Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Nuts, Seeds and Trail Mix market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

While the COVID-19 pandemic saw huge growth in at-home food consumption, the nuts, seeds and trail mix market didn’t match the performance of other snack categories. With a lot of sales through impulse buys, the closure of most non-essential businesses and the limited time spent inside shops saw purchase opportunities fall. With sales growth already slow prior to 2020, total category sales grew an estimated 1.4%, compared to 1.8% in 2019.

While the category already having an established reputation, the market is mature and is in need of a refresh. The pandemic has helped attract more consumer focus towards health and wellbeing, giving the nuts, seeds and trail mix industry an opportunity to market themselves as a healthy and nutritious alternative to other snack food.

The category strongly aligns with contemporary BFY qualities that consumers are actively seeking, including nutrient density and being protein and plant-based. Innovation can use used to introduce new flavors, functionalities and recipes to encourage usage occasions.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our US Food and Foodservice market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on nuts, seeds and trail mix.
  • Market opportunities.
  • Consumption changes of nuts, seeds and trail mix.
  • Appealing product attributes.

Covered in this report

Products: Snack nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nutritional snacks, trail mixed.

Brands: Kraft Heinz, Planters, Wonderful Company, Blue Diamon Growers, John B Sanfilippo & Son, Campbell Soup, Trader Joe’s, Archer Farms, Walmart, private label.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

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

The pandemic has reinforced consumer interest in health and wellbeing, and driven at-home consumption of nuts, seeds and trail mix. Consumers are seeking comfort, pleasure and satisfaction in healthy snacks, supporting category growth. However, economic uncertainty also reinforces consumer interest in value. This has created challenges for major brands in a context where affordable private label options have been multiplying. Looking forward, health-focused innovation and promotion will remain key. However, growing the market and appealing to younger generations in particular will require innovation in flavors and functionality, and savvy use of social media and the online marketplace.
Mimi Bonnett
Director – US Food and Drink

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Top takeaways
                  • Market overview
                    • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of market, at current prices, 2015–25
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on nuts, seeds and trail mix
                    • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on nuts, seeds and trail mix, July 2020
                  • Opportunities and Challenges
                    • Healthy rep and popularity are watered down by pigeonholed occasions
                      • Figure 3: Attitudes related to usage and variety, October 2020
                    • Opportunities for flavor and functionality innovation
                      • Figure 4: Attitudes related to brand, value, flavor and functionality, for millennials and parents, August 2020
                    • Play up the plant-based protein connections…
                      • …but don’t forget the core: older consumers
                        • Figure 5: TURF Analysis – nuts/seeds/trail mix consumers, October 2020
                    • The Market – Key Takeaways

                      • Five-year growth is slow as consumers demand high value
                        • At-home cooking and quest for healthy snacks boosts sales in 2020
                          • Competition from other snacks is an ongoing challenge
                            • Largest segment – nuts – grows sales as trail mix and seeds struggle
                              • Opportunities in new flavors and online, delivery and subscription services
                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                • Slow growth gets modest pandemic-driven boost
                                  • Figure 6: Total US sales and forecast of nut, seed and trail mix market, at current prices, 2015-25
                                  • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of market, at current prices, 2015–25
                                • Key Macroeconomic Indicators
                                  • Figure 8: US. Unemployment, April 2018–September 2020
                                  • Figure 9: U.S. Consumer Confidence, January 2019–October 2020
                                • Impact of COVID-19 on nuts, seeds and trail mix
                                  • Figure 10: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on nuts, seeds and trail mix, July 2020
                                • Opportunities and Challenges
                                  • Lockdown
                                    • Re-emergence
                                      • Recovery
                                        • COVID-19: US context
                                          • Learnings from the last recession
                                          • Segment Performance

                                            • Nuts find modest gains, while trail mix slows and seeds struggle
                                              • Figure 11: total US retail sales and forecast of nuts, seeds, and trail mix, by segment, at current prices, 2015–2020
                                            • “Other retail channels” account for the majority of sales
                                              • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of nuts, seeds, and trail mix, by channel, at current prices, 2019 and 2020
                                          • Market Factors

