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Description

Description

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has divided the cracker category into four segments. This is the same segmentation used in Mintel’s Crackers – US, February 2019 and the preceding reports.


  • Crackers with fillings
  • Graham crackers
  • Saltine crackers
  • “Other” crackers (including butter crackers, cheese crackers, wheat crackers, water crackers, breadsticks, matzoh crackers, etc)

"The crackers category continues to find significant growth, topping $8 billion in 2019, a modest 3.4% gain since 2014. The consistent, albeit minimal, growth of the “other” crackers segment was not enough to offset the struggles among other segments. Crackers remain a household staple with 87% penetration but stronger levels of category engagement are strongly tethered to parenthood and significantly decreases with age, indicating that attention to adults as individuals is warranted. Innovation in the category is unbalanced by segment, with some segments at risk of oversaturation and others stalled. The path back to growth may be to get back to basics: guiding consumers to new and unique ways to enjoy crackers, at different occasions more frequently."
- Kaitlin Kamp, Food & Drink Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Snack growth outpacing cracker sales
  • The snack space is crowded
  • Engagement drops off with age

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Top takeaways
          • The issues
            • Snack growth outpacing cracker sales
              • Figure 1: Forecast growth of salty snacks and crackers, % change, 2019-2023
            • The snack space is crowded
              • Figure 2: New food US product launches by snack subcategory, 2018-2019
            • Engagement drops off with age
              • Figure 3: Types of crackers consumed, repertoire, by age, November 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Where’s the packaging innovation?
                • Figure 4: Innovation to drive purchase, November 2019
              • BFY formulations a way to get non-parents on board
                • Figure 5: Cracker attitudes, parental status, November 2019
              • Solidify an association with sophistication
                • Figure 6: Snack associations, November 2019
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • No big shifts ahead for crackers
                • “Other” crackers keep category afloat
                  • “Other” crackers are also gaining market share
                    • The category’s largest audience is shrinking
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Cracker sales rebound from slight slump
                        • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2014-2024
                        • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, at current prices, 2014-24
                    • Market Breakdown

                      • “Other” crackers keeps the category above water
                        • Cracker segments are competing with one another
                          • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2014-24
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Snack time is all the time
                          • Figure 10: new food US product launches by snack subcategory, 2018-2019
                        • Consumers shopping the perimeter for snacks
                          • Super snackers getting their fix from other categories
                            • Figure 11: Share of salty snack consumption, by age, January 2019
                        • Market Factors

                          • An aging population impacts cracker consumption…
                            • Figure 12: Population by age, 2013-2023
                          • …So will fewer children
                            • Figure 13: Households, by presence of related children, 2008-18
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Category leaders, share show little movement
                            • Brand diversification meeting consumers at all occasions
                              • Free-from labels catch wellness and allergen-minded consumers
                                • Brands on the edge of oversaturation?
                                  • Moving from better for you to good for you
                                    • Ethical brands to stand out from the clutter
                                    • Mintel Trend Drivers – what’s motivating change?

                                      • Company and Brand Sales of Crackers

                                        • Campbell makes small share gains while Kellogg and Mondelēz hold steady
                                          • Figure 14: Multi-outlet sales of crackers, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                        • Private label not yet a competitor, but certainly a contender
                                          • Figure 15: Multi-Outlet private label sales of saltine, graham crackers, crackers with fillings, and all other crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                      • What’s Working

                                        • Blurring the line between cracker and chip
                                          • Drivers: Experience
                                            • Pillars: Pleasure
                                              • Figure 16: MULO sales of chip inspired crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                            • Crackers that can stand up to meal times
                                              • Drivers: Experience
                                                • Pillars: Pleasure
                                                  • Figure 17: MULO sales of thick crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                                • Single serve offers flexibility of portability
                                                  • Drivers: Value
                                                    • Pillars: Convenience
                                                      • Figure 18: MULO sales of chip portable/individually packaged crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                                    • Cleaner, free-from crackers
                                                      • Drivers: Wellbeing
                                                        • Pillars: Nutrition
                                                          • Figure 19: MULO sales of crackers with free-from claims, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                                          • Figure 20: Increased claims with crackers, 2017-2018
                                                        • Global influence
                                                          • Drivers: Experience
                                                            • Pillars: Adventure, Pleasure
                                                              • Figure 21: International food consumption – net any consumption, November 2018-November 2019
                                                              • Figure 22: MULO sales of internationally-inspired crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                                          • What’s Struggling

                                                            • The struggle is real (long) for graham crackers
                                                              • Drivers: Experience
                                                                • Pillars: Nostalgia
                                                                  • Figure 23: MULO sales of declining graham crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                                                  • Figure 24: MULO sales of growing graham crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                                                • Innovation overload stalls Nabisco
                                                                  • Figure 25: MULO sales of declining nabisco crackers, rolling 52 weeks 2018
                                                              • What’s Next

                                                                • Laser in on nutrients
                                                                  • Drivers: Wellbeing
                                                                    • Pillars: Nutrition, Physical
                                                                      • Figure 26: Nutrient-positioned snacks
                                                                    • Protein packed
                                                                      • Figure 27: high protein crackers
                                                                    • Going against the grain
                                                                      • Drivers: Wellbeing
                                                                        • Pillars: Nutrition, Physical
                                                                          • Figure 28: Grain free and vegetable crackers
                                                                        • Snacks that do no harm
                                                                          • Drivers: Wellbeing, Experiences, Surroundings, Identity
                                                                            • Pillars: Nutrition, Adventure, Sustainability, Morals
                                                                              • Figure 29: Healthy snack attitudes, August 2019
                                                                            • Brands in action
                                                                              • Figure 30: Healthy snack attitudes, August 2019
                                                                            • Reaching for seaweed at snack time
                                                                              • Drivers: Wellbeing, Experiences, Surroundings, Identity
                                                                                • Pillars: Nutrition, Adventure, Sustainability, Morals
                                                                                  • Brands in action
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Healthy snack attitudes, August 2019
                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Parents eat the same crackers as their kids
                                                                                    • Crackers have caught the eye of foodies
                                                                                      • Crackers appeal to the “treat yourself” occasion
                                                                                        • The category could use a flavor boost
                                                                                          • Snack options blur together, but there is whitespace to be won
                                                                                          • Cracker Consumption

