Top 10 C-Store ‘Sports-Lover’ Snacks

It’s fall, and that means your sports-loving customers are stocking up on beer, chips and assorted snacks for baseball playoffs, college and professional football, and more. But which snacks do shoppers prefer most for these occasions?

Hershey’s, Lay’s and M&M’s are all snack brands sports fans are most likely to purchase this year, according to London-based YouGov BrandIndex. A recent survey conducted by the company asked U.S. fans 18 and older two questions: “[The next time] you are in the store to purchase a snack, which of the following brands would you consider purchasing?” and “Which of the following snack brands have you seen an ad for in the past two weeks?”

Nearly half (48%) of sports fans would “consider buying” Hershey’s the next time they purchase a snack, taking over the top spot from last year’s leader, M&M’s, which fell into a tie for second place with Lay’s, each with 44%.

While Doritos (40%) climbed up a spot and Ritz (37%) advanced two positions compared to the 2016 ranking, Planters (39%) dropped from third place to fifth.

Four snack brands that register high ad-awareness levels in 2017 didn’t appear on the “purchase consideration” top-10 list, including Snickers (21% of sports fans recall seeing an ad in the past two weeks), Yoplait (19%), Reese’s (19%) and Pringles (17%).

Click through to see the entire YouGov BrandIndex’s top 10 “purchase consideration” brands.

1. Hershey's

Hershey's represented the top brand across the “purchase consideration” top 10 with a score of 47.6%, meaning almost 48% of U.S. adults would consider a Hershey's product when purchasing snacks or candy for watching sports. The company's ad awareness ranked seventh at 20.1%, according to the YouGov BrandIndex survey.

One recent rollout is Hershey’s Kisses Taste of Hawaii Coconut Almond flavored candies, a roasted whole almond surrounded by coconut-flavored white chocolate—all part of Hershey’s limited-time “Flavor of America” series, inspired by the unique tastes of various U.S. destinations.

2. Lay's

Lay’s ranked second, with 44.4% of U.S. adults saying they would purchase these products. The brand scored a 22.2% for ad awareness.

Lay’s Poppables is a multidimensional, light-textured potato snack packed with flavor. Poppables flavors include White Cheddar and Sea Salt, and they are now available nationwide in 5-ounce bags.


3. M&M's

M&M’s ranked third (44.1%) and notched an ad awareness score of 29.6%.

CandyRific recently teamed up with Mars to create two M&M’s-filled tins with retro-style Americana designs. One tin has a picture of three American soldiers during World War II, and the other features an American flag.

4. Doritos

Doritos scored fourth at 39.6%, while ad awareness indexed at 27.6%.

The latest product in the company’s line of rolled tortilla chips is Doritos Dinamita Fiery Habanero, which combines the spice of habanero peppers with hints of chili and red peppers in a rolled tortilla chip.

5. Planters

Kraft Foods’ Planters brand landed fifth at 39.4% for purchase consideration, with new offerings such as dessert-inspired mixes in four flavors (including Turtle Sundae and Banana Sundae) no doubt helping to boost the snacks' performance. 

6. Ritz

Ritz (36.9%) recently launched Ritz Crisp & Thins, a crispy, thin cracker with a distinguishable crunch in Salt and Vinegar, Sea Salt, Cream Cheese & Onions and Bacon flavors. 

7. Oreo

Oreo (35.9% for purchase consideration and 21% for ad recognition) recently introduced a new cookie flavor from its Wonder Vault. The LTO Firework Oreo arrived just in time for summer, and featured cream with bits of popping candy. 

8. Cheetos

Cheetos (34.5% purchase consideration and 23% ad awareness) released a new variety of its Flamin’ Hot cheese snacks. The Chipotle Ranch flavor features a mix of creamy ranch and spicy chipotle. It became available in June. 

9. Fritos

Fritos (34.3%) landed ninth on the YouGov BrandIndex survey—representing one of five brands from Frito-Lay North America to land in the top 10 for purchase consideration. The iconic brand now has seven offerings in the line from which to select. 

10. Tostitos

Tostitos (34%) no doubt resonates well with sports fans on several levels; one is the fact that the brand once had its name affixed to a major college bowl game.