Always a Dutch treat in the Keystone state
Pennsylvania is home to many of the nation’s leading and regional pretzel manufacturers. Not surprisingly, it’s also the market with the highest per capita consumption of the baked snack.
“Pretzel consumption is significantly concentrated in the mid-Atlantic area of the country due to the origins of the category,” Mr. Clark said. “For example, pretzels represent 15% of salty snacks in the Philadelphia market, compared with only about 5% of salty snacks in the total U.S. based on IRI purchase data.”
Specifically, in the central Pennsylvania market, the snack’s strength dates back to the settlement of Dutch and Germans centuries ago.
“It goes back to immigration of those folks who make pretzels part of their everyday snacking occasion from Germany and other places,” Mr. Martin said.
Pretzels’ popularity continues to expand, providing increased opportunity for category growth. “Pretzels years ago were seen as an ‘east of the Mississippi River’ item,” Mr. Green said. “With our transient population that we have today, it is now growing in the West, where it wasn’t before, as well as in Mexico and farther into South America. Again, it’s the transient nature of our society. They’re going back home where they didn’t know what pretzels were, and now they’re eating them.”