According to findings by Rabobank, outlined in its Jan. 2015 report “The Popcorn Blockbuster,” popcorn is experiencing a renaissance. Once considered an unhealthy movie-time junk food, popcorn is now considered among consumers—especially choosy millennials—to be an appealing, healthy snack.
The frozen snacks and appetizers category is seeing growth as consumers ask for—and brands attempt to deliver—bold, international flavors to complement traditional, tried-and-true favorites. As always, millennial consumers remain vital to the success of this segment of frozen foods.
The cracker market, like many other snack segments, is in an evolutionary state. If you ask Craig Lieberman, president and founder of Denver-based 34 Degrees, changes in the category span “from the types and styles of crackers to the location and placement of crackers in the store.”
The chips segment has grown quite lively over the past year, with new product areas emerging and others, like apple chips, seeing considerable growth and maturation. Snack producers are also starting to grow beyond potatoes, offering sweet potato, beet and parsnip chips.
Americans continue to crave Mexican food—so much so that they spend billions of dollars annually at quick-service restaurants like Taco Bell and Chipotle Mexican Grill and on Mexican foods at their local grocery store.
When it comes to sweet goods like doughnuts, Danishes, sweet rolls, muffins and coffee cake, the market is in a state of flux. As Walter Postelwait, president of Pak Group LLC/Bellarise Baking Ingredients, Pasadena, CA, puts it: “The total segment appears to be growing slowly, but has hot pockets of activity.”
When asked to name a favorite childhood snack, most people would like probably name a favorite snack cake—Twinkies, Swiss Rolls, Devil Dogs, Snowballs or another, depending on where they lived. The taste of spongy cake and sweet, creamy filling in the middle still lingers on for some consumers. Nostalgia is a strong force.