Estimating U.S. retail sales of packaged snacks at $68 billion in 2008, Packaged Facts projects sales to near $82 billion by 2013, a total market increase of 20%. Despite the dampening effects of global recession, consumers are snacking more than ever, thanks to pull-backs in restaurant dining, harried lifestyles that reduce opportunities for sit-down meals, and a growing consensus that several small meals or snacks during the day are actually healthier than the three-squares paradigm. In addition, as the sluggish economy fans job-loss fears, health insurance woes, and environmental and social justice anxieties, snack consumers are embracing a “value” mentality that prizes quality and “whole” ingredients, “better for you” recipes, and green production practices. While low prices are always a draw, consumers are looking for snacks with fewer additives or preservatives, and even spending extra dollars for organic and premium snack treats that can boost their flagging spirits over the long climb back to prosperity.
To accommodate the complexities of the U.S. market within shifting economic and cultural contexts, and to contextualize these trends within the global marketplace, this report investigates not only the raw numbers associated with product launches, sales and market positions, but also the lifestyle patterns and the financial, social and political concerns that contribute to the rise and fall of snacking trends. While organizing snack products into sweet and salty/savory categories as in previous editions, this edition segments the discussion into four topic chapters based on lifestyle and industry classifications—Value and Traditional, Functional and Fortified, Natural and Organic, and Premium and Gourmet. The analysis focuses on shelf-stable, packaged snacks sold throughout the full retail universe, from national brands and private labels to the often edgier products of niche gourmet and organic players.
Custom Packaged Facts survey data inform our research into snacking attitudes, purchasing patterns, and health and wellness across consumer demographics, with Information Resources, Inc. sales data and Product Launch Analytics data on new product introductions helping to quantify key trends marketwide. Product profiles ranging from multinational brands such as Frito-Lay and Hershey to start-up and boutique brands such as Sahale Snacks and Endangered Species provide a nuanced look into the relationship between consumer attitudes and product development, reflecting the running theme of socially conscious marketing as an important value driver in economic times good and bad.
Read an excerpt from this report below.Research Methodology
The information contained in Sweet and Salty/Savory Snacks in the U.S. was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed consultation with industry participants; on-site examination of retail venues; and extensive Internet canvassing. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from a range of business sources, including trade publications and newsletters; articles in consumer business newspapers and magazines; government agencies; industry associations; annual reports, 10Ks and other financial releases from public companies; and other reports by Packaged Facts.
Sales estimates are based on data from sources including Information Resources, Inc.’s (IRI) InfoScan Review for mass-market channels (supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers other than Walmart), Progressive Grocer’s annual “Consumer Expenditures Study,” and SPINSscan data from SPINS, Inc., which tracks grocery sales in natural supermarkets. Data on new product introductions are from Product Launch Analytics, a Datamonitor service, based on the specified snack product segments.
Our analysis of consumer attitudes and demographics primarily derives from Experian Simmons’ Fall 2008 National Consumer Study, which is based on the responses of approximately 25,000 respondents age 18 or over, and from Packaged Facts’ February 2009 online poll of 2,600 U.S. adults, conducted to measure specific food purchasing patterns and attitudes.
Marigny Research Group, Inc. (MRG) is a producer of customized private-label market research reports, offering services including title development, research, market analysis, writing, editing, proofreading, desktop production, and marketing support, with a network of market research professionals that extends across the United States. Since 1986 MRG has authored more than 200 reports published under the Packaged Facts imprint, covering consumer packaged goods, demographic, retail, and financial markets. Within these and other areas, MRG has developed complete report lines, most recently focusing on the burgeoning market for pet products and services.
Market Insights: A Selection From The Report
Packaged Facts Poll Tracks Functional Preferences
A 2009 Packaged Facts online poll revealed that of 2,606 respondents age 18 or over, 79% had in the last 12 months purchased a food product because it contained specific nutrients, breaking out into 82% of women and 75% of men. About half had sought the anti-aging benefits of antioxidants or of vitamins/minerals in general in food purchases over the last 12 months. Calcium (43% of adults overall) and fiber (38%) also were high on the list of functional ingredients in demand. Women generally tended to be more likely than male respondents to have sought out specific ingredients, but with important exceptions such as protein, omegas, and beta-carotene. In addition, 71% of respondents had in the last 12 months purchased a food product because of its nutritional benefits in relation to specific physical concerns (ranging from appearance to urinary tract health), breaking out into 74% of women and 67% of men.
