Salty snacks continue to hit a sweet spot for consumers.
In its latest report, market research firm Packaged Facts projects the salty snacks market to exceed $29 billion in 2022. As of last year, retail sales were estimated at $24 billion with a 4 percent compound annual growth rate between 2012 and 2017.
“More consumers have moved away from the traditional three meals per day and shifted into a lifestyle involving increased snacking, or multiple smaller meals, throughout the day,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. 
Contributing to increased consumption of salty snacks, these products are readily available in vending machines and grab-and-go retail outlets such as convenience stores and gas stations. In grocery stores, snacks are often featured in locations to inspire impulse purchases.
However, salty snacks face competition from other snacks, such as chocolate and non-chocolate confections, cookies and crackers. Also bringing competition are food choices perceived to be healthier, such as nuts, seeds and dried and fresh produce.
Future growth is anticipated to come from new products that are flavorful but also act as healthy alternatives. New flavors are expected to flourish, as well as non-potato ingredients that offer different proteins and grains. The report also expects the development of more shapes and textures for salty products.