No segment of the U.S. food industry is as productive and lively as snack and bakery today. U.S. food culture increasingly grows “snackified” as our idea of what constitutes a snack sees ongoing redefinition and the number of daily eating occasions grows from three to five or six.
Snack and bakery products are also on the cutting-edge of prevailing industry trends. Nowhere have “better-for-you” ideals come into play like in snack products and baked goods, as companies developing bars, breads, buns and rolls, tortillas, puffed snacks, tortilla chips, and other products invest in new ingredients and processing technologies to bring notable levels of nutritional improvements—as well as shifts toward clean-label—to a U.S. consumer base hungry for change.
And no other segment in food has faced the gluten-free movement as acutely as the traditionally grain-centric snack and bakery market. The initial scramble to reformulate core products in gluten-free versions years back has evolved into new formulations that neatly balance art and science to yield gluten-free foods that offer pleasing tastes and textures, even nutritional merit. This experimentation with historically underused gluten-free grains has brought new tools to the bench, adding interest-piquing grain diversity to an increasing range of snack and bakery products—gluten-free or not.
Meanwhile, some things don’t—and shouldn’t—change. A wide range of classic, true-to-form, iconic snack and bakery brands continue to dominate categories across the board.
The 50 snack and bakery companies listed on the opposite page have a significant—or complete—focus on snack foods and baked goods in the U.S. market (listed revenue comprises total company sales for the noted year, globally where applicable, all in U.S. dollars). These are some of the biggest names across all of food. But several companies on this list are highly specific to the snack and bakery sector, some of which have grown as family-run businesses through the years to gain significant market share.
This story never ends. As such, it continues online, at www.snackandbakery.com/top50, where we provide a more-detailed look at the Top 50, including listings of top company snack and bakery brands, continually updated links to additional relevant information, online-exclusive content, and other interactive features.