The overall snacks category, covering savory snacks, cakes and pastries, biscuits, confectionery, ice cream and frozen desserts, meal replacement shakes and bars, snack and breakfast bars, and yogurt represented nearly 40% of total US packaged food dollars last year, according to data from Euromonitor International.
Jared Koerten, senior analyst at the global research firm, said snacks in the US had gained significant share at the expense of staple packaged foods like soup, sauces and pastas.
“It’s not like this happened overnight. From 2008, the year on year performance of snacks is very stable – it’s been consistent,” he told attendees at Snaxpo 2015 in Orlando last week.
Savory snacks ‘heads and tails above the global market’
Within snacks, Koerten said the savory category “jumps off the page”.
Between 2008 and 2014, savory snacks in the US grew by just under 3%, surpassing $35.2bn.
“For a category with such a large base to grow this fast, this is very significant,” he said.
“…Despite being the single largest category, the category was also the third fastest-growing over this period.”
US savory snacks now account for $1 in every $10 spent on packaged food - “that’s higher than any country and almost double the global average,” he said.
Per capita on savory snacks in the US is six times higher than the global average and the products typically represent 150kcal per person, per day – way above the global figure of 30kcal.
“It is heads and tails above the global market,” Koerten said.