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US Salty Snacks market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Salty Snacks market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Owen, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The nearly $12 billion salty snacks market continues turn in a strong performance driven by the increasing prevalence of snacking. Meat snacks, popcorn, and cheese snacks are the category’s three largest segments and are responsible for much of the growth. New flavors and varieties are key to continued growth, as the heaviest snackers look for new snacking experiences.John Owen
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

Definition

This Report builds off of the analysis presented in Mintel’s Salty Snacks – US, April 2017 Report and previous iterations of salty snack Reports.

This Report covers the following segments:

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Corn snacks (excluding tortilla chips)
  • Meat snacks (ie jerky and other dried meat snacks)
  • Cheese snacks (excluding cheese crackers such as Cheez-It)
  • Pork rinds (added in 2017)

Note: This Report does not cover chips. For information on chips please see Mintel’s US Potato and Tortilla Chips – US, February 2018

What you need to know

The nearly $12 billion salty snacks market continues turn in a strong performance driven by the increasing prevalence of snacking. Meat snacks, popcorn, and cheese snacks are the category’s three largest segments and are responsible for much of the growth. New flavors and varieties are key to continued growth, as the heaviest snackers look for new snacking experiences.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Salty snacks maintain momentum
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of salty snacks, at current prices, 2012-22
          • Salty snacks nearly universal, but individual types have room to grow
            • Figure 2: Salty snack purchase, December 2017
          • Apart from meat snacks, expectations for nutrition, health benefits is low
            • Figure 3: Salty snack characteristics – Any snack net, December 2017
          • The opportunities
            • Younger snackers look for variety
              • Figure 4: Salty snack behaviors, by age, December 2017
            • Heaviest snackers prioritize taste, but want healthy options too
              • Figure 5: Salty snack attitudes, by repertoire of salty snacks purchase, December 2017
            • Make pretzels a medium for new flavor exploration
              • Figure 6: Pretzel product interest, by repertoire of salty snacks purchase, December 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Salty snacks maintain momentum
                • Performance varies across diverse range of segments
                  • Snacking continues to grow more prevalent
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Salty snacks maintain momentum
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of salty snacks, at current prices, 2012-22
                      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of salty snacks, at current prices, 2012-22
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Performance varies across diverse range of segments
                      • Figure 9: Share of total US sales of salty snacks, by segment, 2017
                    • Protein trend drives meat snacks
                      • Cheetos defines cheese snacks
                        • Premium ready-to-eat brand drive popcorn growth
                          • Figure 10: Total US sales of salty snacks, by segment, 2012-17
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Potato and tortilla chips provide competition for other salty snacks
                          • Figure 11: Sales of potato and tortilla chips, by segment, 2012-17
                      • Market Factors

                        • Snacking continues to grow more prevalent
                          • Figure 12: Snacking frequency, March 2017
                        • Number of households with children down for now
                          • Figure 13: Households, by presence of own children, 2007-17
                        • Rise in health issues puts spotlight on better-for-you snacks
                          • Figure 14: Growth in health issues in the US, 2013-15
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • PepsiCo strengthens its lead but faces intensified competition
                          • Ready-to-eat popcorn continues to gain
                            • Cheetos experiential marketing aligns with experiential products
                              • Functional snacking
                              • Company Sales of Salty Snacks

                                • PepsiCo strengthens its lead but faces intensified competition
                                  • Ready-to-eat popcorn acquisition may help ConAgra reverse declines
                                    • Campbell Soup becomes major player in snacking with Snyder’s-Lance
                                      • Hershey expands snacks presence with Amplify acquisition
                                        • Sales of salty snacks by company
                                          • Figure 15: Multi-outlet sales of salty snacks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                      • What’s Working?

                                        • Ready-to-eat popcorn continues to gain
                                          • Figure 16: Multi-outlet sales of popcorn, by sub-segment, 2012-17*
                                        • Cheetos experiential marketing aligns with experiential products
                                          • Smaller meat snack brands gain momentum
                                          • What’s Struggling?

