Description

“In 2022, snack consumption has largely not changed in comparison to the pre-pandemic era, with few notable exceptions. Potato chips remain king of the salty snack category, but cheese snacks are seeing significantly increased consumption and Hershey’s foray into the salty snack category is resulting in some new and innovative flavours – particularly with its Reese’s brand. Consumers are gathering and hosting more, and are more comfortable with shareable snacks, re-opening an avenue for salty snack brands to increase post-pandemic consumption.”
–    Michael Lloy, Senior Tech & Media Analyst
This Report looks at the following areas:

  • What salty snack products have Canadians consumed over the past three months.
  • Are Canadians salty snacking more or less than one year ago, and why.
  • What activities do Canadians associate with particular salty snacks.
  • What kinds of innovation are Canadians interested in with respect to salty snacks.
  • How is the state of the economy impacting salty snack consumption.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Top takeaways
            • Market overview
              • The salty snacks outlook
                • Figure 1: Category outlook, Salty Snacks, 2022-27
              • Opportunities
                • Social snacking re-opens doors the pandemic had shut
                  • Brands can tackle health concerns with compromises
                    • Challenges
                      • Economic challenges may result in cut profits for snacking brands
                      • Market Factors – Economic Indicators

                        • Consumers’ eating habits are developed while young
                          • Figure 2: Distribution of weight, by age, 2020
                        • Inflation is a top-of-mind concern for most Canadians
                          • Figure 3: Canadian Consumer Price Index, 2020-22
                        • Household savings have plateaued around 5%
                          • Figure 4: Canadian household savings rate, Q1 2019-Q3 2022
                        • Canada’s aging population will likely put pressure on younger Canadians
                          • Figure 5: Canadian population age projections, yearly, 2000-40
                        • Diversity among future generations is projected to increase
                          • Figure 6: Canadian population age projections, yearly, 1981-2040
                      • Competitive Strategies

                        • Premiumization has slowed due to economic hiccups, but has not stopped
                          • Figure 7: Royal Nuts Twitter post, October 2022
                          • Figure 8: EPIC Provisions Instagram post, January 2022
                        • Snacks that have traditionally been ‘sweet’ are entering the fray as new challengers to the ‘salty’ category
                          • Figure 9: Reese’s Canada Instagram post, September 2022
                          • Figure 10: Hershey’s Chipits Canada Instagram post, November 2022
                          • Figure 11: Going Nuts Facebook post, November 2022
                        • Brands can capitalize on eco-friendly sustainability
                          • Figure 12: Frito-Lay Instagram post, June 2022
                          • Figure 13: Epic Provisions Facebook post, October 2022
                        • Health-related salty snacks have a defined niche, and brands are still working to innovate there
                          • Figure 14: Moon Cheese Instagram post, August 2022
                          • Figure 15: Kernels Popcorn Facebook post, May 2022
                          • Figure 16: Royal Nuts Instagram post, March 2022
                          • Figure 17: Planters Canada Instagram post, September 2022
                          • Figure 18: Planters Peanuts Instagram post, September 2022
                      • Salty Snacks: Fast Facts

                        • Consumer Snacking Choices

                          • The pandemic could not hold back potato chips
                            • Figure 19: Salty snacks consumed in the past three months, 2019 vs 2022
                            • Figure 20: Moon Cheese Instagram post, June 2022
                          • Healthy snacks are bottom of the barrel, but more popular among younger Canadians
                              • Figure 21: Healthy snacks consumed in the past three months, by age and gender, 2022
                            • Woman are driving popcorn consumption
                              • Figure 22: Popcorn consumption in the past three months, by age and gender, 2022
                            • Older consumers were more likely to have indulged in crackers and nuts
                                • Figure 23: Crackers and nuts consumption in the past three months, by age and gender, 2022
                              • Among other snacks, women are driving consumption
                                  • Figure 24: Salty snack consumption in the past three months, by age and gender, 2022
                                • Parents are more likely to have snacked than non-parents …
                                    • Figure 25: Snacks consumed in the past three months, by parental status, 2022
                                  • … but moms are driving higher rates of parental snacking
                                    • Figure 26: Snacks consumed in the past three months, moms vs dads, 2022
                                  • With the economy is tight as it is, snacking is a luxury not available to everybody
                                    • Figure 27: Salty snack consumption in the past three months, by household income, 2022
                                    • Figure 28: Great Value All Dressed Rippled Flavoured Potato Chips (Canada), May 2018
                                  • Ethnic dietary habits are driving some interesting snacking behaviour
                                      • Figure 29: Salty snack consumption in the past three months, by race, 2022
                                    • Canada’s regional demographics also play a part in snacking choices
                                        • Figure 30: Salty snack consumption in the past three months, by race, 2022
                                      • Half of consumers will impulse-buy salty snacks, but most think it’s okay to indulge
                                          • Figure 31: Choice-related attitudes towards salty snacks (% agree), 2022
                                      • Snacktivities