                                            • Obesity and COVID epidemics will increase demand for foods supporting weight loss
                                              • Strong interest in wellness, nutrition and BFY foods and snacks
                                                • Demographic trends shape growth in nut/seed/trail mix
                                                  • Figure 13: US Population by Generation, 2015–25
                                                • Demand is high for snacks – but so is competition
                                                  • Figure 14: Total US retail sales and forecast of salty snacks, by segment, 2014–24
                                                • Interest in plant-based protein a positive driver for nuts and seeds
                                                  • Figure 15: Protein opinions, March 2020
                                              • Market Opportunities

                                                • Flavor innovation can create brand loyalty
                                                  • Figure 16: Snack flavor experience and interest, tier three flavors, November 2019
                                                • Play up the plant-based proteins
                                                  • Figure 17: TURF Analysis – nuts/seeds/trail mix consumers, October 2020
                                                • Online marketplace
                                                  • Figure 18: Most recent purchase, by generation, October 2020
                                              • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                • Private label offerings build share and propel category growth
                                                  • Private label brands are getting creative
                                                    • Modest growth for Planters and Wonderful
                                                    • Market Share

                                                      • Private label gains share and propel category growth
                                                        • Kraft Heinz. Wonderful find modest growth while others flounder
                                                          • Figure 19: MULO sales of nuts, seeds and trail mix, by company, rolling 52-weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                        • Private labels go functional and flavorful
                                                          • Planters, Wonderful target young, active adults through sports and beer
                                                            • Figure 20: Wonderful, Mouth Guards, November 2020
                                                          • Brands target expanded occasions with recipes, celebrity chef partnerships
                                                            • Figure 21: Planters with Josh Elkin, 2020
                                                        • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                          • Nearly nine in 10 consume nuts, seeds or trail mix
                                                            • Grocery stores lead in highly diversified retail landscape
                                                              • Pandemic stocking up, health drive increase purchase
                                                                • Protein, functionality point to opportunities for category
                                                                  • A quest for Wellbeing drives consumer behavior in the category
                                                                    • Consumers crave new taste experiences
                                                                      • Value is fundamental
                                                                      • Nuts, Seeds and Trail Mix Purchase

                                                                        • Almost nine in 10 consume nuts, seeds and trail mixes
                                                                          • Figure 22: Purchase of nuts, seeds, and trail mix, October 2020
                                                                        • Gen X and older eat more nuts, Gen Z more seeds
                                                                          • Figure 23: Purchase of nuts, seeds, and trail mix, by generation, October 2020
                                                                        • Gen Z shift to seeds driven by chia
                                                                          • Figure 24: Consumption of select nuts, by generation, October 2020
                                                                        • Parents purchase more nuts, seeds and trail mix
                                                                          • Figure 25: Purchase of nuts, seeds and trail mix, by parental status, October 2020
                                                                        • Higher-income households buy more nuts, seeds and trail mix
                                                                          • Figure 26: Purchase of nuts, seeds and trail mix, by household income, October 2020
                                                                      • Purchase Locations

                                                                        • Grocery stores are leading retail channel
                                                                          • Figure 27: Purchase location, October 2020
                                                                        • Women stick to grocery stores, while men turn to range of channels
                                                                          • Figure 28: Purchase location, by gender, October 2020
                                                                        • Older consumers prefer larger, brick and mortar retailers
                                                                          • Figure 29: Purchase location, by generation, October 2020
                                                                          • Figure 30: Purchase location, by generation, part ii, October 2020
                                                                        • Convenience and value are drivers for consumers on both sides of the income spectrum
                                                                          • Figure 31: Purchase location, by household income, October 2020
                                                                      • Online versus In-store Purchase

                                                                        • About a third made their most recent purchase online
                                                                          • Figure 32: Most recent purchase, by gender, October 2020
                                                                        • Millennials far more likely to make recent purchase online
                                                                          • Figure 33: Most recent purchase, by generation, October 2020
                                                                        • Many affluent consumers made recent purchases online
                                                                          • Figure 34: Most recent purchase, by household income, October 2020
                                                                        • Parents twice as likely to buy online
                                                                          • Figure 35: Most recent purchase, by parental status, October 2020
                                                                      • Consumption Occasions

                                                                        • Strong ties to snacking drive personal consumption
                                                                          • Figure 36: For whom nuts/seeds are purchased, October 2020
                                                                        • Grow Gen Z, Millennial engagement through ingredient use
                                                                          • Figure 37: usage of nuts/seeds as ingredients or toppings, by generation, October 2020
                                                                      • Changes in Purchase

