Chicago, IL — Despite 52 percent of consumers reporting they've made cutbacks in the past six months, the U.S. snack market is at $118 billion and sales grew 4.4 percent in 2012, according to SymphonyIRI Group, Inc.’s “State of the Snack Industry” webinar.
Crackers, snack/granola bars, yogurt and salty snacks all grew in volume in 2012 compared with 2011, but on average the industry slid 0.5 percent in volume. In order of magnitude, snack nuts/seeds/ corn nuts, yogurt, snack crackers/granola bars, crackers, non-chocolate candy, cookies, salty snacks and chocolate candy all saw increased sales from 2012.
There is also a clear shift to cost-saving channels as the dollar store snack buying rate went up 2.3 percent, mass/super stores increased 1.4 percent and club store buying rate saw a 0.5 percent increase, while there was a 3.2 percent decrease at drug stores, a 1.5 percent drop at grocery stores and a 1.3 percent drop in all other outlets.
Consumers snack throughout the day -- 11 percent snack in the early morning, 19 percent in the morning, 26 percent in the afternoon and 22 percent in the evening and 22 percent in the late evening.
The amount of consumers who want on-the-go snacks has increased five percentage points since 2009 to 45 percent.
Despite an increase in all-natural and organic volume and sales, 55 percent of consumers are more likely to eat what tastes good rather than what's healthier and 56 percent snack for enjoyment, not hunger. However, 49 percent want an energy boost from their snacks and 62 percent want satiety.