                                          • Snacking (on salty snacks) is a cathartic and relaxing activity
                                            • Figure 32: Occasions associated with each salty snack, 2022
                                          • Healthier snacks garner higher association with lunches, leisure and working/studying
                                            • Figure 33: Occasions associated with health snacks and nuts, 2022
                                          • Women more likely to associate most occasions with health snacks
                                            • Figure 34: Occasions associated with health snacks, men vs women, 2022
                                          • Watching TV equals chips and popcorn
                                            • Figure 35: Occasions associated with chips and popcorn, 2022
                                            • Figure 36: Kernels Popcorn Twitter post, August 2022
                                          • Chips for male gamers, popcorn for female late night snackers
                                            • Figure 37: Occasions associated with chips and popcorn (select), men vs women, 2022
                                            • Figure 38: Planters Canada Instagram post, September 2022
                                        • Shifting Snacking Habits

                                          • Over the past year, most consumers have not changed their snacking habits
                                            • Figure 39: Snacking consumption compared to last year, 2022
                                            • Figure 40: Snacking consumption compared to last year, by age, 2022
                                          • Income is, unsurprisingly, also driving shifting snacking habits
                                            • Figure 41: Snacking consumption compared to last year, by household income, 2022
                                          • Snack brands should consider Canada’s changing demographics
                                            • Figure 42: Snacking consumption compared to last year, Chinese and South Asian consumers vs overall, 2022
                                            • Figure 43: Kurkure Masala Munch Snack (India), May 2022
                                          • Consumers that report eating more salty snacks this year are snacking more at home
                                            • Figure 44: Reasons for eating more salty snacks compared to last year, 2022
                                          • Stress is a top motivator for snacking more often – especially among women
                                            • Figure 45: Reasons for eating more salty snacks compared to last year, men vs women, 2022
                                            • Figure 46: Planters Instagram post, March 2022
                                          • Male salty snack consumption is up due to increased social snacking as well as new flavour curiosity
                                            • Figure 47: Ruffles Deep In Thought | :15, February 2022
                                            • Figure 48: Planters Instagram post, January 2022
                                          • The slowing of the pandemic may be contributing to increased social snacking
                                            • Figure 49: Post-pandemic snacking attitudes (% agree), 2022
                                          • Older consumers are less willing to share their snacks with friends …
                                            • Figure 50: Post-pandemic snack sharing (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                          • … and are significantly less likely to be comfortable hosting guests
                                            • Figure 51: Post-pandemic comfort with hosting (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                            • Figure 52: Frito-Lay Instagram post, October 2022
                                          • Health is a primary concern for consumers who are avoiding snacks this year
                                            • Figure 53: Reasons for eating less salty snacks compared to last year, 2022
                                            • Figure 54: Reasons for eating more salty snacks compared to last year, 18-54 vs over-55s, 2022
                                            • Figure 55: Royal Nuts Facebook post, March 2022
                                          • Luckily for brands, consumers are willing to compromise for healthier (low sodium) options
                                            • Figure 56: Flavour compromise for health (% agree), by age, 2022
                                        • Salty About the Economy

                                          • Consumers are looking to cut costs, and are willing to sacrifice brand loyalty to do so
                                            • Figure 57: Moon Cheese Facebook post, November 2022
                                            • Figure 58: Economic attitudes related to salty snacks (% agree), 2022
                                          • Older consumers are less willing to change their purchase habits to save money, and also exhibit less brand loyalty
                                            • Figure 59: Economic attitudes related to salty snacks (% agree), by age, 2022
                                          • Parents were also significantly more likely than non-parents to try to find savings
                                            • Figure 60: Economic attitudes related to salty snacks (% agree), by parental status, 2022
                                          • Asian consumers are more likely to accept smaller portions and buy in bulk
                                            • Figure 61: Economic attitudes related to salty snacks (% agree), by race, 2022
                                          • Are rising prices really having an effect on salty snack consumption?
                                          • Innovation & Flavour

                                            • In terms of innovation aside from flavour, consumers are most interested in re-sealable packaging
                                              • Figure 62: Interest in salty snack innovation, 2022
                                              • Figure 63: Lidl Raw Mixed Nuts (US), December 2021
                                            • Younger women are driving desire for environmental sustainability and re-usability
                                              • Figure 64: Frito-Lay Instagram post, May 2022
                                              • Figure 65: Interest in non-flavour salty snack innovation, by age and gender, 2022
                                            • However, consumers do want snack brands to have a small environmental footprint
                                              • Figure 66: It’s important for makers of salty snacks to limit the environmental impact of their products (% agree), by age and gender 2022
                                            • Localism is nearly important as re-sealable packaging for Canadians
                                              • Figure 67: Going Nuts Instagram post, November 2022
                                            • Older consumers are more concerned about a snack’s Canadian origin
                                              • Figure 68: Interest in made/grown in Canada, by age, 2022
                                            • Consumers are most interested in savoury and sour flavours
                                              • Figure 69: Interest in salty snack innovation, 2022
                                              • Figure 70: Kettle Brand Instagram post, May 2022
                                              • Figure 71: Bad Monkey Popcorn Facebook post, November 2022
                                            • Older consumers are less adventurous when it comes to flavour
                                              • Figure 72: Interest in flavour innovation, by age, 2022
                                              • Figure 73: Ruffles Instagram post, November 2022
                                            • Black and South Asian Canadians are more likely to be interested in spicy flavours
                                              • Figure 74: Interest in flavour innovation, by race, 2022
                                            • Nostalgia and ingrained eating habits are the largest barriers to flavour innovation
                                              • Figure 75: “I prefer familiar flavours and products compared to more innovative flavours and products” (% agree), by age and gender, 2022
                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                            • Data sources
                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                  • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                        • Terms

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