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Snack Foods in the U.S., 4th Edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

U.S. retail sales of packaged snacks rose to nearly $64 billion in 2010, and Packaged Facts projects sales to approach $77 billion by 2015, a total market increase of over 20%. Despite the lingering effects of global recession, American consumers are snacking more than ever, thanks to less frequent restaurant dining, frenzied lifestyles that encourage on-the-go eating, and a growing tendency to replace meals with several smaller snacks. Additionally, marketers have responded to concerns about the growing impact of obesity on the health of the nation, and have made great strides in developing healthier snack foods that still taste good. While value is still one of the primary drivers of snack purchases, the economy has recovered to an extent that consumers are once again making health, convenience, and even indulgence top priorities as well.

This fully updated Packaged Facts report examines the market for packaged sweet and salty snacks within the context of broader food industry trends in new product development and marketing. To accommodate the complexities of the U.S. market within shifting socioeconomic contexts, the report investigates not only the sales data, new product introductions and market positioning strategies, but also the lifestyle patterns that contribute to the rise and fall of snacking trends. This completely revised edition provides an omnibus approach to the market, examining snacks via two broad classifications, sweet and salty/savory, while providing greater detail for dozens of categories and segments in which market activity dictates closer inspection.

A new feature of this study is data from Packaged Facts’ new Food Shopper Insights Survey, conducted in March 2011. Gauging the shopping patterns and attitudes of adults who have shopped for groceries within 24 hours of being surveyed, these data paint a detailed picture of U.S. snack trends by broader consumer health goals and nutrition concerns, ingredient concerns such as low-sugar and gluten-free, purchase motivators such as “family favorite” and “product looked appetizing,” snack occasions and timing (e.g., “between meals,” weekday vs, weekend, at home vs away from home), brand loyalty by product type, store-brand appeal, and coupon usage. Additional data sources include multi-year Experian Simmons Market Research Bureau data, which provides a detailed look at category-level and brand penetration levels; InfoScan Review data, which quantifies marketer and brand shares across numerous product categories; and new product tracking data from Product Launch Analytics, a Datamonitor service. In addition, category-specific marketer and brand focus discussions help to define the relationship between consumer attitudes and product development.