                                            • Pretzels ready for reinvention
                                            • What’s Next?

                                              • Functional snacking
                                                • Extending salty snacks into new occasions
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Salty snacks nearly universal, but individual types have room to grow
                                                    • Apart from meat snacks, expectations for nutrition, health benefits is low
                                                      • Younger snackers look for variety
                                                        • Heaviest snackers prioritize taste, but want healthy options too
                                                        • Salty Snack Purchase

                                                          • Salty snacks nearly universal, but individual types have room to grow
                                                            • Figure 17: Salty snack purchase, December 2017
                                                          • Youngest adults purchase most widely, 34-54s not far behind
                                                            • Figure 18: Salty snack purchase, by age, December 2017
                                                          • Larger households purchase wider variety of salty snacks
                                                            • Figure 19: Salty snack purchase, by household size, December 2017
                                                          • Hispanic consumers more likely to purchase most types of salty snacks
                                                            • Figure 20: Salty snack purchase, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2017
                                                        • Salty Snacks Characteristics

                                                          • Apart from meat snacks, expectations for nutrition, health benefits is low
                                                            • Figure 21: Salty snack characteristics, December 2017
                                                          • Health and nutrition priorities shift modestly by age
                                                            • Figure 22: Salty snack characteristics – Popcorn, by age, December 2017
                                                            • Figure 23: Salty snack characteristics – Meat snacks, by age, December 2017
                                                        • Pretzel Product Interest

                                                          • Make pretzels a medium for new flavor exploration
                                                            • Figure 24: Pretzel product interest, by repertoire of salty snacks purchase, December 2017
                                                        • Meat Snack Product Interest

                                                          • Younger purchasers more likely to be interested in new forms
                                                            • Figure 25: Meat snacks product interest, by age, December 201
                                                        • Popcorn Product Interest

                                                          • All-natural ranks high in interest for popcorn
                                                            • Figure 26: Popcorn product interest, December 2017
                                                          • Heaviest snackers look for variety in popcorn
                                                            • Figure 27: Popcorn product interest, by repertoire of salty snacks purchase, December 2017
                                                        • Salty Snack Behaviors

                                                          • Opportunities for healthier, more nutrient-dense salty snacks
                                                            • Figure 28: Salty snack behaviors, December 2017
                                                          • Younger snackers look for variety
                                                            • Figure 29: Salty snack behaviors, by age, December 2017
                                                        • Salty Snack Attitudes

                                                          • Microwave popcorn may be ready for reinvention
                                                            • Figure 30: Salty snack attitudes, December 2017
                                                          • Heaviest snackers prioritize taste, but want healthy options too
                                                            • Figure 31: Salty snack attitudes, by repertoire of salty snacks purchase, December 2017
                                                        • Correspondence Analysis – Salty Snack Occasions

                                                          • Methodology
                                                            • Many similarities across types, with a few key exploitable differences
                                                              • Meat snacks could capture stress relief
                                                                • Opportunity for popcorn to strengthen on-the-go consumption
                                                                  • Pretzels not uniquely associated with any use occasion
                                                                    • Figure 32: Correspondence Analysis – Salty snack occasion consumption, December 2017
                                                                    • Figure 33: Salty snack occasion consumption, December 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 34: Total US sales and forecast of salty snacks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Total US sales and forecast of cheese snacks, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Total US sales and forecast of popcorn, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Figure 37: Total US sales and forecast of pretzels, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Figure 38: Total US sales and forecast of corn snacks, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Total US sales and forecast of meat snacks, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Total US sales and forecast of pork rinds, at current prices, 2012-22
                                                                                  • Figure 41: Total US retail sales of salty snacks, by channel, at current prices, 2012-2017
                                                                              • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                  • Figure 42: Multi-outlet sales of cheese snacks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 43: Multi-outlet sales of popcorn, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 44: Multi-outlet sales of pretzels, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 45: Multi-outlet sales of corn snacks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 46: Multi-outlet sales of meat snacks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 47: Multi-outlet sales of pork rinds, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017