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Title: Snack Food Trends in the U.S.
Published: July 2006
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The following is the abstract from the full report:
Healthier fare is certainly not the only trend in packaged snack foods, but it is by far the most important and widespread one, driven in large part by a heavy national focus on children’s health. Although sales of packaged snack foods in the U.S. topped $61 billion in 2005, this is up only 6% over 2001 sales, since good returns from “healthy” categories like yogurt and fresh fruit have been mostly offset by losses in “less healthy” categories like candy and cookies. Whereas some marketers are well positioned to ride the health wave, others have been rushing to come up with nutritionally enhanced products, while also scrambling to show how even not-so-healthy snacks can still fit into a healthy diet. Health-related trends that continue to gain momentum include portion control, high fiber/whole grains, cutting unhealthy ingredients (trans fats, processed sugar, fat, etc.), and natural/organic, even as product portability and convenience remain a top priority across all categories as more Americans graze more frequently on-the-go. Because kids snack even more than adults do, it is critical that snack makers maintain a hold on this young demographic, and attracting consumers of all ages to healthier snacks without severely cannibalizing sales of more traditional, not-so-healthy ones will be the fine line that marketers will have to walk in the coming years.
Snack Food Trends in the U.S. examines the market for packaged snack foods from a trend perspective, detailing sales and consumer usage trends across six sweet snack categories (candy, cookies & bakery, yogurt, food bars, fruit, and gelatin/pudding cups) and five salted snack categories (salty snacks, crackers, nut snacks, popcorn and rice/popcorn cakes, and dried meat snacks). The discussion is organized into four focus chapters—Sweet Snacks, Salted Snacks, Trends in Healthy Snacking, and Trends in Kids and Teens Snacks—homing in on the market-altering forces in each area down to the brand level, identifying top dollar sales gainers and comparing winners and losers across dozens of market segments and hundreds of products. Key data sources are Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan sales tracking data and Simmons Market Research Bureau (New York, New York) consumer surveys for adults, kids, and teens.