10 Innovations in Salty Snacks

A recent poll shows today’s teenagers rate food as their largest expense, surpassing clothes and fashion, which led the list in the 1980s and 1990s. And the focus of much of that spending is on packaged snack foods.

In this fall’s Taking Stock With Teens survey by Piper Jaffray, 23% of those polled said their money is more regularly spent on eating out or eating on the go, the highest of expenses listed. The teens voted Lay’s potato chips, Campbell Soup’s Goldfish crackers, Kellogg’s Cheez-Its and PepsiCo’s one-two punch of Doritos and Cheetos as their top five salty-snack favorites.

The emphasis on foods represents a positive development for a salty-snack category that saw dollar sales rise 7.4% in the c-store channel for the 52-week period ending Oct. 6, 2019, compared with the previous year, according to the most recent numbers from Chicago-based IRI. Salty-snack unit sales, however, declined slightly by 0.3%.

  • The potato chip segment of the overall category grew convenience sales 5.3% to $1.82 billion, while units lost 2.8%, IRI reported.
  • In the cheese-snack segment, volume and units both trended north, 13.3% and 4.1%, respectively, according to IRI.
  • The pretzel segment of the salty-snack category exhibited 4.6% c-store growth while units fell 2.5%, IRI said.
  • And in the tortilla/tostada chip segment, growth was the order of the day: 11.8% in dollars and 3.7% for units in the 52-week period, according to IRI.

Read on for 10 salty-snack offerings helping to lead the category toward continued growth.

Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Pringles

The Kellogg Co.’s Pringles Wavy brings on-trend flavors and textures to the iconic resealable Pringles can. Boasting a thick, wavy texture, the snack features complex flavors—Fire Roasted Jalapeno and Applewood Smoked Cheddar—inspired by grilling. In step with the season, Roasted Turkey Flavored Pringles have recently been spotted in various retail stores in 5.5-ounce cans.

Photograph courtesy of The Kellogg Co.

2. J&J Snack Foods

J&J Snack Foods’ Pretzel Fillers Stuffed Soft Pretzels now come individually wrapped in craft paper packaging that be heated in the microwave, oven or TurboChef. Pretzel Fillers are hand-twisted soft pretzels featuring a filling. Three varieties are available: Cheddar Cheddar, Jalapeno-N-Cheese and Sweet Cream Cheese.

Photograph courtesy of J&J Snack Foods

3. Dream Pretzels

Pressels from Dream Pretzels have the flavor of traditional pretzels but are pressed during baking for an extra crispy and crunchy experience, the company says. The baked snack is low in fat, vegan and Non-GMO Project verified. Four varieties are available in 7.1-ounce bags: Sea Salt, Everything, Sesame and Sriracha.

Photograph courtesy of Dream Pretzels

4. Modelez International

For the first time, Triscuit from Mondelez International is introducing a snack outside its core cracker line. Triscuit Wheatberry Clusters feature wheat berries in their original whole-wheat kernel form, as well as nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Non-GMO Project verified with no artificial flavors and colors, the snack comes in three flavors: Cranberries & Cashews, Cherries & Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds & Sweet Corn.

Photograph courtesy of Mondelez International

5. BFY Brands

BFY Brands debuted two new lines of gluten-free, air-popped crisps: PopCorners Flex Protein Crisps with 90 calories per serving, and PopCorners Flourish Veggie Crisps with 100 to 120 calories per serving. PopCorners Flex contains 10 grams of protein per serving and comes in Buffalo and Barbeque flavors, while PopCorners Flourish is made with farm-fresh vegetables and comes in Greens & Beans, Roasted Beets, Toasted Cauliflower and Harvest Kale flavors.

Photograph courtesy of BFY Brands

6. Melinda’s

Melinda’s Banana Chips are made with fresh, young green bananas sourced from Colombia. The snack is vegan, non-GMO and free from trans fats, cholesterol and gluten. Flavors include Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sour Cream & Onion, Hickory BBQ, Sea Salt, Habanero Garlic and Sriracha.

Photograph courtesy of Melinda’s

7. Cheez-It

The latest addition to the Cheez-It lineup from Kellogg Co. is Cheez-It Snap’d, baked crispy thins made with 100% real cheese. Available in Double Cheese and Cheddar Sour Cream & Onion flavors and packaged in 2.2-ounce bags, the item capitalizes on consumer demand for thin and crispy snacks, the company said. For merchandising the new products, an eye-catching 36-count, two-flavor display is available.

Photograph courtesy of The Kellogg Co.

8. Doritos

Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nachos from Frito-Lay North America combine a hot and spicy flavor with Doritos’ original nacho cheese flavor. The kick of heat continues to build as you eat, the company said. Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nachos are available in 9.75-ounce bags for an SRP of $4.29 and 3.125-ounce bags for $1.89.

Photograph courtesy of Frito-Lay North America

9. Al Chipino

Gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan friendly, Al Chipino is a line of tortilla chips in ethnic and trendy flavors, including BBQ Tikka Masala, Bollywood Sweet & Sour, NY Deli Cheese, Peri Peri, Salsa Picante and Sea Salt & Black Pepper. The chips are made with premium ingredients such as high-oleic sunflower oil. They come in 1.75- and 5.5-ounce bags.

Photograph courtesy of Al Chipino

10. IWON Organics

IWON Organics is making snacking easy with a grab-and-go collection of snacks that balance carbohydrates, fats and protein in the form of Protein Chips, Protein Stix and Protein Puffs. With flavors including Nacho Cheese, Mesquite BBQ, Sriracha and Sea Salt, each serving is low in sugar and has at least 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and about 200 calories.