Salty Snacks Continue Reign as Consumer Favorite

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Despite the increase in artisanal food product introductions and the nationwide shift toward healthy living, salty snacks — including chips, pretzels, cheese snacks or popcorn — continue to reign as consumers’ favorite, according to Packaged Facts report Salty Snacks in the U.S. 

In fact, the percentage of households that purchase salty snacks (90 percent) in a typical week are on par with the percentage of Americans who own cell phones and is almost as high as the percentage of U.S. homes with a TV, the report found. 

Data also showed that while potato chips lead the way in popularity, the salty snack is seldom found in the typical American home by itself. There are only 8 million households (7 percent) that consume salty potato chips alone. In sharp contrast, 77 million households (67 percent) purchase at least three kinds of salty snacks. 

Salty Snacks reported that adults living in households consuming all four major types of salty snacks (potato chips, popcorn products, corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks and pretzels) represent an antiquated image of Middle America. Collected data showed these consumers:

  • Average ages between 35 and 54 and are non-Hispanic white, opposed to being young, multicultural and urban;
  • Are much more likely to live in the Central region of the country and in small- and medium-size urban areas; and
  • Have a higher likelihood of working full-time and enjoy a middle- to upper-income lifestyle with a household income of $75,000 or more.

Packaged Facts also reported children and parents are more common in households eating potato chips, pretzels and popcorn products as well as corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks.

Salty Snacks in the U.S. highlights trends Packaged Facts expects to generate challenges and opportunities for marketers of salty snacks.

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