                                                                                            • Cracker consumption is widespread
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Cracker consumption, November 2019
                                                                                            • Yet…consumers 18-24 most likely to avoid crackers
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Cracker consumption, by age, November 2019
                                                                                            • Parents, kids are a strong base
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Cracker consumption, by parental status, November 2019
                                                                                            • Foodies hungry for crackers
                                                                                              • Figure 35: Cracker consumption, by food and drink segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                          • Types of Crackers Consumed

                                                                                            • Traditional options remain household favorites
                                                                                              • Figure 36: Types of crackers consumed, November 2019
                                                                                            • Breakfast and lunchbox options outperform with kids
                                                                                              • Figure 37: cracker types consumed, by adults and children, November 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 38: cracker usage by cracker consumption, November 2019
                                                                                            • Teenagers too cool for kids’ crackers
                                                                                              • Figure 39: cracker types consumed by cracker consumption, November 2019
                                                                                            • Parents eat what their kids eat
                                                                                              • Figure 40: Types of crackers consumed, November 2019
                                                                                              • Figure 41: Types of crackers consumed, repertoire, parental status, November 2019
                                                                                            • Engagement drops with age
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Types of crackers consumed, repertoire, by age, November 2019
                                                                                            • A cracker for every occasion
                                                                                                • Figure 43: Types of crackers consumed, repertoire, food and drink segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                                • Figure 44: Types of crackers consumed, food and drink segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                            • Cracker Occasions

                                                                                              • Crackers fit most occasions
                                                                                                • Figure 45: Cracker usage, net any crackers, November 2019
                                                                                              • Socializing with crackers could use some love
                                                                                                • Figure 46: Cracker usage, correspondence analysis, November 2019
                                                                                              • Crackers with fillings make a case for increased portability
                                                                                                • Figure 47: Cracker usage, away from home, November 2019
                                                                                            • Cracker Attitudes

                                                                                              • Kid- and adult-friendly are not mutually exclusive
                                                                                                • Figure 48: Cracker attitudes, November 2019
                                                                                              • Portability desired by the heaviest users
                                                                                                • Figure 49: Cracker attitudes, i wish crackers were more portable, repertoire analysis cracker types consumed, November 2019
                                                                                              • BFY formulations a gateway to non-parents
                                                                                                • Figure 50: Cracker attitudes, parental status, November 2019
                                                                                              • Breadsticks, water, matzoh crackers to embrace toppings
                                                                                                • Figure 51: Cracker attitudes, by cracker type consumption, November 2019
                                                                                            • Snack Associations

                                                                                              • Dense snack competition leaves little room for differentiation
                                                                                                • Figure 52: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Snack associations, November 2019
                                                                                              • Cracker associations with excitement are stale
                                                                                                • Figure 53: Snack associations, exciting, November 2019
                                                                                            • Flavor Interest

                                                                                              • Consumers ready for flavor
                                                                                                • Figure 54: Cracker flavor interest, November 2019
                                                                                              • Some cracker types require more flavor expansion
                                                                                                • Figure 55: Cracker flavor interest by types of crackers consumed November 2019
                                                                                                • Figure 56: Cracker flavor interest by types of crackers consumed November 2019
                                                                                              • Flavor interest varies by age
                                                                                                • Figure 57: Cracker flavor interest, by age, November 2019
                                                                                            • Interest in Innovation

                                                                                              • Flavors drive the decision making process
                                                                                                • Figure 58: Innovation to drive purchase, November 2019
                                                                                              • Traditional cracker consumers satisfied with the status quo
                                                                                                • Figure 59: Innovation to drive purchase by types of crackers consumed, November 2019
                                                                                              • Parents eager for innovation
                                                                                                • Figure 60: Innovation to drive purchase, parental status, November 2019
                                                                                              • Older consumers may be hard to sway
                                                                                                • Figure 61: Innovation to drive purchase, age, selected none of the above, November 2019
                                                                                              • Time Savers influenced by maximizing purchases
                                                                                                • Figure 62: Innovation to drive purchase, food and drink segmentation, November 2019
                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                • Sales data
                                                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                      • Food and drink segmentation
                                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms

                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Total US retail sales and forecast of crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Total US retail sales of crackers, by segment, at current prices, 2017 and 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Total US retail sales and forecast of filled crackers, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Total US retail sales and forecast of filled crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of filled crackers, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and forecast of filled crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of graham crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of saltine crackers, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of saltine crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Total US retail sales and forecast of all other crackers, at current prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Total US retail sales and forecast of all other crackers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Retail Channels

                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Total US retail sales of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2014-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Total US retail sales of crackers, by channel, at current prices, 2017 and 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 76: US supermarket sales of crackers, at current prices, 2014-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 77: US drugstore sales of crackers, at current prices, 2014-19
                                                                                                            • Figure 78: US sales of crackers through other retail channels, at current prices, 2014-19
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Multi-outlet sales of crackers with fillings, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Multi-outlet sales of graham crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Multi-outlet sales of saltine crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Multi-outlet sales of all other crackers, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019

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