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Competing with PepsiCo: How to be a top 10 snack player

By Kacey Culliney+

20-Nov-2013
Last updated the 20-Nov-2013 at 12:46 GMT

Snack makers should innovate in flavor, format, occasions and delve into adjacent categories to compete against snack giant PepsiCo, says Euromonitor
Snack makers should innovate in flavor, format, occasions and delve into adjacent categories to compete against snack giant PepsiCo, says Euromonitor

PepsiCo holds six slots in the top 10 global snack brands and fighting for a space is a huge challenge for other snack makers but not impossible, an analyst says.

PepsiCo holds the top three brand positions in snacks with Lay’s, Doritos and Cheetos. Ruffles, Tostitos and Walkers also feature in the global top 10.

“In terms of scale, finances and the marketing machine behind it, PepsiCo is very unique,” said Ildiko Szalai, senior company analyst at Euromonitor International.

“Anyone coming into the snacks arena to compete with PepsiCo will find it hard,” she told BakeryandSnacks.com.

However, she said there are plenty of opportunities to establish growth alongside the giant as snack products hold global appeal - “it’s very easy to spin snacks across any market”.

Learn from PepsiCo: Format, flavor, occasion and cross-category innovation

PepsiCo has followed a very successful global snacks strategy, Szalai said. It has innovated in format, flavor and occasions, but also invested in cross-category launches – for example Dorito dips. “Consumers rarely buy Doritos without a dip,” she said.

Any successful global snack brand has tapped into the opportunities in these areas, she said, and manufacturers looking to gain traction on a global scale should take heed and invest in flavor, format and occasion innovation as well as leveraging into adjacent categories.

It is also important for snack makers to establish brands firmly, she added.

“Brand loyalty is high in the snacks aisle; therefore brand equity is very important in the category… Before cross-category launches, you need a strong brand to work in its own arena.”

Pack imaging is particularly important and a very powerful marketing tool to build up brand equity, she added.

Sniffing out hot trends

Snack manufacturers looking to delve into the global market must be dedicated to tracking new trends, Szalai said.

“It is always important to be in tune with the latest trends and ensure products are relevant to the time and place where they are launched – this, of course, will differ across the globe.”

“Snack makers need to find out what the next big snack item is. It’s about finding their own little niche because it’s a very consolidated market,” she said.

The top 10 breakdown...

TOP 10 COMPANY AND SNACK BRAND       

GLOBAL BRAND SHARE 2013 BASED ON RETAIL VALUE, EUROMONITOR DATA

1: PepsiCo - Lay's

7%

2: PepsiCo - Doritos

3.6%

3: PepsiCo - Cheetos

2.7%

4: Kellogg - Pringles

2.3%

5: PepsiCo - Ruffles

1.9%

6: PepsiCo - Tostitos

1.6%

7: Want Want Holdings - Want Want

1.4%

8: PepsiCo - Walkers

1.3%

9: Kraft Foods - Planters

1.2%

10: Link Snacks - Jack Link's

1%

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