This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Snacks market including US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Snacks market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, flavor trends for snacks, and snacks trends in the US.

Current market landscape

Altered routines and increased time at home, driven by the pandemic, have contributed to a continued boost in 2021 snack sales. Looking ahead, snack brands will be challenged to maintain engagement in an increasingly crowded and competitive category. This reflects the need for purposeful flavor and ingredient innovation in order to stand out.

While many gravitate toward the sense of comfort and familiarity that snacks provide, consumers have intentions to reestablish healthy habits as they settle into their “next normal.” Almost three in five (58%) moms are seeking more snacks with functional benefits, and these parents’ snack purchases will help shape the initial snack consumption patterns of the rising generation. Brands should focus on BFY snack innovations, while keeping in mind that flavor trumps all when it comes to snacks.

Future trending ingredients in snacks

Gen Z and Millennial consumers are leading the interest for snack flavors influenced by international cuisine. The majority of consumers still gravitate toward familiar international classics, like Mexican and Italian; however, Gen Z overindexes in their curiosity of emerging cuisines, like Indian and African. As this diverse consumer group matures and their spending power increases, brands should focus on infusing international and regional flavors into snack foods to differentiate and convey authenticity.

Read on to discover more about the US Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Snacks consumer market, read our Trending Flavors and Ingredients in Protein – US – 2021, or take a look at our other Food and Foodservice research reports.

Quickly understand trending flavors in snacks

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the snack category.
  • Types of snacks and flavors consumed.
  • Interest in snack ingredient innovation.
  • Interest in snack preparation innovation.
  • Interest in internationally inspired snack flavors and ingredients.
  • Interest and experience with emerging snack flavors and ingredients.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Real Food, Rhythm, Simply Nature, Sprouts, Jackson’s, LesserEvil, Biena, Field Trip, Nuttee Bean Co. , Pringles, Kalahari Biltong, Mitica, Shoprite Bowl & Basket, Hillshire Snacking, Irvins, Craize, Good & Gather, Specialty Selected, Volpi Snacks, SlimFast Keto, Wholesome Pantry, The Snack Brigade, Cabo Chips, Calbee Takoyaki Ball, Ayoba, The Chaat Company, Kolkeya Pride, Food Should Taste Good, Vegan Rob’s, Snacklins, Farmhouse Culture, Sun Tropics, Nabisco, Food with Purpose, Real Food from the Ground Up, The Good Crisp Company.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Anna Fabbri, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis on snacks food trends in the US to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Shifted routines and added daily stresses brought on by the pandemic caused many to seek snacks as a source of comfort, resulting in boosted sales in recent years. To maintain momentum, brands will need to keep ties to the familiar, while also addressing consumer shifts surrounding reemerging health priorities, interest in ethical claims and cravings for adventure.
Anna Fabbri, Food and Drink Analyst
Anna Fabbri
Flavor and Ingredient Trends Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • COVID-19: US context
              • Economic and other assumptions
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Market overview
                      • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of snacks, by segment, at current prices, 2019-21
                      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on snacks, 2022-27
                    • Opportunities and challenges
                      • Parents seek premium snacks that serve a purpose in their busy life
                        • Figure 3: Salty snack consumption, by parental status, 2021
                      • Gen Zs and Millennials demand diversity in snack flavors
                        • Figure 4: Interest in international cuisines as a snack flavor, by generation, 2021
                      • Fuse in the familiar with snack innovations
                        • Figure 5: Snacking attitudes, 2021
                      • Target women with alternative ingredients; men with traditional ingredients
                        • Figure 6: Interest in snack ingredients, by gender, 2021
                    • State of the Market

                      • Prolonged pandemic impact continues to benefit snack segments
                        • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of snacks, by segment, at current prices, 2019-21
                      • Alternative ingredients soar in snack launches
                        • Figure 8: Percentage change in snack product launches, by snack subcategories, 2017-21 
                      • Classic salty snacks lead in consumption
                        • Figure 9: Salty snack purchases, 2021
                    • Market Factors

                      • An unpredictable supply chain calls for additional planning
                        • Figure 10: Unemployment rates over time, household data, seasonally adjusted, 2020-21
                      • Rising food costs will put an emphasis on quality, value products
                        • Figure 11: Current financial situation, 2021
                        • Figure 12: Changes in consumer food price indexes, 2021
                    • Market Opportunities

                      • Incorporate indulgent flavors in BFY snack formats
                        • Figure 13: Important attributes in snacks, 2021
                        • Figure 14: Cheese flavors in cauliflower-based snack launches, 2020
                        • Figure 15: Avocado interest in snacks, by generation, 2021
                        • Figure 16: Avocado oil in snack launches
                      • Internationally inspired cheeses have potential to succeed in snacks, but ingredient education is needed
                        • Figure 17: Experience and interest in halloumi as a flavor in snacks, by age group and interest in real cheese as a snack ingredient, 2021
                    • Product Development – Now – What’s Trending