                                                                        • Almost half report buying more nuts, seeds and trail mix than a year ago
                                                                          • Figure 38: purchase change, October 2020
                                                                        • Increase is highest for nuts, with seeds and trail mix not far behind
                                                                          • Figure 39: Purchase changes, October 2020
                                                                      • Reasons for Increased Purchase

                                                                        • Health is at the core of increased purchase
                                                                          • Figure 40: Reasons for increased usage, October 2020
                                                                        • New flavors and specific health claims motivate men to buy more
                                                                          • Figure 41: Reasons for increased usage, by gender, October 2020
                                                                        • A range of factors propel Millennials to buy more
                                                                          • Figure 42: Reasons for increased usage, by generation, October 2020
                                                                      • Reasons for Reduced Consumption

                                                                        • Reduced snacking triggers cutbacks
                                                                          • Figure 43: Reasons for decreased usage, October 2020
                                                                      • Snack Perceptions

                                                                          • Figure 44: Perceptions – October 2020
                                                                          • Figure 45: Perceptions – October 2020
                                                                        • Taste and nutrition lead category perceptions
                                                                          • Figure 46: attributes associated with nuts, seeds or trail mix, October 2020
                                                                        • Gen Zs require a refresh
                                                                          • Figure 47: attributes associated with nuts, seeds or trail mix, by generation, October 2020
                                                                        • Hispanics over-index for range of positive associations
                                                                          • Figure 48: attributes associated with nuts, seeds or trail mix, by Hispanic origin, October 2020
                                                                      • Appealing Product Attributes

                                                                        • Are brands missing the plant-based protein boat?
                                                                          • Figure 49: appealing attributes of nuts/seeds/trail mix, October 2020
                                                                        • TURF analysis shows value of flavor innovation
                                                                          • Figure 50: TURF Analysis – nuts/seeds/trail mix consumers, October 2020
                                                                          • Figure 51: Table – TURF Analysis – nuts/seeds/trail mix consumers, October 2020
                                                                        • Low sugar, portion and flavor resonate with women
                                                                          • Figure 52: appealing attributes of nuts/seeds/trail mix, by gender, October 2020
                                                                        • Older generations value low-sugar, low-salt and heart-healthy options
                                                                          • Figure 53: appealing attributes of nuts/seeds/trail mix, by generation, October 2020
                                                                        • Hispanics more likely to value low-salt, heart- and brain-healthy products
                                                                          • Figure 54: appealing attributes of nuts/seeds/trail mix, by Hispanic origin, October 2020
                                                                      • Nuts, Seeds and Trail Mix Attitudes

                                                                        • Healthy rep and popularity are watered down by pigeonholed occasions
                                                                          • Figure 55: Attitudes related to usage and variety, October 2020
                                                                        • Other attitudes show brand allegiance and price consciousness
                                                                          • Figure 56: Attitudes related to brand, value and cost, October 2020
                                                                        • Both new flavors and functional benefits may help attract more buyers
                                                                          • Figure 57: Attitudes related to flavor and functional benefits, October 2020
                                                                        • Men more motivated by innovation in variety, flavors and functionality
                                                                          • Figure 58: Attitudes, by gender, October 2020
                                                                        • Millennials will DIY trail mix without innovation
                                                                          • Figure 59: Attitudes by generation, October 2020
                                                                        • More-affluent households turn to bulk bins, make their own mixes
                                                                          • Figure 60: Attitudes by household income, October 2020
                                                                        • Parents want adult options
                                                                          • Figure 61: Attitudes by parental status, October 2020
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Sales data
                                                                            • Forecast
                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                      • TURF Methodology
                                                                                      • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                          • Figure 62: total US retail sales and forecast of nuts, seeds, and trail mix, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015–2025
                                                                                          • Figure 63: Total US retail sales and forecast of nuts, at current prices, 2015–2025
                                                                                          • Figure 64: Total US retail sales and forecast of nuts, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015–2025
                                                                                          • Figure 65: Total US retail sales and forecast of seeds, at current prices, 2015–2025
                                                                                          • Figure 66: Total US retail sales and forecast of seeds, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015–2025
                                                                                          • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of trail mix, at current prices, 2015–2025
                                                                                          • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and forecast of trail mix, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015–2025
                                                                                      • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                          • Figure 69: Multi-outlet sales of nuts, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                                          • Figure 70: Multi-outlet sales of seeds, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                                          • Figure 71: Multi-outlet sales of trail mix, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020

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