The salty snacks category is one of the most diverse in the consumer packaged goods industry, as it has a wide range of segments that appeal to a diverse audience. Today, sales of potato chips, tortilla chips, snack nuts, other salted snacks and pretzels generate total U.S. sales of some $18.8 billion making it one of the most important categories to retailers and manufacturers alike. While not entirely immune from recessionary pressures, it has held up better than many other categories because of its modest price point and perception as an affordable indulgence. Also, while consumers were denying themselves big-ticket items to help navigate the recent economic troubles, salty snacks are an affordable small indulgence.
This report takes an in-depth look at what has been driving the salty snacks category in 2010, and provides insights on the following topics that give an indication of what the future may look like for a category that is a major part of Americans’ lives:
- In light of the recent recession, what has the category been doing to maintain its relevance with consumers who may not consider it a necessity?
- What impact has the recession had on buying behavior and what can be expected post-economic recovery?
- How have the major segments been faring of late and what are they doing to position themselves for any challenges ahead?
- What kind of impact do outlet types have on the industry, and are there some that are gaining a greater share of the salty snacks category?
- What has the industry been doing in light of media coverage focusing on America’s weight issues? What kind of promotional messaging can it use to educate consumers about how salty snacks can be a part of sensible eating?
- What role does household income, gender, race/Hispanic origin and other demographic factors play in regard to the salty snacks category?
- What impact has private label had on the category as shoppers look to stretch the family food budget, and how does that potentially impact the way manufacturers and retailers merchandise the salty snacks category?
- Given how the category skews to a somewhat younger audience, what types of advertising/marketing strategies are manufacturers using with regard to social media, while not losing touch with those consumers who are not as active online?
- What are the major market drivers and competitive threats to the category, and how effectively are manufacturers and retailers managing them?
- What are the top companies and brands doing in terms of innovation to maintain their momentum?
- What do consumers look for from salty snacks and how effectively are manufacturers developing products that are relevant to these shoppers?
- What can salty snacks companies do to maintain and generate interest among consumers while standing out from other categories that are looking to increase their share of shoppers’ wallets?