Many Americans espouse healthier eating habits, but a need for convenience is still driving purchases, and the salty snack category, including potato chips, popcorn and pretzels, is expected to hit $29 billion in retail dollar sales by 2022, according to Packaged Facts’ "Salty Snacks: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities" report. The category saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 4 percent between 2012 and 2017, with retail sales of $24 billion in 2017.
“In recent years, more consumers have moved away from the traditional three meals per day and shifted into a lifestyle involving increased snacking, or multiple smaller meals, throughout the day,” noted David Sprinkle, research director for Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts.
Along with convenient eating properties, these snacks also are readily available in a variety of retail locations, such as grab-and-go outlets like convenience stores, as well as vending machines. In grocery stores, snacks are often featured in locations conducive to impulse purchases, such as checkout lanes. These factors, among others, confer stability to the U.S. market for salty snacks. However, salty snacks also face competition from other snacks, such as chocolate and nonchocolate confections, cookies, and crackers. Also vying for a place in consumers' shopping carts are food choices perceived to be healthier, such as nuts, seeds, and dried and fresh produce.
Future growth is expected to come from products that are as flavorful as possible, but also as healthy and nutritious as possible to satisfy the growing demand among consumers who want to indulge without guilt. New taste and flavor combinations will continue to flourish. "Better-for-you" snacks will continue to use alternative (nonpotato) ingredients and include different proteins, grains, vegetables and superfoods. Product developers will also evolve technology to continue developing different shapes and textures.
The full report is available for purchase.