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    Category Snapshot: Salty Snacks

    Changes in population and consumer demand driving growth, Nielsen says.

    By Angela Hanson, Convenience Store News
    Source: Nielsen

    NATIONAL REPORT — The future of snacking at convenience stores is bright thanks to growth that is fueled by changes in population and consumer demand, according to new data and analysis provided to Convenience Store News by Nielsen.

    Salty snack dollar sales are up 2 percent at food, drug and mass-merchandise (FDM) retailers, while unit sales are struggling at zero percent growth. However, in the convenience channel, salty snacks posted a 7-percent increase in dollar sales during the 52 weeks ended in August 2015 and 5-percent growth in unit sales during the same timeframe.

    Although high-volume salty snack segments such as potato chips, which make up nearly a quarter of total snack sales, continue to grow year over year, some lower dollar volume segments are seeing double-digit growth in both dollar and unit sales. For example, ready-to-eat popcorn is a smaller segment, but smart flavor innovation is driving it to gain share in the snacking world, growing 18 percent in dollar sales and 14 percent in unit sales.

    With generational shifts, both the need for indulgence and the need for health and wellness will grow, which naturally provides merchandising opportunities throughout the convenience store, Nielsen explained. Looking for ways to innovate to meet consumer demand will become key to finding success, the researcher highlighted. 

    Nielsen is a global information and measurement company with headquarters in New York.

    By Angela Hanson, Convenience Store News
    • About Angela Hanson Angela Hanson is associate editor for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News, where she is responsible for primary coverage of the candy, snacks and packaged beverages categories. Since joining CSNews as assistant editor in early 2011, she has played a key role in helping CSNews.com maintain its position as the No. 1 news source for the convenience store industry. Prior to joining CSNews, Hanson served as junior editor at Creative Homeowner book press and as managing editor of Anime Insider magazine. She has degrees in creative writing and visual communication technology from Bowling Green State University.

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