New data reveals winners in the US snacks aisle: RTE popcorn, bean chips & dried meat snacks

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Winners in US snacks aisle: SkinnyPop, Beanitos, Way Better Snacks

Related tags: Dollar sales, Snack food, Snack foods

Potato chips, tortilla chips and cheese snacks are performing strongly in the US retail market, despite growing demand for healthier snacking options. However, the big winners in the snacks aisle this year have been ready-to-eat popcorn, meat snacks, seeds, and pulse-based snacks such as Beanitos and Calbee Harvest Snaps, says the Snack Food Association.

The annual state of the industry report in the May issue of the SFA’s Snack World ​publication relies on multi-outlet (MULO) data from Chicago-based market researcher IRI.

MULO data covers retail sales through US supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers, club stores, dollar stores (excl Dollar Tree), and military commissaries, but does not cover convenience stores or chains that don’t share data such as ALDI, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, so the figures below only provides a picture of conventional grocery channel sales.  

  • RTE popcorn​: Dollar sales +24.1%; unit sales +13.5%
  • Meat snacks: ​Dollar sales +16.3%; unit sales +10.8%
  • Sunflower/pumpkin seeds​: Dollar sales +5.5%; unit sales -0.1%
  • Pork rinds​: Dollar sales +5.4%; unit sales +0.5%
  • Cheese snacks (extruded cheese puffs etc)​: Dollar sales +4.5%; unit sales +1.5%
  • Potato chips​: Dollar sales +3.6%; unit sales +3.6%
  • Tortilla/Tostada chips​: Dollar sales +3%; unit sales +3.9%
  • Snack nuts​: Dollar sales +2.7%; unit sales +0.8%
  • Crackers​: Dollar sales +0.4% (saltine -2.2%, with fillings -3.8%, Graham +4%); unit sales +0.6%
  • Pretzels​: Dollar sales -2.1%; unit sales -3.3%

Some top-performing brands in the IRI multi-outlet universe (dollar sales 52 wks to Feb 22, 2015) included:


  • SkinnyPop​ (RTE popcorn): +141.3%
  • Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop ​(RTE popcorn): +202.1%
  • Smartfood ​(PepsiCo): +16.6%


  • Calbee Harvest Snaps ​(lentil and pea-based snacks): +115.2%
  • Beanitos​ (bean-based chips): +50.6%


  • Sensible Portions veggie straws​: +73.9%
  • Terra ​(veggie chips, sweet potato chips): +23.7%


  • Way Better Snacks​ (sprouted grain snacks)+20.2%
Way Better Snacks strip


  • Nature’s Harvest seeds​: +25.4%


  • Garden of Eatin’ Blue Chips ​(blue corn tortilla chips): 47.2%
  • Late July​ (organic tortilla chips): +17.8%
  • Doritos ​(tortilla chips): +8.7%
  • Xochiti​ (tortilla chips): +16.2%  
  • On the Border tortilla chips​: +17.5%


  • Slim Jim​ (meat snacks): +18.3%
  • Jack Link’s ​(meat snacks): +17.6%
  • Baken-Ets ​(pork rinds): +16.8% 


  • Ruffles ​(potato chips): +11.8%
  • Cape Cod ​(kettle-cooked potato chips):  +22.4%


  • Cheetos ​(extruded cheese snacks from PepsiCo): +7.1%
  • Baked Cheetos: ​+15.6%
  • Cheetos Simply​: +12.2% 


  • Hampton Farms​ (snack nuts)+24.2%
  • Planter’s nuts​: +7.5%
    Beanitos in bucket

Brands that didn't perform so well over the 52 week period included:

  • PopChips​: -19.1%
  • SunChips: ​-7.6%
  • Cracker Jack RTE popcor​n: -15.1%
  • Cheetos Mix-Ups:​ -29.4%
  • Imperial snack nuts​: -23.3%
Jon Sebastiani new landscape

Find out where snacking entrepreneurs from KRAVE​, Health Warrior, Fruigees ​and Barnana​ think the US healthy snacks market is heading by clicking on the link below:

Snacking Trends Forum highlights: ‘Packaged food doesn’t have to be junk food’


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