  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Scope of Report
      • Two Classifications: Sweet and Salty/Savory
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Size and Composition
      • U.S. Snack Market Approaches $64 Billion
      • Snacking as a Way of Life
      • "Better-for-you" Snack Products in High Demand
      • Salty/Savory Increases Share of Snacks Market
      • Salty/Savory Snacks Top List of Dollar Growth
      • Supermarkets Account for 41% of Snack Market
    • Competitive Trends
      • Multinational Conglomerates Dominate
      • Mergers and Acquisitions
      • Diamond Foods/Kettle Foods/Pringles
      • Snyder's-Lance
      • Link Industries and JBS
      • Private-Label Sales Outpace Market Growth
      • Hershey and Mars Are Dominant Forces in Chocolate Candy
      • Mars Leads in Non-Chocolate Candy
      • Kraft Accounts for One-Third of Cookie Segment
      • General Mills and Clif Are Leaders in Food Bars
      • General Mills Corners Over Half of Dry Fruit Snacks Market
      • Fruit Cups/Bowls Marketers Experience Losses
      • Frito-Lay Is Potato Chip Powerhouse
      • Tortilla/Tostada Chip Segment Loses Steam
      • Kraft's Ritz on Top in Crackers
      • Kraft's Planters King of Snack Nuts Despite Losses
      • Private Label Claims Half of Nutritional Snacks/Trail Mixes Sales
      • Popcorn and Rice/Popcorn Cakes
      • Dried Meat Snacks
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • New Snack Product Introductions Recover
      • Sweet Categories Lead in New Product Intros
      • "Natural" Tag Tops Claims List
      • Health-Related Claims Reclaiming Lost Ground
      • Special Diets Tags Steadily Increase
      • Kraft Leads in 2010 Product Introductions
    • Consumer Trends
      • Majority of Americans Seek Healthy Lifestyles
      • Potato Chips Are Most Frequently Purchased Snack Type
      • Majority of Shoppers Stick to National/Name Brand Snacks
      • Afternoon, Evening, At-Home Snacks the Most Popular
  • The Market - Highlights
  • The Market
    • Introduction
      • Scope of Report
      • Two Classifications: Sweet and Salty/Savory
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Size and Composition
      • U.S. Snack Market Approaches $64 Billion
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Snack Foods, 2006-2010 (in billions of dollars)
      • Salty/Savory Increases Share of Snacks Market
      • Candy Tops in Sweet Snacks Market Share
      • Salty Snacks Dominate Salty/Savory Classification
        • Table Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Sweet Snacks by Product Category, 2009 vs. 2010 (percent)
        • Table Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Salty/Savory Snacks by Product Category, 2009 vs. 2010 (percent)
      • Dollar and Volume Sales Keep Pace
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Snack Foods by Dollar and Volume Growth, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars and pounds)
      • Salty/Savory Snacks Top List of Dollar Growth
        • Table Selected Snack Food Segments by Dollar Growth/Loss in SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Snack Foods by Segment, Classification and Category, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Supermarkets Account for 41% of Snack Market
    • Market Outlook
      • Slow Economic Recovery Influences Spending
      • Consumers Remain Thrifty
        • Table Consumer Attitudes: "Price Not Main Factor in Purchases" and "Spending More on Consumer Products," February 2011 (percent)
        • Table Responses to Statements Related to Grocery Spending, February 2011 (percent)
      • Food Costs Stabilize, But May Rise Again
        • Table Consumer Price Index for Food at Home and Selected Snack Categories: 2001-2010
      • Stealth Downsizing
      • Specialty Snacks Still Affordable
      • A Culture of Snacking
      • Studies Examine Kids' Snacking Habits
      • Kids' "Better For You" Snacks High in Sugar, Fat
      • Reformulation Not Enough?
      • Eating Healthy
      • Healthy Snacks in Demand
      • Gluten-Free and Other Allergy Concerns
      • Portion Control and Convenience
      • Natural and Organic
        • Table Consumer Opinion on Natural and Organic Products, February 2011 (percent)
      • Environmental Concerns
      • "Green" Packaging
      • Food Safety
      • U.S. Snack Market to Reach $77 Billion in 2015
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Snack Foods, 2010-2015 (in billions of dollars)
  • Competitive Trends - Highlights
  • Competitive Trends
    • Multinational Conglomerates Dominate
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
      • Kraft/Cadbury
      • Diamond Foods/Kettle Foods/Pringles
      • Snyder's-Lance
      • Link Industries and JBS
      • Other Acquisitions
    • Private-Label Sales Outpace Market Growth
      • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Private-Label Snack Foods by Classification, Category and Segment, 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trend Overview by Classification
    • Trends in Sweet Snacks
      • Candy Dominates Sweet Classification
        • Table Share of Sweet Classification Sales by Category, 2009 vs. 2010 (percent)
      • Candy Sales by Segment
      • Hershey Dominant Force in Chocolate Sub-Category
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Chocolate Candy Box/Bag/Bar > 3.5 oz. by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Chocolate Candy Box/Bag/Bar < 3.5 oz. by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Sugar-Free Chocolate Candy by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Mars Leads in Non-Chocolate Candy
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Non-Chocolate Chewy Candy by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Sugar-Free Diet Candy by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Cookies and Bakery Snacks
      • Kraft Accounts for One-Third of Cookie Segment
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Cookies by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Food Bars
      • General Mills Increases Lead in Granola Bar Segment
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Granola Bars by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Gains Across the Board in Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bar Segment
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Nutritional/Intrinsic Health Value Bars by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Fruit Snacks
      • Raisins Best-Selling Dried Fruit Variety
        • Table Types of Dried Fruit by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Segment Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • General Mills Corners Over Half of Dry Fruit Snacks Market
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Dry Fruit Snacks by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Fruit Cups/Bowls Marketers Experience Losses
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Fruit Cups by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Salty/Savory Snacks
      • Salty Snacks Maintain Hold on Classification Sales
      • Salty Snacks
      • Frito-Lay Potato Chip Powerhouse
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Potato Chips by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Tortilla/Tostada Chip Segment Loses Steam
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Tortilla/Tostada Chips by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Crackers
      • Kraft's Ritz Is Best-Selling "All Other Crackers" Brand
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of All Other Crackers by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Kellogg Sees Greatest Dollar Growth in Crackers with Fillings
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Crackers with Fillings by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Nut Snacks
