Chip purchases are nearly universal with 94% of respondents to a 2019 Mintel survey saying they bought some kind of chips in the past year. Consumers gravitate to familiar brands and tastes and perceive chips as an indulgence, which may be a challenge to market expansion, but opportunities lie in new flavor combinations, functionality and healthy innovations.
“Taste, craveability and the desire to ‘treat yourself’ are driving consumer choice for more indulgent salty snacks,” said Tom Vierhile, vice-president, strategic insights, North America, Innova Market Insights.
The potato chip brands of Frito-Lay, Plano, Texas, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., ranked among those with highest dollar sales.
“Through both marketplace observation and talking to consumers, we know that potato and tortilla chips, as well as cheesy and spicy snacks, are still top picks for consumers,” said Jared Johnson, vice-president of insights, analytics and category management, Frito-Lay.
Growth in the potato chip category is fueled by an explosion of new flavors and combinations. Sweet flavors are in demand, but savory flavors are influencing growth, according to Information Resources, Inc. (I.R.I.), a Chicago-based market research firm. Local foods and global cuisines also inspire innovation.