Within the overall salty snacks category, popcorn, cheese snacks, meat snacks and corn snacks are among the smaller segments. Nonetheless, they still collectively generated nearly $5 billion in total 2010 U.S. sales. Moreover, with the exception of corn snacks, annual sales for each of the other segments in the report exceed $1 billion, so small is a relative term. What makes this achievement more impressive is that it has occurred during one of the more difficult economic periods in U.S. history. Although not entirely immune to the recession, these salty snack segments have a price point that makes them an affordable indulgence or cost-effective snack.
This report offers analysis of how the salty snacks category performed in 2010 and provides insights on critical topics that could hold the key to success or failure. The snacking industry is not only a major part of Americans’ lives, but is a key source of revenue for retailers and manufacturers alike. With this in mind, the report addresses the following topics:
- Given the struggling economy, what has the category been doing to maintain consumer loyalty when shoppers have lots of food options to choose from?
- What factors have had the greatest influence on individual segment performance, and what are manufacturers doing to manage current and future challenges?
- Considering all of the media coverage regarding obesity issues, what are manufacturers doing to educate consumers regarding how they can still enjoy snacking sensibly and incorporate fun-for-you products into their diets?
- Although the snack industry is perceived as being fairly recession-proof, what role do household income, gender, race/Hispanic origin and other demographic factors play in its sales performance?
- Have private label manufacturers been able to effectively leverage economic concerns to increase their share of the snacking business? What are name brand companies doing to convince recession-wary consumers that their products are worth paying for?
- What kind of marketing strategies and tools are manufacturers using to connect with their target audiences? What role does social media and other online initiatives play in how salty snacks are marketed?
- Who are the top companies and how are their major brands performing? What are they doing in terms of innovation to address consumers’ ever-changing needs?
- What differences and similarities are there among consumers across salty snack segments and how can they be leveraged to maximize sales opportunities?
- What can be learned from consumers’ buying behavior and how are manufacturers using this information to maintain relevance to shoppers who are confronted by an increasing number of products and shopping formats?