Companies in this industry make snack foods such as nuts, chips, and popcorn, as well as peanut butter. Major companies include Frito-Lay, Mondelez International, Snyder's-Lance, and Utz Quality Foods (all based in the US), as well as Calbee Foods (Japan); Nongshim (South Korea); and United Biscuits (UK).
Demand is driven by consumer tastes and health considerations. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, effective marketing, and a strong sales force. Large companies have advantages in raw material purchasing, manufacturing efficiencies, distribution, and marketing budgets. Small operations can compete effectively by self-distributing products, selling online, or marketing snacks as gift items. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 90% of industry revenue.
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Major products are nuts and seeds (about 30% of industry revenue); potato chips (25%); and corn chips, including tortilla chips (20%). Other products include peanut butter, popcorn, hard pretzels, and other chips. Salty snack foods are found in most American households. More than half of Americans eat snacks two to three times per day, according to NPD Group. Potato chips are the most popular snack in North America, followed by tortilla chips, snack bars, and extruded (puffed) snacks, according to Euromonitor.