Study Examines Future of U.S. Snack Food Manufacturing

December 20, 2010
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Research and Markets is offering a report on the consumption of snack foods and relates trends to help manufacturers adjust their business strategies. “Snack Food Manufacturing” looks at the U.S. snack food manufacturing industry, which includes about 50 companies with combined annual revenue of $24 billion. The top 50 companies account for 90% of industry revenue.

A study titled “Snack Food Manufacturing,” available from Research and Markets, claims to predict the future U.S. consumption and snack trends. The top 50 of 500 companies researched, such as PepsiCo, ConAgra Foods and Kraft, account for 90% of the annual revenue of $24 billion.

The snack food manufacturing industry includes companies that make roasted nuts and nut mixes; potato, tortilla and corn chips; popped popcorn; and peanut butter. This industry doesn't include companies that make cookies, candy, saltines, pies or chocolate-covered snacks.

Demand is driven by consumer tastes and health considerations. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, effective marketing and a solid sales force. Large companies have advantages in raw material purchasing, manufacturing efficiencies, distribution and marketing budgets. Small operations can compete effectively by self-distributing products, selling online or marketing snacks as gift items. According to the study, the industry is capital-intensive: The average annual revenue per employee is $500,000.

Snack food manufacturing competes against other “impulse” food items, such as cookies and crackers, baked goods, fruits and vegetables and fast food. The major products are potato chips (30% of industry revenue); tortilla chips (20%); and bulk nuts (10%). Other products include canned nuts, corn chips, peanut butter, popcorn and hard pretzels.

Meanwhile, salty snack foods are found in most American households. The average household spends around $80 on salty snacks each year.

For more information on the study, visit

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