“Increased snacking continues, as habits built during the pandemic have translated into new routines and expanded occasions. Unique flavor innovation can be the key to blurring the line between healthy and indulgent snacks, as consumers increasingly seek both BFY and comforting ingredients.”

– Sydney Riebe, Analyst, US Food & Drink Reports

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Nutritional ingredients that demonstrate health, taste and premium
  • Consumer interest in functionality in snacks
  • Flavor interest and experience in snacks
  • Snack attitudes surrounding flavor

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • A familiar foothold can go a long way for flavor trial
    • Flavor is the key to BFY and indulgent middle ground
    • Endless space for flavor innovation on the internet
    • Consumer trends
    • Consumers lean on familiar elements when exploring flavor
      • Figure 1: Interest in and experience with snack flavors, 2023
    • Snacks serve different functions across gender
      • Figure 2: Healthy snack ingredient associations, by gender, 2023
    • Consumers seek clear flavor and ingredient messaging in premium snacks
      • Figure 3: Select premium snack associations – Ingredients, by generation, 2023
    • Competitive strategies
    • Brand collaboration keeps the spark alive during economic uncertainty
      • Figure 4: Examples of brand collaboration in snacks, 2022
    • Social media promotes boldness in the snacking world
      • Figure 5: Viral snack challenges, 2022
    • Opportunities
    • Flavor can marry BFY with indulgent
      • Figure 6: Snack attitudes, 2023
    • Approach functional ingredients in snacks holistically
      • Figure 7: Interest in select functional benefits, by generation, 2023
    • New retail channels allow space for flavor innovation
      • Figure 8: Salty snack purchase location, 2021-22
  3. State of the Market

    • Future salty snack success has room for more BFY indulgence
      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of snacks, by segment, at current prices, 2020-22
    • Flavor exploration drives salty snack consumption
      • Figure 10: Reasons for increased salty snack consumption, 2022
  4. Market Drivers

    • Demand for value calls for flavor-BFY ingredient combos
      • Figure 11: Change in salty snack consumption, by financial status, 2022
    • Sticky flexible work styles stimulate snack needs
      • Figure 12: Change in salty snack consumption, by work-from-home status, 2022
  5. Product Development – Now – What’s Trending

    • Versatile dill pickle has universal generational appeal
      • Figure 13: Experience and interest in dill pickle as a flavor in snacks, by generation, 2023
      • Figure 14: Dill pickle flavor snack introductions, 2022-23
    • Brands set the stage to go deep with build-inspired innovation
      • Figure 15: Snack choice attitudes, 2023
      • Figure 16: Entrée-based snack introductions, 2022-23
    • Marrying fancy ingredients = BFY and premium
      • Figure 17: Sea salt and avocado oil pairings in new snack launches, 2020-23
      • Figure 18: Snack introductions with premium salts and avocado oil, 2022-23
    • Churro’s rise takes salty snacks sweet
      • Figure 19: New snack introductions featuring churro flavor, 2020-22
      • Figure 20: Churro-flavored snack innovation, 2022-23
  6. Product Development – Near – What to Watch For

    • Trending peppers 2.0 continue to heat up the snack aisle
      • Figure 21: Snack introductions with chili varietals, 2022
    • Brands try to make tangy the new spicy
      • Figure 22: New snack introductions featuring tangy flavors, 2020-22
      • Figure 23: Tangy snack introductions, 2022-23
  7. Product Development – Next – What’s in the Pipeline

    • Growing Korean flavors have budding audience in Gen Zs
      • Figure 24: Interest in kimchi flavor in snacks, by generation, 2023
      • Figure 25: Korean-inspired snack innovation, 2022
    • International sauces spill into the snack space
      • Figure 26: Experience with international sauce types in salty snacks versus dips and sauces, 2022 and 2023
      • Figure 27: Snack introductions with international sauce flavors, 2021-22
  8. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Brands keep excitement, trial alive as food budgets shrink
      • Figure 28: Examples of brand collaboration in snacks, 2022
    • Brands push extreme boundaries with flavor-forward social strategies
      • Figure 29: Viral snack challenges, 2022
    • Broader distribution systems expedite discovery and exploration
      • Figure 30: Salty snack purchase location, 2021-22
  9. The Consumer – Fast Facts

    • The familiar can help guide consumers into flavor trial
    • Health perceptions indicate simple is fine
    • Premium perceptions and health are intertwined, flavor benefits both
    • Functionality may be the bridge between health and premium in snacks
    • Indulgence can wear many hats
  10. Flavor Segmentation through the Snacker Lens

    • Risk Averse
    • Flavor Seekers
    • Tentative Tasters
    • Dining Explorers
      • Figure 31: The salty snack consumer, by flavor segmentation, 2023
      • Figure 32: Flavor segmentation, demographic profiles, indexed against all consumers, 2023
  11. New Flavor Trial by Snack Type

    • Classic snacks ease consumers into new flavors
      • Figure 33: New flavor trial, by snack type, 2023
    • Tentative Tasters more likely to take flavor risks across formats
      • Figure 34: New flavor trial, by snack type, by flavor segmentation, 2023
  12. Healthy Ingredient Snack Associations

    • Simple still rules with health connotations
      • Figure 35: Healthy ingredient snack associations, 2023
    • Women are more in tune with healthy ingredients
      • Figure 36: Healthy snack ingredient associations, by gender, 2023
    • Emerging ingredients
      • Figure 37: Healthy snack ingredient associations, by flavor segment, 2023
  13. Premium Ingredient Snack Associations

    • Premium and healthy go hand-in-hand
      • Figure 38: Premium ingredient snack associations, 2023
    • Consumers call for simplicity across generations in premium snacks…
      • Figure 39: Select premium snack associations – Ingredients, by generation, 2023
    • …yet, nuanced ingredient matters are the future of snacks
      • Figure 40: Select premium snack associations – Flavors, by generation, 2023
  14. Functional Benefit Interest

    • Partner multi-tiered functional benefits to reach wider audience
      • Figure 41: Functional benefit interest, 2023
      • Figure 42: TURF Analysis – Interest in functional benefits, 2023
    • Tap into flavor to put the fun in function
      • Figure 43: Interest in select functional benefits, by generation, 2023
    • Younger consumers interested in mental health benefits
      • Figure 44: Interest in select functional benefits, by generation, 2023
  15. Interest in and Experience with Snack Flavors

    • Familiarity at the core of flavor exploration
      • Figure 45: Interest in and experience with snack flavors, 2023
    • Set flavor expectations with education
      • Figure 46: Interest in and experience with snack flavors, 2023
    • Menu inspired varietals land with Flavor Seekers, Dining Explorers
      • Figure 47: Interest in and experience with select snack flavors, by flavor segment, 2023
  16. Snack Attitudes

    • Unique flavors can change health perceptions of snacks
      • Figure 48: Snack attitudes, 2023
    • Meet in the middle of health and indulgence
      • Figure 49: Snack attitudes, by generation, 2023
  17. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • TURF analysis methodology
    • Flavor segmentation methodology
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

About the report

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