SNAC International, the nonprofit, snack-centric trade association, has announced the release of its “2023 State of the Industry Report,” in a special edition of its annual magazine, SNAC World. The report highlights key insights and emerging trends shaping the future of this dynamic sector. 

“I am especially proud of the work to define the economic impact of the snack industry,” says Christine Cochran, CEO, SNAC International. “This report provides valuable insights and strategic guidance to support industry stakeholders. As the industry undergoes rapid changes and consumers seek healthier, more sustainable snacking options, it is crucial for businesses to stay informed and adapt to emerging trends.”  

The “2023 State of the Industry Report,” brought together by Circana (previously IRI) and Sosland Publishing, takes a deep dive into the latest industry trends, sales/unit data, new product innovation, and insights from leading industry innovators.   

  1. Market growth and size: The snack food industry represents 27% of all food and beverage sales in the U.S. with snack and snack adjacent sales totaling $186.4 billion.  
  2. Economic impact: The snack food industry employs 395,000 individuals, recording $15 billion in annual wages, and generating $11 billion in U.S. tax revenue.
  3. Consumer preferences: More than 25% of consumers snack every afternoon, and another 25% every evening. Savory snacks make up 57% of the snack category and represent $58.3 billion in sales, while sweet snacks represent $30.4 billion.
  4. Innovation and product development: 88% of snack consumers say flavor is important when making snack choices. Snack producers are finding inspiration for new, interesting flavors from around the world to meet the demand for new, innovative products.  

Category-specific data revealed the pretzel category experienced 2.3% growth in unit sales with 17.5% increase in dollar sales. Corn snacks’ spicy flavors and their healthy halo are the key to their success seeing a 3.6% increase in unit sales and 21.1% growth in dollar sales. Tortilla chips' spicy, savory, and sassy flavors saw an uptick of 0.7% in unit sales resulting in a 16.6% year to year growth in sales. 

The full report including category-specific sales data can be downloaded at SNAC World's Official State of the Industry Report.