Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the U.S Potato and Tortilla Chips market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Following years of progressive growth, the potato and tortilla chip category found an additional 10% gain from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which increased at-home meal and snack consumption. These enhanced gains will be relatively short-lived: category sales will begin to fall back to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 as consumers renew their focus on health and slowly resume more out-of-home activities and meals. As the competition for snacking occasions gets increasingly more intense, elevating health perceptions will be an opportunity for some chip types and brands. Still, the most powerful means to maintaining or gaining relevancy can come from reinforcing perceptions of fun and excitement that stem from flavor innovation and tapping into everyday cravings.

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

Quickly understand

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behavior and the potato and tortilla chip market.
  • The impact of past recessions on chip sales and consumption.
  • Motivations for choosing chips.
  • Perceptions by chip type.

Covered in this report

Products featured: Late July Snacks, Good and Gather, Miss Vickie’s, Paqui, Boulder Canyon, Pringles, Lay’s, Rap Snacks, Terra, Real Food From the Ground Up, Kroger, Wildroots and more.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Kaitlin Kamp, 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.

Increased meals and snacking taking place at home not only gave rise to an already flourishing chips category, 2020 reinforced some of the category’s fundamental strengths. Chips are an anchor of the increasingly competitive snack market, not only a dominating sales force, but also delivering on the primary need state – satisfying cravings. Despite diminished occasions often connected with chip consumption, such as social gatherings and sporting events, nearly a third of consumers increased consumption, indicating that, for brands, making connections with everyday occasions is just as valuable as targeting “the big game”. Still, a residual effect of the pandemic will be an increased consumer focus on health: chips are indulgent and to a certain degree, consumers want them to be. Brands will need to balance the health and indulgence spectrum through innovation

Kaitlin Kamp
Food and Drink Analyst

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 forecast of potato and tortilla chips, at current prices, 2015-25
                    • Figure 2: Total US sales and forecast of potato and tortilla chips, at current prices, 2015-25
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on potato and tortilla chips
                    • Figure 3: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on potato and tortilla chips, July 2020
                  • Opportunities and challenges
                    • Re-emergence
                      • Figure 4: Chip consumption frequency, November 2020
                    • Premium ingredients can elevate quality and BFY profile
                      • Figure 5: Chip innovation that motivates trial, November 2020
                    • Recovery
                      • Figure 6: Chip motivations, November 2020
                    • Expand online outreach
                    • The Market – Key Takeaways

                      • At-home snacking boosts chip sales
                        • Tortilla chips slowly gain market share
                          • Everyone wants a share of the snack market
                            • Health concerns are underway
                              • Remind consumers that chips are fun
                                • Tell a BFY story through quality positioning
                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                  • Chip sales get a lift from COVID-19
                                    • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of potato and tortilla chips, at current prices, 2015-25
                                    • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of market, at current prices, 2015-25
                                  • Impact of COVID-19 on potato and tortilla chips
                                    • Figure 9: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on potato and tortilla chips, July 2020
                                  • Lockdown
                                    • Re-emergence
                                      • Recovery
                                        • COVID-19: US context
                                          • Learnings from the last recession
                                            • Figure 10: Total U.S. sales and forecast of tortilla and potato chips, at current prices, 2006-12
                                        • Segment Performance

                                          • Tortilla “chips away” at potato’s share
                                            • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of potato and tortilla chips, by segment, at current prices, 2015-25
                                            • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of potato and tortilla chips, by segment, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
                                          • Supermarkets maintain dominance
                                            • Figure 13: Total US retail sales of potato and tortilla chips, by channel, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
                                        • Market Factors

                                          • How many snacks are too many snacks?
                                            • Figure 14: Snack associations, January 2020
                                          • Increased focus on wellbeing should guide portfolio development
                                            • Figure 15: Foods limited in diet, August 2020
                                          • Alternative vegetable-based chips have a small audience, so far
                                            • Figure 16: Other vegetable-based chips
                                            • Figure 17: product launches by snack segment, % change of total launches, November 2019-2020
                                          • Waning households with children make a case for premium options
                                            • Figure 18: Households, by presence of related children, 2009-19
                                        • Market Opportunities

                                          • Extend the fun beyond the party
                                            • Figure 19: Chip product and marketing examples
                                          • Use quality cues to connect with consumers looking for healthy indulgences
                                            • Figure 20: Chips with BFY or premium positioning
                                          • Packaging improvements are overdue
                                            • Figure 21: Chip products with packaging improvements
                                          • Revive sampling through DTC
                                            • Figure 22: DTC chip and snack models
                                        • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                          • Increased sales leaves category pecking order unchanged
                                            • Brands open the flavor floodgates
                                              • snacks.com changes channel game
                                              • Market Share

                                                • PepsiCo continues to dominate the market
                                                  • Figure 23: Multi-outlet sales of potato and tortilla chips, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                • Brand power remains strong
                                                  • Figure 24: Private label chips with adventurous ingredients and flavors
                                              • Competitive Strategies

