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Crackers: U.S. Market Trends

Crackers: U.S. Market Trends

In the world of snacks, crackers are fast becoming the next big thing for snackers and the final frontier for food marketers.  As harried, on-the-go Americans increasingly turn to snacks to satisfy their cravings and replace sit-down meals, they are discovering that crackers can offer an exciting and healthy alternative to traditional salty snacks such as chips, popcorn and pretzels.  In a virtuous circle that promises to provide a significant boost to the market for crackers, major marketers in turn have begun to roll out an ever-expanding line of innovative products to meet the challenge created by soft sales and slow growth in product segments such as potato chips and cheese snacks.  At the same time, smaller marketers of crackers are carving out space and grabbing market share by offering creative, artisanal products that satisfy their customers’ needs for authenticity in the food they eat.  As this process unfolds, the traditionally placid market for crackers is turning upside down.

Crackers: U.S. Market Trends reveals that the new breed of crackers that is filling more and more shelves in grocery stores and supermarkets bears little resemblance to the Ritz crackers Mom ate with peanut butter and has no genetic ties to the Saltines Grandma ate with her soup.  Today’s crackers set out to assuage the perpetual quest of serious snackers for explosive crunches and wild flavors right out of the box.  As marketers dream up new ways to transform crackers into snacks, they are blurring the boundaries between crackers, crisps and chips.  Besides positioning crackers as a stand-alone snack fit for eating right out of the box just like other snacks, marketers are moving in the direction of offering crackers that serve as mini-meals for consumers who are too busy to sit down and eat a regular meal. 

Another key driver in the crackers market is the increasing ability of marketers of all sizes to connect crackers with consumers’ health and wellness concerns.  Marketers of crackers are succeeding in giving consumers more opportunities to congratulate themselves for eating healthy-ingredient crackers with a good-for-you image.  This is a critical element in any growth strategy for crackers marketers since Packaged Facts has found that household use of healthy-ingredient snacks, such as fruit- and nut-based snacks, far outpaced use of crackers during the past decade.

Market Definition

This Packaged Facts report defines the market for crackers based upon the following major product types: crackers with fillings, or sandwich crackers; graham crackers; saltines; and “all other crackers,” a category including a wide range of cracker types such as cheese-flavored crackers, crackers made with various grains, flatbreads and crackers fashioned as crisps.  The report also analyzes consumer behavior related to the categories of crackers tracked by Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS):  butter- and cheese-flavored crackers; grain crackers, including those made from oats, wheat and rye; other flavored crackers, such as those with onion and barbeque flavors; graham crackers; and saltines.

Methodology

One source of primary data used in this report is IRI InfoScan Reviews for the 52 weeks ending September 8, 2013.  Another primary data source is the Spring 2013 NCS, which was fielded between January 2012 and March 2013.  The report also includes data from the Spring 2004 Simmons NCS.

The report is also based upon data collected from field surveys of food retailers in various channels as well as a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines, consumer blogs, and annual reports, 10Ks and other releases from public companies.

 


