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Crackers - US - February 2018

"After a four year period of modest growth, sales of crackers fell slightly from 2016-17, thanks in part to intensified snacking competition. Benefitting from consumer interest in snacking and a reputation for being versatile, the crackers category enjoys nearly universal penetration, making growth difficult to come by. As a category stuck in the middle between indulgent and healthy, cracker products can use pairing and usage suggestions to increase perceived nutrition and/or indulgence along with cracker occasions and dayparts. Advancements in packaging along with formula improvements that focus on use of wholesome, real, flavorful, and high quality ingredients may improve crackers’ perceived quality, indulgence, and healthfulness, helping to reinvigorate the mature category."
- Michael Averbook, Food & Drink Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Cracker sales fall in 2017
  • Crackers are a pantry staple 
  • Heightened snacking competition

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Cracker sales fall in 2017
            • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2012-22
          • Crackers are a pantry staple
            • Figure 2: Cracker purchase, November 2017
          • Heightened snacking competition
            • Figure 3: Snack perceptions, healthy and indulgent, November 2017
          • The opportunities
            • Bolster crackers’ flexibility of uses
              • Figure 4: Cracker occasions, November 2017
            • Room to improve packaging
              • Figure 5: Ideal cracker claims and attributes, packaging features, November 2017
            • Premium and BFY formats
              • Figure 6: Cracker format attitudes, November 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Cracker sales falter
                • No segment immune to decline
                  • Intense snacking competition
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Sales slowdown continues in crackers category
                      • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2012-22
                      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2012-22
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • All segments struggle
                      • Figure 9: Total US market share of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2017
                      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                    • Supermarkets dominate sales of crackers
                      • Figure 11: Total US market share of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2017
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Competition from outside categories
                      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of snack categories, percent change, 2014-16
                  • Market Factors

                    • Majority of US consumers snack daily
                      • Figure 13: Snacking frequency, March 2017
                    • Desire for clean, nutritious food
                      • Figure 14: Lifestyle statements: attitudes/opinions about food, healthy eating – Any agree
                    • Number of households with children falls
                      • Figure 15: Households, by presence of own children, 2007-17
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Top companies account for majority of category sales
                      • Different methods used to communicate health
                        • Not-so-sweet sales for graham crackers
                          • Improved packaging features
                          • Company and Brand Sales of Crackers

                            • Mondelēz and Kellogg make up more than half of category sales
                                • Figure 16: Multi-outlet sales of crackers, by leading companies, rolling 52-weeks 2016 and 2017
                                • Figure 17: Multi-outlet market share of cracker segments, by leading brands, 52-weeks ending October 8, 2017
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Thin and crispy
                                • Figure 18: Mutli-outlet sales of “other” crackers, by thins or crisps, rolling 52-weeks 2016 and 2017
                              • Implying wholesomeness
                                • Figure 19: Mutli-outlet sales of crackers, by GMO-free, no additives/preservatives, and gluten-free, rolling 52-weeks 2016 and 2017
                                • Figure 20: Cracker launches, by GMO-free and no additives/preservatives, 2015-17
                                • Figure 21: Crunchmaster online video: “Our Story – Abby”
                              • Cheese please
                                • Figure 22: Purchase intent of crackers with real cheese claim
                                • Figure 23: Purchase intent, by crackers with cheese flavor and crackers with cheese ingredient, January 2017-December 2017
                              • Guilt-free snacking
                                • Figure 24: Mutli-outlet sales of crackers, by low/no/reduced fat and low/no/reduced saturated fat, rolling 52-weeks 2016 and 2017
                                • Figure 25: Cracker launches, by low/no/reduced fat and low/no/reduced saturated fat, 2015-17
                              • Engaging consumers with unique cracker uses
                                • Figure 26: Lifestyle statements: attitudes/opinions about food, read recipes that come with products – Any agree
                                • Figure 27: Ritz Crackers TV advertisement: “You’ve Got The Stuff - Summer”
                                • Figure 28: Crunchmaster Crackers online video: “Crunchmaster Crackers”
                                • Figure 29: Simple Mills online video: “Sprouted Cracker Snack Ideas”
                            • What’s Struggling?

                              • Graham crackers struggle
                                • Figure 30: Mutli-outlet sales of graham crackers, by declining sales, rolling 52-weeks 2016 and 2017
                                • Figure 31: Multi-outlet sales of graham crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2016 and 2017
                              • Private label sales down across most segments
                                • Figure 32: Multi-outlet sales of crackers category and segments, by private label brands, rolling 52-weeks 2016 and 2017
                                • Figure 33: Purchase intent of private label crackers
                            • What’s Next?

