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US snack market shows healthy growth, says report

By Guy Montague-Jones , 01-Sep-2009

American consumers are reaching for more snacks, and even in the recession organic and premium options are selling well, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

Market researchers Packaged Facts said consumers are willing to pay extra for snacks with fewer additives and preservatives. Organic products are therefore continuing to prove popular even in the recession.

Premium products using better quality ingredients are also selling well as consumers show a willingness to spend more on small luxuries.

But equally low prices are also a draw and consumers are eager to buy snacks that offer good value for money.

High predicted growth

Overall snack sales are therefore looking in good shape. Packaged Facts predicts that the focus on value and wholesome products will help the snack industry grow 20 per cent from $68bn in 2008 to near $82bn by 2013.

Nonetheless, the road ahead will not be straightforward for snack producers.

The market is highly competitive and fast evolving. Snack makers are now under pressure to provide ever more variety and taste, and at the same time keep costs and carbon emissions down.

Word of warning

Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts, said: “Snack producers must do their best to accommodate the changing dynamics and multiple tastes and moods of snack consumers.”

“Not only do these producers have to cater to diverse tastes, but the pressure is on to keep prices low, health benefits high, and production green; fold in a battle between big brands and private label; add a cultural yearning for simple, real, and natural; and factor in the long-term effects of the global financial fallout -- and you have a complicated snack market.”

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