During the COVID-19 pandemic, several nuanced consumption trends have taken shape. One sees a growing number of people placing an accent on comfort foods consumption. Suppliers of such options across frozen, refrigerated and fresh have responded in kind as consumers pivot to the tried and true.
Consumption of other traditional favorites has experienced a similar spike, with snack foods seeing an impressive upward trajectory.
In the “Best of SNAXPO” webinar sponsored by SNAC International in late March, Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader of client insights for Chicago-based IRI, noted that in the last 10 days of January, snack sales started to bubble up, leading to a spike during the week of March 8, just as the coronavirus pandemic took on a greater significance.
During that week, core snack segments enjoyed a 39% increase in dollar sales, led by crackers with 10% volume increase and potato chips a 2.9% sales bump. “Snacking will continue to see increased sales through COVID-19 and into the impending recession period since it is an expandable consumption food,” Lyons Wyatt said.
In addition to chips and crackers, U.S. sales of snack bars are anticipated to increase by more than 2% by 2024, representing incremental growth of more than $806 million, according to London, U.K.-based market researcher Technavio.
Technavio reported that 54% of snack bar growth will occur on the backs of energy and nutrition bars. While product launches will continue to draw consumers to the sector, Technavio says that plant-based snack bars are poised to play “an outsized role in lifting the U.S. market.”
Other research adds more clarity to the trend. Portland, Ore.-based Allied Market Research in April revealed that the organic candy bar sector is expected to see the highest compound annualized growth rate (CAGR), estimated at 15.2% during a forecast period through 2025.
In addition to increasing consumer awareness and interest in the bar sector, the market research company anticipates rising demand for convenience foods and development of retail structure in emerging economies to fuel the sector.
Click through for a quick look at eight bar launches occurring over the past several months.