Americans have a love affair with savory snacks

by Joanie Spencer
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Bowls of savory snacks
Euromonitor expects to see continued growth for savory snacks in the U.S. market.

HOUSTON — The Internet age may bring the world to consumers’ backyards, but when it comes to snacking, many regions of the world have very specific preferences when it comes to snacking, said Jared Koerten, senior analyst, Euromonitor, speaking at SNAXPO, SNAC International’s annual conference, held March 19-22 in Houston.

In Latin America, biscuits (cookies) have a strong presence with about 7% of the total packaged food market. In Europe, specifically Eastern Europe, confectionery accounts for about 12%. And in the United States, Americans love their savory snacks.

Jared Koerten, Euromonitor
Jared Koerten, senior analyst at Euromonitor

“In 2015, approximately $1 in every $10 that consumers are spending on packaged food is going to savory snacks,” Mr. Koerten said. “Looking around the world, you can see a diverse grouping of snack preferences, but savory really stands out in the U.S.”

Globally, $17.20 was spent per person on savory snacks in 2015. But in the United States, that number comes out to about $117 per person in the same year, about 7 times the global average for savory snacks.

“Obviously, the U.S. is very important as the global epicenter of the savory snacks market,” Mr. Koerten observed.

Looking to the future, Euromonitor expects to see continued growth, specifically for savory snacks in the U.S. market. In fact, even taking into account if the United States were to fall into a recession, Mr. Koerten still expects to see some growth in savory snacks.

“Even when times get tough, it’s a splurge consumers are willing to make,” he said.
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