                      • Consumers seek snacks with food-based flavors
                        • Alternative snack bases tap into fan favorite flavors
                          • Figure 18: New product launches in snacks, containing “everything bagel,” 2018-21
                          • Figure 19: Everything bagel/alternative snack bases product launches
                        • The snack aisle is heating up
                          • Figure 20: Experience and interest in chile lime as a flavor in snacks, by generation, 2021
                          • Figure 21: New product launches in snacks, containing flavors matching “Chili/Chilli Pepper and Lime,” 2018-21
                          • Figure 22: Chile lime flavored snack innovation
                          • Figure 23: Experience and interest in chile snack flavors, by gender and age, 2021
                        • Elevated preparations cue elevated quality
                          • Figure 24: Snacking frequency, by parental status, 2021
                          • Figure 25: Elevated preparations in snack innovations
                          • Figure 26: Snacks, by flavor (roasted/toasted, salt/salted), 2018-21
                          • Figure 27: Snack innovations that pair elevated preparations with emerging ingredients
                      • Product Development – Near – What to Watch For

                        • Consumers broaden their horizon with cheese
                          • Figure 28: Tiktok feta pasta, 2021
                          • Figure 29: Experience and interest in burrata as a flavor in snacks, by generation, 2021
                          • Figure 30: Global cheese flavors within snack innovations
                        • Snack foods celebrate international street food flavors
                          • Figure 31: Elote inspired snack innovation
                          • Figure 32: Snack innovation inspired by emerging cuisines’ street food
                      • Product Development – Next – What’s in the Pipeline

                        • Fermented snack flavors can drive guilt-free snacking occasions
                          • Figure 33: Interest and experience with pickle and miso snack flavors, 2021
                          • Figure 34: Fermented flavor snack innovation
                        • Social issues are stemming from the snack industry
                          • Figure 35: Percentage of snack launches that contain palm oil derived ingredients, 2018-21
                          • Figure 36: New product launches containing palm-oil-free and sustainable palm oil claims
                      • The Snacking Consumer – Fast Facts

                        • Ground consumers with familiarity when incorporating new flavors and ingredients
                          • Awareness is a hurdle for new flavor and ingredient trial
                            • Millennials and Gen Zs drive emerging flavor and ingredient interest
                            • Snacking Attitudes

                              • Consumers gravitate toward easy-to-recognize flavors
                                • Figure 37: Snacking attitudes, 2021
                              • Younger consumers are key target for international flavors
                                • Figure 38: Snacking attitudes, by generation, 2021
                              • Moms call for snacks that provide purpose
                                • Figure 39: Snacking attitudes, by parental status, 2021
                              • Focus on versatility for low-income consumers
                                • Figure 40: Snacking attitudes, by household income, 2021
                            • Interest in Snack Ingredients

                              • Interest in well-established snack ingredients soars; however, consumers are seeking variety
                                • Figure 41: Interest in snack ingredients, 2021
                              • Incorporate real cheese, avocado and potato to appeal to the majority
                                • Figure 42: TURF analysis – Interest in snack ingredients, 2021
                              • Women are highly engaged with emerging ingredients
                                • Figure 43: Interest in snack ingredients, by gender, 2021
                              • Millennials are highly engaged snack consumers; Gen Z is a growth target
                                • Figure 44: Interest in snack ingredients, by generation, 2021
                            • Interest in International Cuisine Snack Flavors

                              • Commonplace international cuisines garner widespread interest but consumers are broadening their palates
                                  • Figure 45: Interest in international cuisine snacks, 2021
                                • Focus on authenticity with well-known international cuisines
                                  • Figure 46: TURF analysis – Interest in international cuisine snacks, 2021
                                • COVID-19 variants stunt travel plans; allow consumers to travel through their taste buds
                                  • Younger generations seek diversity outside of established international cuisines
                                    • Figure 47: Takis partnerships, 2022
                                    • Figure 48: Interest in international cuisines as a snack flavor, by generation, 2021
                                  • International cuisine interest mirrors chip consumption varieties
                                    • Figure 49: Interest in international cuisine snacks, by snack consumption, 2021
                                • Interest in Snack Flavor Preparations

                                  • Foster premium cues through elevated preparations
                                    • Figure 50: Snack flavor preparations, 2021
                                  • Consumers crave home-cooked preparations in their snacks
                                    • Figure 51: TURF analysis – Flavors – Preparation type, 2021
                                  • Parents intrigued with a range of snack preparations
                                    • Figure 52: Interest in snack preparation methods, by parental status, 2021
                                  • Classic preparations can open opportunities for emerging ingredients
                                    • Figure 53: Interest in flavor preparations, by interest in snack ingredients, 2021
                                  • Traditional preparations appeal to young adults’ emerging palates
                                    • Figure 54: Interest in flavor preparations, by generation, 2021
                                • Interest in and Experience with Snack Flavors

                                  • Ingredient awareness remains integral to building consumer interest
                                    • Figure 55: Interest in and experience with snack flavors, 2021
                                    • Figure 56: Interest in and experience with snack flavors, 2021
                                    • Figure 57: Interest in snack flavor preparations, by interest in and experience with snack flavors
                                  • Create international flavor trial opportunities for Gen Z
                                    • Figure 58: Experience and interest in ginger and curry, by generation, 2021
                                  • Hybrid work models carve out a need for curated adult snack options
                                    • Figure 59: Experience and interest in emerging snack flavors, by parental status, 2021
                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                • Figure 60: International cuisine tracker, international cuisine consumption, Q4 2021
                                            • Appendix – TURF Analysis – Methodology

                                                • Figure 61: Table – TURF Analysis – Ingredients, 2021
                                                • Figure 62: Table – TURF Analysis – Flavors –International, 2021
                                                • Figure 63: Table – TURF Analysis – Flavors –Preparation type, 2021

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