Yogurt Snacks, Food Bars Dominate in Functional Foods
Yogurt snacks and food bars are the big hitters in the functional and fortified arena, and have been for years, both simply by being there and through the inherent merits of ingredients such as protein, calcium, antioxidants or (the latest darling of the functional world) fiber. Less inherently healthy snacks, such as chips, cookies, snack crackers and candy, have considerable ground to make up in terms of being patently “functional,” and thus are more likely to tout portion control or “low or no” claims, such as low salt, no trans fats, or low sugar. Even so, ingredients such as whole grains, soy, nuts and dried fruits are boosting functionality even in less nutritionally auspicious product segments. For example, Snyder’s of Hanover’s All Natural EatSmart Soy Crisps—high in soy protein, low in carbs—may not be fresh tofu, but neither are they potato chips or French fries.
Flavor Crossovers in Salty/Savory Snacks
In the salty/savory snack category, premium and gourmet offerings tends to play up exotic flavors and flavor combinations, in addition to whole, natural or unprocessed ingredients. The popcorn segment—which acts essentially as a delivery device for just about any flavor combination you want to throw at it, sweet or salty—tends to have the greatest concentration of these premium offerings. For example, gourmet popcorns made with flavors such as curry and black truffle are said to replicate “creative nibbles” found in trendy bars and restaurants, while sweet coatings such as caramel, berry liqueurs, and, yes, chocolate, allow consumers to eat their candy but get a little fiber fix too. In 2008, of 106 introductions globally, 18% of popcorn snacks carried an upscale package tag, and 8% styled themselves gourmet. Of 34 popcorn introductions in the United States during that period, half were upscale and over one-fourth were gourmet.
Economic Recession Increases Consumers’ Desire for Snacks
New York, August 24, 2009 — Snack foods—whether sweet or salty, traditional or cutting edge, organic or vitamin fortified, healthy or indulgent—play an integral part in the American lifestyle. And now more than ever, Americans are craving these delectable treats according to Sweet and Salty/Savory Snacks in the U.S.: Lifestyle Marketing and New Product Development in the New Economy, 3rd Edition by leading market research publisher Packaged Facts.
This increased desire stems, in part, from the recession, which has snack consumers embracing a value mentality that prizes quality and whole ingredients, better-for-you recipes, and green production practices. While low prices are always a draw, consumers are seeking snacks with fewer additives or preservatives, and are spending extra dollars for organic and premium snack treats that can boost their flagging spirits over the long climb back to prosperity.
Savvy marketers taking advantage of consumers’ intensifying desires for value and wholesome packaged snacks will help the industry near $82 billion by 2013, a 20% increase from the $68 billion experienced in 2008.
“Snack producers must do their best to accommodate the changing dynamics and multiple tastes and moods of snack consumers,“ says Tatjana Meerman, Publisher of Packaged Facts. “Not only do these producers have to cater to diverse tastes, but the pressure is on to keep prices low, health benefits high, and production green; fold in a battle between big brands and private label; add a cultural yearning for simple, real, and natural; and factor in the long-term effects of the global financial fallout—and you have a complicated snack market.”
New to the third edition, Salty/Savory Snacks in the U.S. investigates the overlapping relationships between snack culture and snack consumption based on lifestyle to develop the following four industry classifications—Value and Traditional, Functional and Fortified, Natural and Organic, and Premium and Gourmet. Salty/Savory Snacks in the U.S. investigates not only the raw numbers associated with product launches, sales and market positions, but also the lifestyle patterns and the financial, social and political concerns that contribute to the rise and fall of snacking trends. Broken into two main categories, the report analyzes the following snack food segments:
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