Frito-Lay’s U.S. Trend Index Reveals What Drives Consumers’ Purchases

66% of consumers believe that purchasing sustainable food products is important
Julio Sanchez
Editorial Intern, Progressive Grocer
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Frito-Lay's poll of consumers on their snacking preferences and priorities found that the 90% of consumers who snack daily care deeply about the companies whose snacks they eat.

The latest U.S. Trend Index from Frito-Lay has revealed that consumers’ purchases are affected by a company’s efforts toward sustainability practices, community impacts and how it treats employees.  

Frito-Lay polled consumers on their snacking preferences and priorities, and found that the 90% of consumers who snack daily actually care deeply about the companies whose snacks they’re eating. Seventy-seven percent of consumers care about a snack company’s sustainability practices, 78% care about its efforts in making food more accessible, and 87% care how well the company treats its employees.

“During the summer, people explore new activities, new places and enjoy new flavors of snacks as they attend more outdoor gatherings,” said Mike Del Pozzo, chief customer officer at Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay North America. “While flavor continues to drive consumers’ food-purchasing behaviors, we know how a company behaves matters, and that’s why I’m proud of Frito-Lay’s commitment to sustainability and community impact.” 

The poll also revealed that approximately two-thirds of consumers are more likely to purchase from companies that invest in local communities. In fact, 74% of adults are more interested in naturally sourced ingredients than production-related factors like recycled packaging, compostable packaging or products made with recycled water.

Not only do consumers rely on the company’s actions for deciding what snacks to purchase, but they also focus on flavor combinations such as sweet and spicy or tangy and salty over familiar regional flavors, texture and international flavors.

Forty-two percent of consumers prefer salty-and-sweet snack combinations over international or local flavors, 44% who tried new snack flavors eventually tried more foods with those same flavors, and 60% of consumers are most excited to snack at outdoor gatherings with family and friends now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

The U.S. Trend Index from Frito-Lay was conducted from May 26 through May 27 and had a national sample of 2,200 adults and an additional 200 adults ages 18-34. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region.

Frito-Lay North America is the $19 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo Inc., which is based in Purchase, N.Y. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos tortilla chips, Cheetos snacks, Tostitos tortilla chips and branded dips, SunChips multigrain snacks, and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30-plus manufacturing facilities across the United States and Canada and more than 200 distribution centers, and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model.

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