Snackers seek non-G.M.O., free-from and reduced-sugar claims

by Jeff Gelski
Share This:
Search for similar articles by keyword: [Snack], [Clean Label], [Sugar Reduction], [GMOs]

Free-from snacks
Snack foods that call attention to specific claims are driving the strongest uptick in U.S. snack category sales.

NEW YORK — Products that call attention to specific claims are driving the strongest uptick in U.S. snack category sales, according to Nielsen.

“For example, snacking products that are non-G.M.O. lead the way with an 18.2% surge in dollar sales for each of the past five years, followed by snacking products that are free from artificial colors/flavors (16.2%) and no/reduced-sugar claims (11.3%),” Nielsen said. “Comparatively, the average snack product has seen an increase of only 1.2%. Even in traditionally indulgent snacking categories like salty snacks, health claims are driving sales.”

Salty snacks chart

The percentages in some instances were even higher for snack-sized salty snacks. Non-G.M.O. claims in such snacks registered a compound annual growth rate of 29.3% over the five-year period ended Sept. 30, 2017. Other snack-sized salty snacks with CAGRs over 20% were gluten-free (27.6%), free from artificial colors and/or flavors (26.4%), organic (24.5%) and no preservatives (24.1%). Sales of snack-sized salty snacks with no-sugar or reduced-sugar claims, however, averaged an 8.6% decrease in sales each year over the five years. The total category registered a CAGR of 3.2%. 

Nielsen delivered the insights by using information from two of its reports issued this year: “The Sweet Success of Snacking Across the Store” and “Convenience Store Choice Drivers 2017.”

C-store snacks chart

Annual spending on individually packaged snacks increased 1.1% over the previous year and has become a $33 billion category with 98% of U.S. households purchasing the items, according to Nielsen. Over the 52-week period ended Sept. 9, 2017, snack sales gained for salty snacks (6%), cookies/crackers (6%), jerky (5%), produce (5%) and confections (1%). Dairy snack sales fell 4% while snack sales of baked foods and nuts/seeds both were down 1%. Sales of snack bars slipped 0.2%.

An opportunity exists to grow sales of healthier snacks at convenience stores since 44% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay a premium at convenience stores, according to Nielsen. Sales of individually packaged snacks at U.S. convenience stores reached $9.6 billion in the 52-week period ended Sept. 9, according to Nielsen. 
Comment on this Article
We welcome your thoughtful comments. Please comply with our Community rules.



The views expressed in the comments section of Baking Business News do not reflect those of Baking Business News or its parent company, Sosland Publishing Co., Kansas City, Mo. Concern regarding a specific comment may be registered with the Editor by clicking the Report Abuse link.