Snack Food Industry Accounts For 27% Of All Food, Beverage Sales


Arlington, VA — The snack food industry represents 27 percent of all food and beverage sales in the U.S., according the SNAC International 2023 State of the Industry Report.

“I am especially proud of the work to define the economic impact of the snack industry,” says Christine Cochran, CEO, SNAC International. “This report provides valuable insights and strategic guidance to support industry stakeholders. As the industry undergoes rapid changes and consumers seek healthier, more sustainable snacking options, it is crucial for businesses to stay informed and adapt to emerging trends.”

Key insights from the report include:

  1. Market Growth and Size: The snack food industry represents 27 percent of all food and beverage sales in the U.S. with snack and snack adjacent sales totaling $186.4 billion.
  2. Economic Impact: The snack food industry employs 395,000 individuals, recording $15 billion in annual wages, and generating $11 billion in U.S. tax revenue.
  3. Consumer Preferences: More than 25 percent of consumers snack every afternoon, and another 25 percent every evening. Savory snacks make up 57 percent of the snack category and represent $58.3 billion in sales, while sweet snacks represent $30.4 billion.
  4. Innovation and Product Development: 88 percent of snack consumers say flavor is important when making snack choices. Snack producers are finding inspiration for new, interesting flavors from around the world to meet the demand for new, innovative products.

Category-specific data revealed the pretzel sector experienced 2.3 percent growth in unit sales with 17.5 percent increase in dollar sales. Corn snacks’ spicy flavors and their better-for-you halo are the key to their success seeing a 3.6 percent increase in unit sales and 21.1 percent growth in dollar sales. Tortilla chips spicy, savory and sassy flavors saw an uptick of 0.7 percent in unit sales resulting in 16.6 percent year-on-year growth.