                                                • Fun is where the flavor is
                                                  • Figure 25: Chips with unique flavors
                                                  • Figure 26: Chip flavor marketing
                                                • Hot take: bring the heat
                                                  • Figure 27: Chips with spicy flavors
                                                • Grain innovation gains traction
                                                  • Figure 28: Grain-free and ancient-grain chips
                                                • PepsiCo takes its chips online
                                                • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                  • Don’t underestimate the classics
                                                    • Opportunity to boost consumption frequency
                                                      • Craveability more important than occasions
                                                        • Connect the dots between cravings and emotional drivers
                                                          • Health is a secondary consideration
                                                            • Three in ten increased chip consumption during COVID-19
                                                              • Consumers are open to small, BFY improvements
                                                              • Chip Consumption

                                                                • The classics remain the most consumed
                                                                  • Figure 29: Chip consumption, repertoire, November 2020
                                                                • Younger consumers more drawn to flavorful, BFY varieties
                                                                  • Figure 30: Chip consumption, by age, November 2020
                                                                • Parents consume a wider variety of chips
                                                                  • Figure 31: Chip consumption, repertoire, by parental status, November 2020
                                                              • Consumption by Packaging Size/Type

                                                                • Sharing concerns haven’t dented the popularity of big bags
                                                                  • Figure 32: Consumption by packaging size/type, November 2020
                                                                • Versatility and portion control can extend the benefits of single-serving bags to all household sizes
                                                                  • Figure 33: Chip consumption by packaging size/type, by household size, November 2020
                                                              • Chip Consumption Frequency

                                                                • A strong share of infrequent users points to opportunity
                                                                  • Figure 34: Chip consumption frequency, November 2020
                                                                • Young men are the heaviest chip users
                                                                  • Figure 35: Chip consumption frequency, November 2020
                                                              • Chip Consumption Drivers

                                                                • The strongest chip motivators impervious to COVID-19
                                                                  • Figure 36: Chip motivations, November 2020
                                                                • Young women motivated by fun, young men by function
                                                                  • Figure 37: Chip motivations, by age and gender, November 2020
                                                              • Chip Associations

                                                                • Embrace cravings to strengthen emotional connections
                                                                  • Figure 38: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – associations by chip type, November 2020
                                                                  • Figure 39: Chip associations, November 2020
                                                                • Tortilla chips can tap into BFY solo snacking
                                                                  • Figure 40: Chip associations, November 2020
                                                                • Position popped chips for kids
                                                                  • Figure 41: Chip associations, popped chips, by parental status, November 2020
                                                              • Chip Attitudes

                                                                • BFY innovation remains an opportunity for some
                                                                  • Consider a new sampling experience
                                                                    • Figure 42: Chip Attitudes, November 2020
                                                                  • Chips are losing out in health and fun among light users
                                                                    • Figure 43: Crosstab chip attitudes by chip frequency, November 2020
                                                                  • Eco-friendly packaging could inspire young adults to grab chips more frequently
                                                                    • Figure 44: Chip attitudes, by age, November 2020
                                                                • Chip Behaviors

                                                                  • Consumers are game for both the new and familiar
                                                                    • Figure 45: Chip behaviors, November 2020
                                                                  • Consumers double down on chips during COVID-19
                                                                    • Figure 46: Crosstab chip behaviors by chip consumption frequency, November 2020
                                                                  • Younger consumers open to flavor experiences
                                                                    • Figure 47: Crosstab chip behaviors, by age, November 2020
                                                                • Chip Innovation that Motivates Trial

                                                                  • Make BFY improvements, not replacements
                                                                    • Figure 48: Chip innovation that motivates trial, November 2020
                                                                  • Parents are keeping health in mind
                                                                    • Figure 49: Chip innovation that motivates trial, by parental status, November 2020
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                      • Forecast
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                            • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                • Figure 50: Total US retail sales and forecast of potato and tortilla chips, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                • Figure 51: Average household spending on potato and tortilla chips, by segment, 2015-20
                                                                                • Figure 52: Total US retail sales and forecast of potato chips, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of potato chips, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                • Figure 54: Total US retail sales and forecast of tortilla chips, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                • Figure 55: Total US retail sales and forecast of tortilla chips, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                            • Appendix – Retail Channels

                                                                                • Figure 56: Total US retail sales of potato and tortilla chips, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
                                                                                • Figure 57: Total US retail sales of potato and tortilla chips, by channel, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
                                                                                • Figure 58: US supermarket sales of potato and tortilla chips, at current prices, 2015-20
                                                                                • Figure 59: US convenience store sales of potato and tortilla chips, at current prices, 2015-20
                                                                                • Figure 60: US sales of potato and tortilla chips through other retail channels, at current prices, 2015-20
                                                                            • Appendix – Brands and Companies

                                                                                • Figure 61: Multi-outlet sales of potato chips, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                                • Figure 62: Multi-outlet sales of tortilla chips, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                            • Correspondence Analysis –Potato and Tortilla Chips– January 2021

                                                                                • Figure 63: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – associations by chip type, November 2020
                                                                                • Figure 64: Correspondence Analysis – Principal map – associations by chip type, November 2020
                                                                              • Methodology

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