  • Executive Summary
    • Market Definition
    • Methodology
    • Market Overview
      • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2008-2013 (in million $)
      • Crackers Will Ride Snacking Wave
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2013-2018 (in million $)
    • Topline Insights and Opportunities
      • Marketers Appeal to Healthy Snackers
      • Classic Crackers Get a New Look
      • Crackers Work as Snacks Right Out of the Box
      • Gluten-Free Fast Becoming an Absolute Requirement
      • Mini-Meals to Satisfy On-the-Go Lifestyles
      • More Cross-Categories
      • An Artisanal Image
      • Lots of Heat and Intense Flavors
    • The Competitors
      • Smaller Marketers Step Up Game
      • Mondelez International, Inc. Stays on Top
      • Kellogg Company: "The Hungry #2"
      • Snyder's-Lance, Inc. Looks to Expand Market Share
      • Smaller Marketers Gear Up to Compete More Aggressively
      • Store Brands Post Mixed Results
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • Extensive Marketing Effort Supports Wheat Thins Brand
      • New Cracker Products Highlighted
        • Table Selected New Cracker Products
    • Consumer Trends
      • Who Eats What Kind of Crackers
      • Saltines and Graham Crackers Still Attract Loyal Following
      • Grain Crackers Experience Robust Growth in Household Use
      • Frequent Snackers Go For Crackers
      • Grain Crackers Tied to Healthy Eating Profile
      • Many Cracker Eaters Struggle with Their Weight
      • Coupons Work with Cracker Snackers
  • Topline Insights and Opportunities
    • Topline Marketing and Strategic Trends
      • Marketers Appeal to Healthy Snackers
      • Smaller Marketers Gain in Crackers As Well As Snacks
      • Smaller Marketers Thrive on Personal Connections
        • Table Excerpts from Websites of Crackers Marketers Building Customer Relationships
      • Classic Crackers Get a New Look
    • What (Marketers Hope) Consumers Want
      • Crackers That Work as Snacks Right Out of the Box
      • Gluten-Free Fast Becoming an Absolute Requirement
      • Mini-Meals to Satisfy On-the-Go Lifestyles
      • More Cross-Categories
      • An Artisanal Image
      • Lots of Heat and Intense Flavors
  • Market Trends
    • Crackers Fail to Keep Pace with Snacking Alternatives
      • Table Use of Crackers by Households and Individuals, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • Table Percent of Households Using Crackers and Snacks in Last 30 Days, 2005 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • Volume Usage of Crackers Grows but Lags Other Snacks
        • Table Use of Snack Crackers by Number of Bags Used by Households in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Households Using Crackers in Last 30 Days by Number of Bags Used, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Bags of Snack Crackers Used Per Household in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013
        • Table Number of Bags of Crackers and Snacks Eaten by Households in Last 30 Days by Type of Snack, 2005 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • High-Volume Users of Crackers Keep Market Afloat
        • Table Use of Crackers by Number of Bags Used by Households in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table Growth in Total Number of Bags of Crackers Used by Households in Last 30 Days, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
    • Market Size and Composition
      • Market Records Respectable Growth
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2008-2013 (in million $)
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers by Type, 2013 (in million $)
      • Where Crackers Are Sold
      • Crackers with Fillings Show Fastest Mass-Market Growth
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Crackers by Dollar and Volume Growth
        • Table Crackers with Dollar Sales of $5 Million or More with the Fastest-Growing IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales (in thousand $)
    • Projected Market Growth
      • Crackers Will Ride Snacking Wave
        • Table Changes in Attitudes toward Eating and Snacking Habits, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • Increasing Investment in Crackers Will Spark Growth
      • More Healthy-Ingredient Crackers Will Spur Growth
        • Table Number and Percent of "Healthy Snackers," 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • Smaller Marketers Will Arouse More Interest in Crackers
      • Demographic Trends Favor Growth in Market for Crackers
      • More Robust Growth Anticipated
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Crackers, 2013-2018 (in million $)
  • The Competitors
    • Marketer and Brand Shares
      • Smaller Marketers Step Up Game
        • Table Major Marketers' Shares of IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Major Brands (in thousand $)
      • Stacy's and Snack Factory Post Significant Gains
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of All Other Crackers (in thousand $)
      • Nabisco Faces Pressure from Competing Crackers with Fillings
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers with Fillings (in thousand $)
      • Latin American Saltine Brands Record Above-Average Growth
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Saltine Crackers (in thousand $)
      • Nabisco Honey Maid Consolidates Lead in Graham Crackers
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Graham Crackers (in thousand $)
      • Breadsticks and Matzo Crackers Fade
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Breadsticks (in thousand $)
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Matzo Crackers (in thousand $)
    • Competitive Trends
      • Mondelez International, Inc. Stays on Top
        • Table Fastest-Growing Cracker Brands of Mondelez International, Inc. by IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales (in thousand $)
      • Kellogg Company: "The Hungry #2"
        • Table Dollar Share of Cracker Types, Kellogg Company vs. Mondelez International, Inc. (in thousand $)
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Kellogg Company by Market Segment (in thousand $)
      • Snyder's-Lance, Inc. Looks to Expand Market Share
        • Table IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Snyder's-Lance, Inc. by Market Segment (in thousand $)
      • Smaller Marketers Gear Up to Compete More Aggressively
      • Store Brands Post Mixed Results
        • Table Trends in Household Use of Crackers, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
        • Table Private Labels' Share of IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Type (in thousand $)
        • Table Change in IRI-Tracked Dollar Sales of Crackers by Type, Private Labels vs. All Marketers
  • Marketing and New Product Trends
    • Marketing Trends
      • Goldfish Offers a Custom Way to Snack
      • Lance Celebrates 100th Anniversary
    • Extensive Marketing Effort Supports Wheat Thins Brand
    • Pepperidge Farm Looks to Teens with Goldfish Puffs
    • New Product Trends
      • New Cracker Products Highlighted
        • Table Selected New Cracker Products
    • Lesley Stowe Goes Wheatless
    • Triscuits Launches Brown Rice Crackers
      • Annie's, Inc. Expands Cracker Offerings
      • Mediterranean Snacks Offers Grab-and-Go Mini-Meal
      • Funley's Delicious Launches Superfood Crackers
      • Partners Debuts Free for All Kitchen Gluten Free Crackers
      • Dr. Kracker Introduces Culinary Crisps
  • Consumer Trends
    • Demographic Highlights
      • Who Eats Crackers?
        • Table Demographic Profile of Cracker Consumers by Type of Cracker, 2013
      • Who Eats What Kind of Crackers?
        • Table Percent of Demographic Segments Using Snack Crackers by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
    • Highlights of Consumer Behavior
      • Saltines and Graham Crackers Still Attract Loyal Following
        • Table Use of Crackers by Type of Cracker, 2013 (in thousands)
      • Grain Crackers Experience Robust Growth
        • Table Trends in Household Use of Snack Crackers, 2004 vs. 2013 (in thousands)
      • Americans Eat All Kinds of Crackers
        • Table Household Use of Other Snack Crackers by Type of Cracker, 2013
      • Frequent Snackers Go For Crackers
        • Table Use of Crackers and Other Types of Snacks by Frequent Snackers, 2013
      • Healthy Snackers Like Grain Crackers
        • Table Cracker Preferences, Healthy Snackers vs. All Adults, 2013
      • Grain Crackers Tied to Healthy Eating Profile
        • Table Attitudes toward Healthy Eating by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
      • Consumers of Grain Crackers Turn to Natural Channel
        • Table Food Shopping Habits by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
        • Table Consumers Shopping at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods in Last 30 Days by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
        • Table Attitudes toward Dieting by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013
      • Coupons Work with Cracker Snackers
        • Table Percent Agreeing "Often I Can Be Swayed by Coupons to Try New Food Products," 2013
      • Butter and Cheese Cracker Eaters Like Store-Made Meals
        • Table Consumers Agreeing "I Often Eat Store-Made, Pre-Cooked Meals" by Type of Cracker Used Most Often, 2013

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