Frito-Lay gears up for the biggest week of the year for salty snack sales

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Americans are gearing up to celebrate Fourth of July a little differently this year. Pics: GettyImages/FeelPic/Rimma_Bondarenko
Americans are gearing up to celebrate Fourth of July a little differently this year. Pics: GettyImages/FeelPic/Rimma_Bondarenko

Related tags: PepsiCo Frito-Lay, Fourth of July, coronavirus, ecommerce, Salty snacks, c-stores, Tortilla chips, Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles

The lead-up to the Fourth of July is historically the biggest week of the year for salty snacks in the States and PepsiCo's Frito-Lay anticipates sales to be on a par with previous years, despite the challenges around the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite the heightened temperature of both the country - after weeks of riots, looting and destruction of monuments - and the brows of COVID-19 sufferers, patriotic pride is still expected to win through to mark the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

But, this year, celebrations will be a little.

While the lockdown has forced a swing toward in-home consumption, this hasn’t stopped Americans from snacking. In fact, In fact, if Memorial Day (May 25) is any indication, salty snacks were up 9% year-over-year, thanks to the ease of ordering on line.

This year, data shows consumers searching online for Fourth of July snacks is up 80% year-over-year.

Top trends

Frito-Lay has released some of the trends it is seeing supported by sales data:

Online sales for snacks are up 43% since March 1.

Lockdown has boosted sharing bag sales. Take-home bags to enjoy with the family are up more than 50% as consumers get ready for the holiday weekend. Multipack sales have also rocketed during the pandemic.

As states reopen, Frito-Lay has seen an uptick in traffic to convenience stores. Consumers are making fewer trips and purchasing panty essentials closer to home, relying more heavily on c-stores for their shopping needs.

The go-to snacks for the holiday weekend are tortilla chip and corn chips. Sales are up 31% for unflavoured tortilla chips and 14% for corn chips – obviously to be paired with a favourite dip or enjoyed as nachos and Frito pie as meals, according to Frito Lay.

Sales of dips like salsa, queso and bean are also up 21%.

Historically, six of the seven top selling snacks during the lead-up week are Frito-Lay brands, including Frito-Lay Variety Packs, Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles and Tostitos.

Frito-Lay data has found the reason behind grabbing a snack differs based on where Americans live. For instance, Miami residents say snacks make them feel comfortable, Dallas residents are the most likely to feel happy while snacking, and Los Angeles residents are the most likely to feel a sense of normalcy from snacks. 

Frito-Lay’s US Snack Index also found Americans are highly particular when choosing just the right snack. What’s more, this differs depending on where they live, too.

According to the Index, 85% of the respondents said eating their favourite snack makes them feel normal, a typical response from Los Angeles residents. Consumers in Dallas are the most likely to feel happy while snacking and Miami residents say snacks make them feel comfortable.

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