      • Kraft's Planters King of Snack Nuts Despite Losses
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Snack Nuts by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Private Label Claims Half of Nutritional Snacks/Trail Mixes Sales
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Nutritional Snacks/Trail Mixes by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Popcorn and Rice/Popcorn Cakes
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of RTE Popcorn/Caramel Corn by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Dried Meat Snacks
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Jerky by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of All Other Dried Meat Snacks by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
  • Marketing and New Product Trends - Highlights
  • Marketing and New Product Trends
    • New Snack Product Introductions Recover
      • Table Number of U.S. Food Product Introductions: Overall, Sweet Snacks and Salty/Savory Snacks, 2000-2010
    • Sweet Categories Lead in New Product Intros
      • Table Number of U.S. Snack Food Product Introductions by Product Category, 2006-2010
    • "Natural" Tag Tops Claims List
      • Table Top Product Claims/Tags for U.S. Snack Food Product Introductions, 2010 (number and percent)
    • Natural-Related Claims Going Strong
      • Table Number of New Snack Food Product Introductions by Top Natural-Related Package Tags/Claims, 2008-2010
    • Health-Related Claims Reclaiming Lost Ground
      • Table Number of New Snack Food Product Introductions by Top Health-Related Package Tags/Claims, 2008-2010
    • Special Diet Tags Steadily Increase
      • Table Number of New Snack Food Product Introductions by Top Special Diet-Related Package Tags/Claims, 2008-2010
    • Kraft Leads in 2010 Product Introductions
      • Table Top Ten Leading U.S. Marketers of Snack Foods Based on Number of Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU) Introductions, 2006-2010
    • U.S. Leads Global Snack Food Introductions
      • Table Number of Snack Foods Introductions by Country, 2006-2010 (number of reports)
    • Trends in Sweet Snacks
      • Bite-Sized Snacks Make Big Impact
      • Focus on Hershey
      • Indulgence Meets Better-For-You
      • Focus on Kraft Foods
      • Not Your Grandmother's Fruit
      • Sweet and Salty Snacks Combine Two Favorite Tastes
      • More Than Functional: Superfoods
      • Convenience: On-the-Go Snacking
    • Trends in Salty/Savory Snacks
      • Sweet on Nuts
      • Focus on Planters
      • Bold Is Better
      • Brand Profile: Walmart's World Table
      • Taking Popcorn to the Next Level
      • Focus on Popcorn, Indiana
      • Marketers Deliver Lower Sodium Snacks
      • Focus on Frito-Lay (PepsiCo)
    • Cross-Market Trends
      • Interest in Natural and Organic Products Remains Strong
      • General Mills' Small Planet Foods Division
      • Market for Gluten-Free Snacks Explodes
      • Marketers, Mother Earth Benefit from Environmental Initiatives
      • Focus on Diamond Foods' Kettle Chips
      • Trends in Kids Snacks
      • Brand Profile: PepsiCo/Tropicana Tropolis
  • Consumer Trends - Highlights
  • Consumer Trends
    • Shopper Insights
      • Methodology
      • Majority of Americans Seek Healthy Lifestyles
      • Groceries and Consumer Health Goals
      • Low Sugar, High Fiber Are Most Popular Healthy Product Positionings
      • Shopper Use of Grocery Coupons
        • Table Sources of Coupons Used During Grocery Shopping Trips, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers who use coupons)
      • Potato Chips Are Most Frequently Purchased Snack Type
        • Table Response to Question "Did you choose a product that you usually buy?": By Snack Product Type, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • Majority of Shoppers Stick to National/Name Brand Snacks
        • Table Type of Brand Purchased During Grocery Shopping Trips: By Snack Product Type, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Price Comparison of Snack Products Purchased, Compared to Similar Products, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Motivations (Other Than Price/Promotion) for Selection of Snacks Purchased: By Product Type, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
    • Snacking Patterns
      • Afternoon, Evening Snacks Are Most Popular
        • Table Meals/Snacks Typically Eaten: Overall and by Gender, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Mealtime and Snacking Patterns: By Gender, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Patterns for Snacking Alone or with Others: Weekdays vs. Weekends, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • At-Home Snacks More Popular
        • Table Patterns for Snacking at Home or Away from Home: Weekdays vs. Weekends, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Patterns for Snacking in Home Kitchen or Elsewhere in Home: Weekdays vs. Weekends, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Patterns for Snacking at Table, at Kitchen Counter, or Elsewhere in Home: Weekdays vs. Weekends, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
    • Usage Trends and Demographic Patterns: Sweet Snacks
      • Cookies Most Popular Sweet Category
        • Table Usage Overview for Sweet Snack Products: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
      • Who's Eating Cookies
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Cookies: Overall and By Selected Brands, 2010 (U.S. households)
      • Who's Eating Candy
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Candy: Overall and by Selected Brands, 2010 (U.S. households)
      • Who's Eating Food Bars and Fruit Snacks
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Food Bars and Fruit Snacks, 2010 (U.S. households)
    • Usage Trends and Demographic Patterns: Salty/Savory Snacks
      • Potato Chips Most Popular Salty/Savory Category
        • Table Usage Overview for Salty/Savory Snack Products: 2006, 2008 and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
      • Who's Eating Potato Chips
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Potato Chips: Overall and by Selected Brands, 2010 (U.S. households)
      • Who's Eating Crackers
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Crackers: Overall and by Selected Brands, 2010 (U.S. households)
      • Who's Eating Corn/Tortilla Chips and Cheese Snacks
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Corn/Tortilla Chips and Cheese Snacks: Overall and by Selected Brands, 2010 (U.S. households)
      • Who's Eating Pretzels
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Pretzels: Overall and by Selected Brands, 2010 (U.S. households)
  • Looking Ahead - Highlights
  • Looking Ahead
    • Trends and Opportunities
      • Snacking as a Way of Life
      • "Better-for-you" Snack Products in High Demand
      • Low-Sodium Trend Increases Momentum
      • Growing Number of Products Target Special Dietary Needs
      • Stricter Guidelines for Natural
      • Snacks Get Smaller
      • Private-Label Products Sustain Consumer Interest
      • "Green" Concerns Once More a Priority
      • Packaged Snacks Compete with Fresh
      • Retailers Expand Snack Selection
      • Natural and Organic Food Continues Move to Mainstream
      • Mass Merchandisers Morph Into Supercenters
      • C-Stores and Drugstores Battle for On-the-Go Snack Share
      • E-Marketing Snack Foods
      • Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, Then…
      • Location-Based Social Media: Yelp, Foursquare and Google Places
      • Focus on Savings: Groupon, Woot and Blippy
      • What's Next: Social Media Aggregators and Mobile Connectivity
  • Addresses of Selected Marketers

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