Snacking Closeup: 2023 State of the Industry Report

Snacking Makes a BIG Impact!

SNAC International’s 2023 State of the Industry Report, brought together by Circana (previously IRI) and Sosland Publishing, takes a deep dive into the latest on industry trends, sales/unit data, new product innovation, and insights from some of the leading innovators contributing to the snack industry.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll find inside…

Snacking is on the rise!

In the early 2000’s, consumers that snacked frequently ate several snacks per week, but now:

About 25% of consumers say they snack every afternoon

Afternoon Snack

with another 25% saying they snack every evening.

Evening Snack
$186.4 billion in snack and snack-adjacent sales
Stacks of coins
27 percent of all food sales
Snack foods account for 27% of all food and beverage sales in the U.S.

The snack industry…

Employs 395,000 individuals
Compensates $15 billion in wages
$11 Billion Tax Revenue
Generates $11 billion in tax revenue
The overall salty snack category posted 15.6% growth with more than $28 billion in dollar sales in 2022.
$28B Sales of snacks with 15% Growth
Savory snacks make up 57% of the snack category, representing $58.3 billion in sales (includes hot, salty and meat snacks as well as lunch box-compatible snacks)
Savory Snacks
Lunchbox Snacks
Return to school and in-person work has driven lunchbox compatible and salty snacks growth by 16% and 14% respectively
Sweet snacks sales represent $30.4 billion in sales (includes cookies, bars, sweet cups, fruit snacks and dried fruit)
Sweet Snacks
88% of snackers like flavor
88% of consumers say flavor is important for making snack choices

Access category-specific sales data and more!

TAKING A DEEPER DIVE: Category Reports

All data is from Circana (previously IRI) and commissioned by SNAC International.

At a Glance: Snack Sales Soar

Snack sales by type of snack chart

Potato Chips Keep Chippin’ Away

  • $7.8 billion in sales, representing a 14.5% growth in 2022
  • While consumers show a preference for familiar flavors, 70% indicated excitement to try new flavors or variations of their favorite snack in 2023 than in previous years.
  • 1 in 4 Americans prefer salty snacks
  • ½ of consumers prefer a puff style snack
  • Partnering with other brands remains popular in creating new flavors

Tortilla Chips Take Flavor By Storm

  • Spicy, savory and sassy flavors resulted in $6.1 billion in sales – a 16.6% growth in 2022
  • Healthy remains popular!
    • Biggest Growth Caveat: The unhealthy image of fried snacks
    • The Solution: Continue adding functional ingredients such as fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, seeds and more to alleviate concerns
  • Several top selling tortilla chip brands have flavors so popular they are crossing into other snack categories such as potato chips, popcorn and more.

Popcorn Delivers an Eye-Popping Performance

  • 9 out of 10 brands in the popcorn category saw sales increase in 2022
  • 7 out of 10 experienced a double-digit hike, ringing in an overall 13.1% rise for the $1.7 billion market.

Pretzels Ride the Wave of Flavor

  • Consumers appetite for flavored pretzels has given way to a 17.5% growth in dollar sales ($1.7 billion) along with 2.3% growth in unit sales, indicating higher prices are not deterring shoppers.
  • Inspiration for new flavors is coming from around the world as well as crossovers with flavor-forward brands.

Crackers…Savvy and Snappy

  • Dollar sales for the $8.5 billion cracker category were up 12.8%, while unit sales dropped 4.0%.
  • Brands are offering a variety of better-for-you crackers, including gluten-free, vegan, plant-based and more.
  • Cracker brands are delivering snackers a little fun with new innovations on the shelves and in social media such as the lively campaigns of Cheez-It on TikTok.
  • Mashups, new flavors, and limited time offers are keeping consumers interested in trying the latest combinations.

Corn Snacks are HOT, HOT, HOT

  • Corn snacks demonstrated strong growth with each of the top five brands increasing in both units and dollars.
  • Dollar sales soared to $1.5 billion, a 21.1% growth.

Cheese Snacks Savor the Flavor

  • The $2.6 billion category saw 13.9% growth by continuing to create new flavors, many tied consumers’ unending love of hot and spicy snacks.
  • Creative marketing and nimble social media campaigns have kept fans engaged and coming back for more.

Pork Rinds Transcend Their Humble Beginnings

  • The Pork Rind category struggled in 2022 with a 2.1% decline in dollar sales ($404 million) and a 9.5% drop in unit sales.
  • Looking to widen their reach beyond their core customer, “a redneck with a paycheck”, pork rinds benefit from their low-carb, high protein profile.
  • New products like pork rinds as salad toppers and substitute for breadcrumbs offer consumers a high-protein alternative to carb-centric counterparts.
  • Product innovation relies on tapping into the low-carb craze and interesting flavors to gain consumer attention.

More category reports can be found within the full report.

Fill Out the Form Below to See the FULL STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page ( Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.