crackers
                                                        • Figure 50: Cracker behavior, by parental status, November 2016
                                                    • Attitudes about Crackers

                                                      • Product transparency, taste, and nutrition the perfect balance
                                                        • Figure 51: Cracker attitudes, any agree, November 2016
                                                      • Generation cracker attitudes
                                                        • Millennials feel most cracker brands are still too processed
                                                          • Figure 52: Cracker attitudes, cracker brands too processed, by generation, November 2016
                                                        • High reports of stale crackers, Millennials most interested in on-the-go packaging
                                                          • Figure 53: Cracker attitudes, packaging, by generation, November 2016
                                                        • Taste is king for all, younger generations want added flavors and recipe ideas
                                                          • Figure 54: Cracker attitudes, taste, flavor, and use, by generation, November 2016
                                                        • Room to improve ingredients and packaging with parents
                                                          • Figure 55: Cracker attitudes, by parental status, November 2016
                                                        • Hispanics an opportunity for store brand crackers
                                                          • Figure 56: Cracker attitudes, by Hispanic Origin, November 2016
                                                      • Cracker Usage

                                                        • Majority of consumers report eating crackers as a snack
                                                          • Figure 57: Cracker usage, November 2016
                                                        • Different cracker types lend themselves to particular eating occasions
                                                          • Figure 58: Cracker types, by cracker usage, November 2016
                                                        • Brand matters most for recipe use
                                                          • Figure 59: Cracker usage, by cracker attributes, Brand, November 2016
                                                        • Age and cracker use go hand in hand
                                                          • Figure 60: Cracker usage, by age group, November 2016
                                                        • Parents use crackers on-the-go, in recipes
                                                          • Figure 61: Cracker usage, by parental status, November 2016
                                                      • Innovation Potential

                                                        • Consumers seek better packaging, bolder flavors, alternative bases
                                                          • Figure 62: Cracker innovation, November 2016
                                                        • Heavy and light users indicate different areas of interest
                                                          • Figure 63: Cracker innovation, by purchase frequency, more than once a month, November 2016
                                                          • Figure 64: Cracker innovation, by purchase frequency, less than once a month, November 2016
                                                        • Cracker usage an indicator innovation
                                                          • Figure 65: Cracker innovation, by cracker usage, on-the-go, November 2016
                                                          • Figure 66: Cracker innovation, by cracker usage, as an ingredient in a recipe, November 2016
                                                        • Offering varied innovation types will reach a majority of consumers
                                                          • Figure 67: TURF analysis – Cracker innovation areas, November 2016
                                                        • Differences in desire among age groups for innovation types
                                                          • Figure 68: Packaging innovation, by age group, November 2016
                                                          • Figure 69: Flavor innovation, by age group, November 2016
                                                          • Figure 70: Benefit and claim innovation, by age group, November 2016
                                                        • Parents want easy, indulgent snacks without compromising on health
                                                          • Figure 71: Cracker innovation, by parental status, November 2016
                                                        • Women focus on packaging and health, men on flavors
                                                          • Figure 72: Cracker innovation, by sex, female preferred, November 2016
                                                          • Figure 73: Cracker innovation, by sex, male preferred, November 2016
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Sales data
                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                    • Terms
                                                                    • Appendix – TURF Analysis

                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                        • Figure 74: Table - TURF analysis – Crackers innovation areas, November 2016
                                                                    • Appendix – Market

                                                                        • Figure 75: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 76: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 77: Total US retail sales of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2014 and 2016
                                                                        • Figure 78: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers with fillings, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 79: Total US retail sales and forecast of graham crackers, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 80: Total US retail sales and forecast of saltine crackers, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 81: Total US retail sales and forecast of other crackers, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                                        • Figure 82: Total US retail sales of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                        • Figure 83: Total US retail sales of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2014 and 2016
                                                                        • Figure 84: US supermarket sales of crackers, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                        • Figure 85: US sales of crackers through other retail channels, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                    • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                        • Figure 86: MULO sales of crackers with fillings, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                        • Figure 87: MULO sales of graham crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                        • Figure 88: MULO sales of saltine crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016
                                                                        • Figure 89: MULO sales of other crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2015 and 2016

                                                                    Crackers - US - January 2017

                                                                    US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)