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    Bite-Sized Insights: Salty Snacks

    Snacks as a stress reliever among latest trends.

    By Danielle Romano, Convenience Store News

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — When surveyed in the 2017 Convenience Store News Forecast Study, one retailer described the salty snacks category — which remains impulse-driven — as “hot.”

    In the 2017 Guide to Candy & Snacks, CSNews editors provided the latest trends every c-store retailer should know on this “hot” category. Here are the top five in salty snacks:

    The New Comfort Food? Research by Mintel found that 62 percent of consumers are eating salty snacks as a stress reliever, compared to 16 percent of American snackers who attributed stress as a reason for snacking one year ago. As the researcher pointed out, the portability of salty snacks allows consumers to alleviate their stress on the go, with one-third of salty snackers eating them away from home and 26 percent eating them at work.

    Need It Now. Salty snacks remain an impulse-driven category. According to a General Mills Convenience & Foodservice survey, 68 percent of c-store food and beverage purchases are unplanned and purchased on impulse once seen in the store. Additionally, 85 percent of shoppers eat c-store snacks quickly after purchase.

    Making Alterations. Strong growth in sales of alternative vegetable-based snacks — particularly salty snack versions — was the largest contributing factor to the rise in alternative-ingredient snack sales in 2016, according to Packaged Facts. The market research firm estimates the salty snack segment carried the alternative-ingredient snack market in 2016 with 7-percent growth — a faster growth rate than what was seen by salty snacks as a whole.

    Chipping In. When it comes to the specific kinds of snacks consumers are enjoying, Nielsen convenience store data shows potato chips dominate salty snacks, while meat snacks lead alternative snacks, and muffins and doughnuts top sweet-snack picks.

    A “Hot” Category. If the snacks category could be defined by convenience store retailers in one word, it would be “hot,” according to the 2017 Convenience Store News Forecast Study. Sales of salty snacks are forecasted to increase 5.7 percent this year. The popularity of potato chips and price hikes in salty snacks are anticipated to drive a boost in dollar sales per store.

    For more Bite-Sized Insights, check out the 2017 Convenience Store News Guide to Candy & Snacks.

    By Danielle Romano, Convenience Store News
    • About Danielle Romano Danielle Romano is associate managing editor for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and CSNews.com. Prior to joining CSNews full-time in January 2015, Romano served as a freelancer for CSNews, with a concentration on social media, while working as product content copywriter/editor for Myron Corp., a promotional product company. Romano has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from William Paterson University.

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