                              • Protein power
                                • Figure 34: Cracker launches, by high/added protein, 2015-17
                              • Resealable and transparent packaging
                                • Figure 35: Cracker launches, by resealable/reclosable claim, 2015-17
                              • Sophisticated flavors
                                • Figure 36: Cracker launches, by flavor component, 2015-17
                              • Seasonal sweetness
                                • Figure 37: Sweet Biscuits/Cookie launches, by sweet crackers, excluding graham crackers, 2015-17
                              • Unique bases and textures
                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                • Nearly universal purchase of crackers
                                  • Reputation for flexibility
                                    • Opportunity for BFY, indulgent, and premium crackers
                                      • Packaging enhancements needed
                                      • Cracker Purchase

                                        • Nearly all consumers purchase crackers
                                          • Figure 38: Cracker purchase, November 2017
                                        • Most consumers buy multiple cracker types
                                          • Figure 39: Repertoire of cracker purchase, November 2017
                                        • Life stage influential to purchase of crackers
                                          • Figure 40: Cracker purchase, any crackers, by age, parental status, and number of children under 18 in household, November 2017
                                          • Figure 41: Repertoire of cracker purchase, by age, parental status, and number of children under 18 in household, November 2017
                                      • Cracker Occasions

                                        • Crackers make for versatile snacks
                                          • Figure 42: Cracker occasions, November 2017
                                        • Parents enjoy crackers for variety of occasions
                                          • Figure 43: Cracker occasions, by parental status, November 2017
                                        • Men seek satiety, women a snack
                                          • Figure 44: Cracker occasions, by gender and age, November 2017
                                      • Cracker Format Attitudes

                                        • Format and flavor drive reputation, intended uses
                                          • Figure 45: Cracker format attitudes, November 2017
                                        • Health aspects of crackers appeal to young adults
                                          • Figure 46: Cracker format attitudes, by age, November 2017
                                        • Younger, more affluent consumers willing to pay more for premium
                                          • Figure 47: Cracker format attitudes, would pay more for premium crackers, by age and income, November 2017
                                        • Variety of cracker formats appeal to parents
                                          • Figure 48: Cracker format attitudes, by parental status, November 2017
                                        • Hispanics look to format for health cues
                                          • Figure 49: Cracker format attitudes, by Hispanic origin, November 2017
                                      • Snack Perceptions

                                        • Crackers emerge as most versatile
                                          • Figure 50: Correspondence analysis – Snack perceptions, November 2017
                                          • Figure 51: Snack perceptions, November 2017
                                        • Older consumers continue to value core strengths of crackers
                                          • Figure 52: Snack perceptions, crackers, by age, November 2017
                                        • Crackers an affordable healthy snack
                                          • Figure 53: Snack perceptions, crackers, by household income, November 2017
                                        • Opportunity to improve taste for Hispanic Millennials
                                          • Figure 54: Snack perceptions, tasty, by Hispanic generations, November 2017
                                      • Ideal Cracker Flavors

                                        • More than half of consumers choose cheese as ideal cracker flavor
                                          • Figure 55: Ideal cracker flavors, November 2017
                                        • Younger men want crackers with bold flavors
                                          • Figure 56: Ideal cracker flavors, by gender and age, November 2017
                                      • Ideal Cracker Ingredients

                                        • Cheese is most popular cracker ingredient
                                          • Figure 57: Ideal cracker ingredients, November 2017
                                          • Figure 58: Ideal cracker ingredients, by select ideal cracker flavors, cheesy and sweet, November 2017
                                      • Ideal Cracker Claims and Attributes

                                        • Packaging innovation tops product attributes
                                          • Figure 59: Ideal cracker claims and attributes, November 2017
                                        • Age drives preferred cracker attributes and claims
                                          • Figure 60: Ideal cracker claims and attributes, by age, November 2017
                                        • Parents seek convenience and nutrition, non-parents reclosable feature
                                          • Figure 61: Ideal cracker claims and attributes, by parental status, November 2017
                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                        • Figure 62: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 63: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 64: Total US retail sales of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                                                        • Figure 65: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers with fillings, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 66: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers with fillings, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of graham crackers, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and forecast of graham crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of saltine crackers, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of saltine crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of “other” crackers, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 72: Total US retail sales and forecast of “other” crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                        • Figure 73: Total US retail sales of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2012-2017
                                                        • Figure 74: Total US retail sales of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                                                        • Figure 75: US supermarket sales of crackers, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                        • Figure 76: US sales of crackers through other retail channels, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                    • Appendix – Key Players

                                                        • Figure 77: Multi-outlet sales of crackers with fillings, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                        • Figure 78: Multi-outlet sales of saltine crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                        • Figure 79: Multi-outlet sales of “other” crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017

                                                    Crackers - US - February 2018

                                                    £3,435.47 (Excl.Tax)