KANSAS CITY — No category pushes flavor, texture and sometimes shapes to all levels like tortilla chips. As a result, these snacks offer all types of varieties for every sort of consumer, ranging from lightly salted with lime and crispy restaurant-style chips by Tostitos to the high-voltage Carolina Pepper and biting Scorpion Peppers by Paqui.
Every category has its hot and spicy snacks, but how many of them have a curse-inducing, one-chip challenge? Overall, SNAC World’s state-of-the-industry report noted the tortilla/tostada chip category jumped 16.6% to $6.1 billion, according to IRI for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 8, 2023.
Although the category is firing on all cylinders when it comes to innovation, Mintel in its 2022 US Potato and Tortilla Chips report concluded the biggest caveat to future growth remains the unhealthy image of fried snacks. That issue, however, can be assuaged by adding functional ingredients such as fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, seeds and more.
Using natural-adjacent claims such as free from artificial ingredients can convey a perception of health. However, Mintel noted, natural, organic and other related claims on new chip products have declined over the past few years. Healthy is still popular.
Late July, a part of Campbell Snacks, offers No Grain Tortilla Chips made with organic tigernut flour, cassava flour and chia seeds. Nature’s Eats, a brand of Texas Star Nut & Food Co., makes Nutchos, an almond-based tortilla chip cooked in almond oil. Yes, hot and healthy is where it’s at for the tortilla chip category, which proves that snacks can be all things to all consumers.